There are some interesting races for MLB postseason awards this year. While the Rookie of the Year awards are locked up in each league, the MVP and Cy Young awards promise to be close. The following represents my top three votes on my ballot for the IBWAA awards.
As I have written year after year, I do not believe the MVP has to come from a winning team (oh, and I think sabermetrics is a load of nonsense, so WAR and the like mean nothing to me). In that case, Giancarlo Stanton is the easy choice. After all, his 59 home runs led the NL by 20 homers. His 132 RBIs led all of baseball and he hit a very respectable .281. Nolan Arenado (37/130/.309) and Paul Goldschmidt (36/120/.297) also had superb years for Wild Card teams; one of them (more likely Arenado) might win because unlike me, the writers like to vote for players from winning teams.
I was planning on voting for Jose Altuve, who led the league in batting at .346 to go along with 24 homers and 81 RBIs, but then Aaron Judge went ahead and hit his 50th home run (he would finish with 52). He was second in RBIs with 114 and batted .284 for a Wild Card team. It was hard for me not to vote for him, even though he plays for that team from The Bronx. But in the end, I think Altuve will win. I had Jonathan Schoop (32/105/.293) third, although looking back, that might have been too high.
NL Cy Young
This should be the closest race. Kershaw had better numbers overall — his 18 wins and 2.31 ERA each led the league. Max Scherzer was second in ERA (2.51) and led the NL in strikeouts and won 16 games. But Kershaw missed six weeks with injury and made just 27 starts, logging 175 innings. Scherzer made 31 starts and threw 200.1 innings. In the end, I think Kershaw will win in a vote that will be closer than it should. I had Stephen Strasburg (15-4/2.52/204 Ks) third.
AL Cy Young
Chris Sale was cruising to the Cy Young when Corey Kluber upset his apple cart. Kluber led the league with a 2.25 ERA and tied for the lead in wins with 18. He was second in strikeouts with 265. Sale led in that category with 308 Ks, to go along with second in ERA at 2.90 and 17 wins. However, like Kershaw, Kluber missed some time and made 29 starts to Sale’s 32. Still, Kluber will take home his second Cy Young award. Carlos Carrasco (18-6/3.29/226 Ks) was third on my ballot.
NL Rookie of the Year
No contest — Cody Bellinger (39/97/.267) will be unanimous. Josh Bell and Paul DeJong are my also-rans.
AL Rookie of the Year
Even less of a contest — Judge will be unanimous well. Trey Mancini and Andrew Benintendi are two and three.