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Friday, December 2, 2022

MLB Awards – MVP and Cy Younger predictions, outcomes, evaluation

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With the World Collection in our rearview mirror — although the champion Astros are absolutely nonetheless reveling of their victory — the 2022 season is all however completed, with one ultimate piece left: awards!

The winners of MLB’s 4 main end-of-season awards — Rookie of the 12 months, Supervisor of the 12 months, Cy Younger Award and Most Precious Participant — might be introduced beginning at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Community every day this week.

In contrast to final yr, when not one of the MVP candidates reached the postseason, 5 of this yr’s six finalists made the playoffs — with final yr’s American League MVP, Shohei Ohtani, as soon as once more unnoticed of October. Of the six, only one appeared within the Fall Basic (and received) — Yordan Alvarez. The AL’s MVP race is, unsurprisingly, led by none aside from Aaron Choose, whereas the Nationwide League’s race options two teammates — Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado — vying for the honors.

And the enjoyable would not cease there, as there’s heaps to be enthusiastic about within the different races too. At 39 years outdated, Justin Verlander might safe the third Cy Younger of his profession on Wednesday, whereas alternatively, Sandy Alcantara might make Marlins franchise historical past if he wins the Cy Younger within the NL.

We’ve all the things it’s essential know for awards week — previewing every award along with our ESPN MLB specialists’ predictions for who ought to take residence the {hardware}. Remember to verify again all through the week as this web page is up to date with outcomes and evaluation as every award is handed out.

Bounce to … :
Rookie of the 12 months: AL | NL
Supervisor of the 12 months: NL | AL

Cy Younger: NL | AL
MVP: NL | AL

American League Rookie of the 12 months

Winner: Julio Rodriguez (Seattle Mariners)

Remaining tally: Rodriguez 148 (29 first place votes); Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles 68 (1); Steven Kwan, Cleveland Guardians 44; Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas Metropolis Royals 7; Jeremy Pena, Houston Astros 2; George Kirby, Mariners 1

Consultants’ picks: Rodriguez (12 votes), Rutschman (1)

Doolittle’s take: Rookie lessons are in the end judged on what the first-timers do along with their inaugural seasons, as one yr alone doesn’t make a baseball profession. However this yr’s AL rookie class has already established itself as one thing particular — and its winner, Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez, is already poised to grow to be considered one of baseball’s greatest stars. Irrespective of who took residence this award, the attract of this group is prone to solely develop over time.

However 2022, by itself, was fairly particular in its personal proper for AL rookies. Think about that Pena, who posted 4.8 bWAR and went on to win to win MVP honors in each the ALCS and the World Collection for the champion Astros, was not a finalist. Kwan, whose 5.5 bWAR would have topped AL rookie lessons in 59 of the 74 seasons for the reason that Rookie of the 12 months vote was cut up between the leagues in 1949, completed third within the voting behind Rodriguez and super-rookie catcher Rutschman.

Rodriguez, whose 6.2. bWAR was probably the most by an AL rookie since Aaron Choose in 2017, goes to do particular issues on this recreation, and he was the clear-cut best choice within the balloting. That he was in a position to set himself aside on this specific rookie class is simply one other testomony to how particular a expertise J-Rod already is.

One word on the voting: It is attainable that in 20 years, Witt seems to be the perfect participant on this class. He definitely has the uncooked potential to be. However based mostly on what we noticed in 2022, it is a head-scratcher that he bought a second-place vote and completed forward of Pena.

Here is how my AXE leaderboard had it:

1. Rodriguez (133.8)
2. Rutschman (128.4)
3. Kwan (124.6)
4. Pena (121.6)
5. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins (117.1)

Notice: AXE is an index that creates a consensus ranking from the main worth metrics (WAR, from Fangraphs and Baseball Reference) and contextual metrics (win chance added and championship chance added, each from Baseball Reference).

ROY must-reads: How Julio Rodriguez grew to become the Mariners’ $470 million man


Nationwide League Rookie of the 12 months

Winner: Michael Harris II, CF, Atlanta Braves

Remaining tally: Harris 134 (22 first-place votes); Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves 103 (8); Brendan Donovan, Cardinals 22; Jake McCarthy, Arizona Diamondbacks 4; Alexis Diaz, Cincinnati Reds 3; Nick Lodolo, Reds 2; Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates 2.

Consultants’ picks: Harris (8 votes), Strider (5)

Doolittle’s take: Getting into the final couple of weeks of the common season, attempting to give you a coherent argument about whether or not the Braves’ star rookie hitter (Harris) or the Braves’ star rookie pitcher (Strider) was probably the most deserving contender for the award was a maddening train. Their metrics had been simply that shut. In the end, Strider suffered an indirect damage and did not make a regular-season look after Sept. 18, when Atlanta was nonetheless locked in a torrid battle with the Mets for the NL East. That, as a lot as something, may need been the decider.

