I’m usually pretty much on target in predicting who will win the MLB post season awards. This year I predict I will get most of them wrong. But that’s okay because I like my reasoning better than the voters. By the way, these picks represent my votes for the IBWAA awards. I will notify you of those winners when they are announced.
As I have written in the past, I do not subscribe to the theory that the MVP has to come from a winning team. It should just be the player with the best season. Clayton Kershaw will probably win, but my pick is Giancarlo Stanton. He led the National League in home runs with 37 and was second in RBIs with 105. He would have led the league but he was hit in the face with a pitch, cutting his season short by a few weeks. I would hate to see him penalized for that. Kershaw obviously had an incredible year and I have no problem with pitchers winning MVPs. But he did only make 27 starts after missing the first month of the season. And for a pitcher to win MVP he should have insane numbers, like 25 wins or 300 strikeouts or an ERA closer to one than two. Andrew McCutchen had another solid year but is an also ran here.
NL Cy Young
Poor Johnny Cueto and Adam Wainwright. They had great years but will fall short to Kershaw, who should and will be a unanimous selection.
Billy Hamilton had this wrapped up until he slumped and Jacob deGrom burst onto the scene. That eight-strikeouts-to-start-the-game may have sealed it for deGrom. The only minus for deGrom is that he only won nine games. But voters do not seem to care about wins anymore; hopefully that sentiment (with which I disagree) will be at play here. Not to toot my own horn, but I may have been the first person to write about deGrom’s chances for Rookie of the Year. Everybody else started after the All-Star break. I wrote about it a week earlier. Jeurys Familia had a great year and gets this hometown vote.
Mike Trout will probably win this. The sabermetrics crowd has a serious man-crush on him, and they are still crying that he did not win the past two years. He also came from a winning team. But Jose Abreu was just better and gets this vote. They both hit 36 homers and Trout had four more RBIs — 111 to 107. But Abreu hit .317 to Trout’s .287. That 30 point difference tilts this towards Abreu, in my opinion, Victor Martinez is a distant third.
AL Cy Young
Once again, Felix Hernandez will probably win, but I picked Corey Kluber. Hernandez had the superior 2.14 ERA, but Kluber was pretty good at 2.44. Kluber had 269 strikeouts to Hernandez’s 248. But here’s the kicker — Kluber tied for the league lead with 18 wins while Hernandez had 15. I still think wins are important. Chris Sale was excellent with a 2.17 ERA, but he only made 26 starts.
Abreu will be unanimous. Delin Betances was incredible — 135 strikeouts in 90 innings with a 1.40 ERA. Matt Shoemaker was 16-4.