A start date for the 2022 MLB season continues to hang in the balance. Read to find out who will take home hardware at the end of the season.
Predicting the 2022 AL and NL MVP and Cy Young winners
It’s anyone’s guess when baseball will start back up again. With the season up in the air, let’s take a look at who will likely be winning MVP and Cy Young in the American and National leagues for 2022.
American League Cy Young: Robbie Ray
Robbie Ray will begin the 2022 season with endless possibilities and riding the biggest high of his professional life. He’s the reigning 2021 AL Cy Young and just signed a five year, $115 million contract with the Seattle Mariners back at the end of November.
Ray had a career year with the Toronto Blue Jays last season as he was the American League leader in ERA (2.84), WHIP (1.05) strikeouts (248), innings pitched (193.1) and was tied for first in starts with 32. On top of that he also held the best WAR for pitchers at 6.7.
Ray’s 2021 numbers speak for themselves and it wasn’t a one off as he’s also a 2017 All-Star with a reliable career ERA of 4 even. His signing with the Seattle Mariners was an excellent decision as it offers him the chance to bring his repertoire and skills to an exciting ballclub whose goal is to win now.
There are a lot of great bats in the AL West but Ray will be starting this new chapter in his career with the utmost confidence and as the best pitcher in the American League last season. The 2022 projections have Ray at 11-8 with a 3.76 ERA which he will outdo and then some.
Robbie Ray will shine in 2022 and be the first American League pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 1999 and 2000 to win consecutive Cy Young Awards.
American League MVP: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Vladdy Jr. had a remarkable 2021 campaign that saw him fall just short of winning AL MVP due to the reincarnation of Babe Ruth, better known as Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani rightly won AL MVP in 2021 as he put up incredible numbers as both a pitcher and hitter.
Ohtani will still have a successful 2022, but the return of a healthy Mike Trout in 2022 is going to take some of the steam out of Ohtani’s offensive stylings.
This is where Vladdy Jr. ‘s time comes. The soon to be 23 year old put up outstanding 2021 numbers, including a .311 batting average, 48 homers, 111 RBI, .601 SLG, 1.002 OPS and a .401 OBP.
In 2021, he was an All-Star, All-MLB first team, AL Hank Aaron Award winner, Silver Slugger winner and finished the season tied for first in home runs with the Royals’ Salvador Perez.
Guerrero will be up to the task again in 2022. He’s the centerpiece of an offense that finished 2nd in MLB total team batting average, RBI and hits and finished 1st in total home runs with 262, 20 more than the next closest team, the San Francisco Giants.
He plays in the very competitive division that is the AL East, but with the Yankees and Red Sox having been virtually silent this offseason, there is no reason to think that Vladdy Jr. cannot run it back and finish on top this season.
National League Cy Young: Max Scherzer
Like Robbie Ray, Max Scherzer is beginning a new chapter of his career. He signed a relatively short term, but mega value contract with the New York Mets back in November, and he is already established as one of the best pitchers of the past decade.
Scherzer is a 3x Cy Young winner who last won the award in 2017. He’s 37 years old, but that’s no reason to brush him off. Scherzer had an exceptional 2021 between the Washington Nationals and LA Dodgers as he went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA, 236 strikeouts and a league best 0.864 WHIP.
He was a key piece of the Dodgers’ 2nd half run that ultimately fell short to the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, and the excitement Mets fans have for him right now is through the roof. Max Scherzer will be back with a vengeance this season and having Jacob deGrom in the same rotation with him will only elevate his game.
The NL East is ripe for the taking for the Mets in 2022, and Scherzer is a huge part of that. In 2022 Max Scherzer will separate himself from the competition and be the best pitcher in the National League, ending the year in possession of his 4th career Cy Young award.
National League MVP: Fernando Tatis Jr.
Fernando Tatis Jr., or “El Niño”, was the MLB The Show 21’ cover athlete, and he lived up to that hype. Tatis Jr. put on a clinic throughout most of 2021, finishing with a .282 batting average, 42 homers, 97 RBI and a .611 SLG. His 42 homers led the National League.
Tatis Jr. had a very well-rounded 2021 season, but had late season troubles as the Padres as a whole struggled to mount wins together and dealt with internal tension. San Diego has a new manager in veteran and three time Manager of the Year, Bob Melvin.
This new leadership will propel the Padres to the 2022 NL West crown and Tatis Jr. is paramount to that happening. He’s the lifeblood of their offense and has an excellent supporting cast in guys like Manny Machado, Jake Cronenworth, and Wil Myers.
Tatis Jr. will hit above .300 with at least 35 homers while driving in over 100 runs in 2022. His success in 2022 will help lead the Padres to their first division crown since 2006 and he’ll end the year with NL MVP hardware.