Both approach, it has appeared clear for months that one of many pair was set to grow to be Atlanta’s second Rookie of the 12 months in 5 seasons, becoming a member of Ronald Acuna Jr. in 2018. Harris sort of got here out of nowhere to file a 5.3 bWAR, simply the best determine amongst NL rookies, however my AXE scores nonetheless noticed it as fairly shut between the 2. In the long run, Harris was the entire bundle, hitting for common and energy, flashing influence pace on offense and posting terrific metrics on protection at a premium place. The voters nailed it, and the Braves are arrange properly for years to return.

Here is how my AXE leaderboard had it:
1. Harris (126.5)
2. Strider (124.7)
3. Donovan (117.6)
4. McCarthy (111.2)
5. Diaz (110.8)

ROY must-reads:

Michael Harris’ baseball life has at all times been in Braves Nation

10 rookies about to take this yr’s postseason by storm

Nationwide League Supervisor of the 12 months

Finalists:

Consultants’ picks: Showalter (6 votes), Snitker (5), Roberts (1), Philadelphia Phillies’ Rob Thomson (1)

What to know: This appears to be like like a toss-up, particularly on condition that Roberts’ Dodgers received 111 video games — most within the Nationwide League since 1906 — and he charges as third favourite on the board. It was the fourth time Roberts has received at the least 104 video games, though his one Supervisor of the 12 months award got here in 2016, when the Dodgers received simply 91 video games.

He most likely will not win this yr, as a result of as dominant because the Dodgers had been within the common season (bear in mind, voting is finished earlier than the playoffs), the Mets and Braves maybe had extra compelling storylines. Showalter took over a Mets workforce coming off a 77-85 season and guided it to 101 wins and its first playoff journey since 2016. He introduced some professionalism to a workforce that wanted it, cleaned up the protection and the little issues, and had all that success regardless that Jacob deGrom did not begin a recreation till August. Snitker, who received this award in 2018, guided the Braves to their fifth straight division title — rallying from 10.5 video games down on June 1 and sweeping the Mets the ultimate week of the season to wrap up the division. — Schoenfield

MOY must-reads: ‘The golden age of Dodger baseball’? L.A. units franchise wins file — once more — however has only one ring


American League Supervisor of the 12 months

Finalists:

  • Terry Francona, Cleveland Guardians

  • Brandon Hyde, Baltimore Orioles

  • Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners

Consultants’ picks: Hyde (6 votes), Francona (6), Houston Astros’ Dusty Baker (1)

What to know: Baker, in fact, completed as the true supervisor of the yr after ending his private World Collection drought in his twenty fifth season as a supervisor, however he isn’t even a finalist. This can be a two-man race between Hyde and Francona, because the Orioles and Guardians had been maybe the 2 greatest surprises of 2022.

In his fourth season with the Orioles, Hyde’s workforce improved from 52 wins to 83, one of many greatest single-season enhancements in historical past, staying within the playoff race till late within the season. Wins over expectation is normally a guideline on this award, and that ought to assist Hyde. Francona’s benefit is the Guardians did make the playoffs, profitable the AL Central with a 92-70 file — a 12-game enchancment, spectacular for a workforce that had each the youngest lineup and the youngest pitching workers within the majors. Francona’s potential to work with younger gamers continues to be a formidable power and will win him his third MOY award. — Schoenfield

MOY must-reads:

How the Guardians turned the AL Central race right into a one-team dash

How the Orioles — sure, the Baltimore Orioles — grew to become the most popular workforce in MLB

Nationwide League Cy Younger

Finalists:

Consultants’ picks: Alcantara (13 votes) (unanimous alternative)

What to know: This appears to be like like a attainable unanimous victory for Alcantara. He went 14-9 with a 2.28 ERA and led the majors with 228 2/3 innings and 6 full video games. No, these final two numbers would not stand out even a decade in the past, however that was probably the most innings by a starter since David Value in 2016 and 23 innings greater than another pitcher in 2022. Alcantara went at the least eight innings in 14 of his 32 begins, and his 8.0 bWAR gave him a large lead over Aaron Nola’s 6.0, the second-highest complete amongst NL pitchers.

Urias did find yourself main the NL with a 2.16 ERA, however he pitched simply 175 innings in 31 begins — a great instance of what number of extra innings Alcantara delivered than even a Cy Younger finalist like Urias. Alcantara’s season can also be much more spectacular since 23 of these 32 begins got here towards .500-or-better groups. Fried, by comparability, made 17 of his 30 begins towards profitable groups, whereas Urias made 16 of 31 — though he was a formidable 11-3 with a 1.45 ERA in these 16 video games. Nonetheless, this one is all Alcantara, who will grow to be the primary Marlins pitcher to win a Cy Younger Award. (Kevin Brown completed second in 1996.) — Schoenfield

Cy Younger must-reads: How Julio Urias grew to become the Dodgers’ ace — and perhaps their nearer


American League Cy Younger

Finalists:

Consultants’ picks: Verlander (12 votes), Stop (1)

What to know: That is what you name a comeback season. After blowing out his elbow one begin into 2020 and present process Tommy John surgical procedure, Verlander returned at age 39 after lacking two seasons and went 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA, main the AL in wins and ERA. You lead the league in these two classes and you are the heavy favourite to win the Cy Younger Award, however Verlander additionally led the majors in lowest batting common allowed (.186), lowest OBP allowed (.227) and lowest slugging share allowed (.270).

