With the Major League Baseball season halfway over, our baseball writers have collaborated to make our award picks for the rest of the season. In this article we detail who will win the major awards for 2018; Most Valuable Player, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year for both leagues. This is a follow-up to our preseason predictions.
AMERICAN LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Scott Frizzell – At the start of the season I took Mike Trout, and the only reason to change my mind now would be due to the Angels record. Trout is the best player in baseball. Then again, this year Mookie Betts has been better so far and has to be the favorite at the break. My dark horse was Francisco Lindor, who is batting .291 with 25 home runs, so I’m feeling good about him too.
Matt O’Halloran – Mike Trout was my preseason pick with Jose Altuve being the runner-up. I am now changing my pick to Mookie Betts as the MVP with Trout as the runner-up. Betts has a higher batting average, OPS, and two fewer home runs despite playing in 19 fewer games. Also, Betts’ team is 38 games above 500 and the Angels will not come close to making the playoffs.
Kyle Porch – Betts is still lighting it up this season. There are very few reasons he shouldn’t be MVP.
Justin Gonzalez – Original Pick: Mike Trout, New Pick: Mookie Betts
This is tough for me to change but having Mike Trout as my answer for 2018 AL MVP is not a bad thing what so ever. However, the numbers that Mookie Betts is putting up are unreal. He has a mind-boggling 202 wRC+, .359/.448/.691 slash line with 23 homers and 51 RBIs. Mind you, he has 20 fewer games played than Mike Trout. All in all, Betts is having a historic season and he deserves to beat Trout this year for the award.
NATIONAL LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Scott Frizzell – Well, my Bryce Harper pick has proven to be garbage. Christian Yelich as a dark horse is having a good year, but certainly no threat for MVP. Right now, Jesus Aguilar of the Brewers has a serious argument for first half MVP, and yet his inclusion in the All-Star Game somehow came down to the final vote
Matt O’Halloran – Arenado was my preseason pick with Corey Seager being my runner-up. Seager was decent stats but has only played in 26 games. I am sticking with Arenado at MVP, with Jesus Aguilar being the runner-up. The third baseman is hitting .312 with 24 home runs and a .395 OBP. Both players are on teams that will come close to making the playoffs, so no significant gap there.
Kyle Porch – Bryce Harper. After picking Arenado in the beginning, I realized Harper is going to tear it up in the second half.
Justin Gonzalez – Original Pick: Bryce Harper, New Pick: Nolan Arenado
AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG AWARD
Scott Frizzell – I like going with sleeper picks for Cy Young, but going with the usual candidates this year would have been better. Lance McCullers is having a good season at 10-4 with a 3.77 ERA and 9.5 K/9 after a poor final start before the break. James Paxton was my dark horse, he has thrown a no-hitter and struck out 11.7 batters per nine innings on the year. Both are good, but neither will win the award.
Matt O’Halloran – My preseason pick was Verlander taking home the award with Sale being the runner-up. I am going with the same players but flip the order. Sale has a 2.23 ERA while Verlander’s is 2.29. Sale has struck out 16 more batters in 8.2 fewer innings. I am a bit worried about Sale because of his performance in August and September, but Cora seems to have managed him well over the season.
Kyle Porch – Chris Sale. Leading the al in strikeouts again, Sale is still dominant. End of story.
Justin Gonzalez – Original Pick: Chris Sale
NATIONAL LEAGUE CY YOUNG AWARD
Scott Frizzell – I took Noah Syndergaard, who hasn’t pitched a ton. I feel very good about my dark horse candidate though, Aaron Nola. Nola has continued his second-half breakout from last season into this year, going 12-3 with a 2.30 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and over a strikeout per inning. He is arguably the Cy Young of the first half.
Matt O’Halloran – My Clayton Kershaw preseason pick is a dud. He has good numbers, but injuries have caused him to only throw 75.2 innings. Max Scherzer as a runner-up is looking good, but I am now going with Jacob DeGrom to win the Cy Young. His jaw-dropping 1.68 ERA should guarantee him this award, however trade rumors could mess that up.
Kyle Porch – Max Scherzer is on the rise. Kershaw hasn’t been his normal self.
Justin Gonzalez – Original Pick: Clayton Kershaw, New Pick: Jacob DeGrom
AMERICAN LEAGUE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Scott Frizzell – My pick of Willie Calhoun isn’t coming to fruition as he has spent most of the season in the minor leagues. Calhoun has been hot of late but who knows when a call-up may occur. Gleyber Torres is the front-runner at the moment.
Kyle Porch – Shohei Ohtani, even though he can’t pitch the rest of the season. He can still light it up offensively as a DH.
Justin Gonzalez – Original Pick: Eloy Jimenez, New Pick: Gleyber Torres
NATIONAL LEAGUE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Scott Frizzell – Ronald Acuna has been okay, but not what many expected yet. He is very young though and holding his own. Currently, he is behind several in the race, most notably Juan Soto, but I am not ready to concede the pick. Acuna could still win this award with a big second half.
Kyle Porch – Ronald Acuna has been a bit of a letdown, but look for him to make a run in the second half.
Justin Gonzalez – Original Pick: J.P. Crawford, New Pick: Juan Soto
Matthew O’Halloran- Juan Soto is my pick to win it, with Ronald Acuna being the runner-up. They’ve had polar opposite seasons with Acuna being a letdown and Soto coming from out of nowhere. Soto has two more home runs and his batting average is 52 points higher.
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