As we enter the final weekend of the regular season, the MLB playoff picture is starting to take shape. While fans around the league focus on the upcoming playoffs, it is also a great time to really narrow down who will win the MLB’s regular-season awards.
With that in mind, here are predictions for each of the major awards:
Undeniably, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+1400) has had a remarkable season. He is currently hitting .313/.402/.596 with 46 home runs, 107 runs batted in, 120 runs, and even has four stolen bases. Despite how amazing those stats are, he has no shot of winning this year.
We have truly seen a historic season this year from Shohei Ohtani (-7000). Despite a bit of an offensive slide during the end of the season, he still hit .259/.371/.594 with 45 home runs, 99 runs batted in, 101 runs, and 26 stolen bases.
If it was just based on offensive numbers, Guerrero probably would have overtaken Ohtani. But Ohtani has done so much more this year.
In addition to his strong numbers at the plate, Ohtani was also dominant on the mound. In fact, in 23 starts, he went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and had 156 strikeouts in just 130.1 innings.
Even though the Angels aren’t sniffing the playoffs, Ohtani still ends the year as arguably one of the best hitters and their best pitchers in the majors. Given he is the only one that can be accredited with both honors, Ohtani is a lock to win the AL MVP.
Projected AL MVP Winner: Shohei Ohtani (-7000)
While the AL MVP is basically wrapped up, the NL MVP is quite a bit closer. The two favorites currently on are Bryce Harper of the Phillies (-195) and Juan Soto of the Nationals (+190).
For the longest time this season, it seemed like it was Fernando Tatis Jr.’s award to lose, which is exactly what he did. His odds are now just +750.
For Harper, he is currently hitting .305/.427/.607 with 34 home runs, 82 runs batted in, 99 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases.
Soto, after a slow start to the season, is now hitting .318/.467/.543 with 29 home runs, 94 runs batted in, 110 runs scored, and nine stolen bases.
Had the Phillies secured a postseason spot, the winner probably would have been Harper. With the Phillies out, though, this opens up a big door for Soto.
These two will both get first-place votes but expect Soto to win this award as an underdog. One thing is for sure, whoever loses will have a legitimate argument for why they should have won.
Projected NL MVP Winner: Juan Soto (+190)
AL Cy Young Award
This matchup is fascinating as Robbie Ray (-450) of the Blue Jays and Gerrit Cole (+370) of the Yankees are still battling for a postseason spot. Entering Saturday, the Yankees hold the top AL wild-card spot while the Blue Jays sit a single game behind the second spot.
A large part of the Blue Jays’ success has come thanks to the amazing season from lefty Robbie Ray. This season, he is 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA, 1.045 WHIP, and has 248 strikeouts in 193.1 innings pitched.
According to baseball reference, his season has been good for a 6.7 WAR.
Not to be outdone, Cole has gone 16-8 with a 3.23 ERA, 1.059 WHIP, and has 243 strikeouts in 181.1 innings. This is good for a 5.5 WAR.
There could be a few votes influenced by which of the Blue Jays and Yankees make the postseason, but this still seems like a hard award not to give to Robbie Ray.
While this should have no influence on voting, Cole has always been seen as dominant so his standing is not surprising. Robbie Ray has not had the same type of career, though, making him both the favorite and a strong sentimental pick.
Projected AL Cy Young winner: Robbie Ray
NL Cy Young Award
Even up to just a few days ago, this seemed like an award that was destined for Max Scherzer (+160). However, in his last start of the regular season, he arguably had his worst all year. In 5.1 innings, he allowed six runs (five earned) on 11 hits to the San Diego Padres.
That start may have opened the door for the Brewers’ Corbin Burnes (-175), who has taken over as the favorite. In 27 starts, Burnes is 11-4 with a 2.29 ERA, 0.933 WHIP, and has 230 strikeouts in 165 innings pitched.
After his clunker, Scherzer is now 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA, 0.864 WHIP, and has 236 strikeouts in 179.1 innings pitched.
Both of these candidates are absolutely deserving of this award but expect Scherzer to still add the hardware.
As good as Burnes has been, Scherzer was able to put his stats together pitching for two different teams.
On the one hand, Scherzer was able to dominate with one of the worst teams in the National League in the Washington Nationals. He was also able to dominate for a team that will end with the second-most wins in baseball in the NL’s toughest division.
The ability to show he can dominate regardless of the team around him will propel him to the win in the voters’ eyes.
Projected NL Cy Young winner: Max Scherzer (+160)