Stop (14-8, 2.20 ERA, 227 strikeouts) and Manoah (16-7, 2.24 ERA, 196 2/3 innings) are definitely two of the up-and-coming younger starters within the recreation. Certainly, there are arguments to be made for each. Stop led AL pitchers with 6.4 bWAR, though Verlander and Manoah weren’t far behind at 5.9 (and non-finalist Shohei Ohtani was at 6.2). Manoah pitched 21 extra innings than Verlander, which is essential, and did it pitching within the league’s hardest division (and had a 1.90 ERA in division video games). Nonetheless, this appears to be like like Verlander’s yr and his third Cy Younger Award, after wins in 2011 and 2019 (and three runner-up finishes in between). — Schoenfield

Cy Younger must-reads:

The autumn of the beginning pitcher — and one younger ace who signifies hope for the longer term

From Tommy John to Cy Younger kind at 39? Inside Justin Verlander’s unprecedented return to dominance

Nationwide League MVP

Finalists:

Consultants’ picks: Goldschmidt (6 votes), Machado (4), Arenado (3)

What to know: Goldschmidt had been the heavy favourite after hitting .404/.471/.817 with 10 residence runs and 33 RBIs in Might and remaining sizzling … at the least till September, when he lastly slumped, hitting .245 with two residence runs. By then, nonetheless, the Cardinals had been cruising to a division title and the Goldschmidt MVP storyline appeared etched in stone. However as our professional picks recommend, perhaps it is not such a certain factor. Arenado (7.9) truly topped Goldschmidt (7.8) in bWAR, though the distinction there may be insignificant. Machado (7.4), in the meantime, led in FanGraphs WAR over Arenado’s 7.3 and Goldschmidt’s 7.1.

Goldschmidt was the perfect hitter within the NL, ending at .317/.404/.578 with 35 residence runs and 115 RBIs, so help for Arenado and Machado facilities across the worth their protection brings and people WAR totals that ended up fairly even. Goldschmidt led the NL in win chance added (Machado was second) whereas Arenado wasn’t within the prime 10, however a few of the different clutch numbers favor Arenado: He had a .988 OPS in high-leverage conditions (Goldschmidt was at .895) and .864 in “late and shut” conditions (Goldschmidt was at .789).

MVP voters have definitely targeted on a participant’s WAR an increasing number of over the previous decade, so that ought to make this a cut up vote, however in an in depth race, it normally appears to go to the perfect hitter and that is Goldschmidt. He has had two runner-up MVP finishes and one third place, however at 34 years outdated, I feel he lastly wins. — Schoenfield

MVP must-reads:

How this yr’s prime two NL MVP candidates, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, are feeding off one another

‘It is my prime, child’: Why Manny Machado is the perfect he is ever been at age 30


American League MVP

Finalists:

Consultants’ picks: Choose (12 votes), Ohtani (1)

What to know: You may need heard about this one. Ohtani went 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts as a pitcher. As talked about above, his 6.2 pitching bWAR was second within the AL and he’ll most likely end fourth within the Cy Younger voting. As a hitter, he hit .273/.356/.519 with 34 residence runs and 95 RBIs, ok for the fifth-highest OPS within the AL. So you’ve a top-five pitcher and a top-five hitter. That may be a superhero season.

And one way or the other not epic sufficient. Choose’s season was additionally historic: 62 residence runs, 131 RBIs, 133 runs, .425 OBP, .686 slugging. He led the AL in all these classes, most in dominant trend, doing it in a season when offense was at its lowest ranges since 2015. It was the perfect offensive season since peak Barry Bonds, and if you happen to do not need to embrace Bonds, it’s important to return to Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams within the Nineteen Fifties. Choose completed with 10.6 bWAR in comparison with Ohtani’s pitching-plus-hitting complete of 9.6. After all, the best way WAR is constructed, it offers Ohtani a positional penalty, since he was a DH. Perhaps you’ll be able to argue that is not honest, since Ohtani clearly performs one other place — pitcher.

Nonetheless, we are able to add up the numbers and depart place out of this: Ohtani produced an estimated 31 runs greater than a mean hitter and saved 40 runs in comparison with a mean pitcher, for a mixed complete of 71 runs; Choose produced an estimated 80 runs greater than common hitter. That is how good he was on the plate: Higher than the mixed worth of Ohtani the pitcher and Ohtani the hitter. And that is why Choose’s MVP award might be a deserving honor. — Schoenfield

MVP must-reads:

The street to 62: How Aaron Choose made residence run historical past in 2022

Aaron Choose vs. Shohei Ohtani: How you can examine two radically totally different MVP contenders

‘This man, he is totally different’: What it is like to look at Yordan Alvarez up shut

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