Rejoice! It’s award season! In celebration, we at BtBS are giving our opinions on the awards.
Staffers voted on a poll with all the BBWAA award finalists for their pick for who deserved each award (not who they predicted would win), along with a write-in slot for any non-nominated players.
Most Valuable Player
AL MVP: Mike Trout (94.4%)
NL MVP: Kris Bryant (88.9%)
The MVP races are the two least competitive races among the 18 BtBS staffers that voted. There were a total of three dissenting votes — one for Jose Altuve in the AL, and two for Daniel Murphy in the NL. That lopsidedness came for good reason; these two players had the highest fWARs by a large margin in their respective leagues. Bryant has been the presumptive NL MVP for a few months now and, thanks in part to the regular season success of the Cubs, it would be a shocker if he didn’t take the award home. Trout, on the other hand, sadly may be robbed once again, doomed by his mediocre teammates. Clearly not if we had a say.
AL Cy Young: Corey Kluber (55.6%) / Corey Kluber (50.0%)
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer (85.7%) / Jose Fernandez (52.9%)
This is essentially the only race that was changed by write-in votes. Only one other category (NL Rookie of the Year) registered a vote for anyone other than the three BBWAA nominees.
Corey Kluber edged out narrow victories in both iterations of the tally. After surrendering only seven votes to Verlander and Porcello, things tightened up a bit with the inclusion of Chris Sale, who was the only other pitcher nominated. Sale split the vote between Verlander and Kluber, but Kluber kept his spot atop our voting. Kluber currently sits 5th among AL pitchers in Baseball Prospectus’s WARP driven by a DRA of 2.97. Sale and Verlander finished both first and second in WARP among all pitchers. It’s possible the playoffs, and Kluber’s excellent run through their entirety, played a role in this vote (while the real-world vote was completed before the postseason).
The NL voting got quite a bit more interesting, with the introduction of many more arms. While Scherzer took a commanding win among the official nominees, once the voting was opened up to anyone he lost grasp of the award to the late, great Jose Fernandez. Fernandez and Scherzer both sat first and second in the NL in WARP with only 0.37 separating them, despite the tragic early ending to Fernandez’s season and career.
Rookie of the Year
AL Rookie of the Year: Michael Fulmer (64.7%)
NL Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager (94.4%)
The Rookie of the Year awards form somewhat of a juxtaposition with each other. In the NL, Corey Seager faced no real competition. Justifiably so, as Seager played himself firmly into MVP candidacy with a 7.5 fWAR season, and no other candidate was even within striking distance. Meanwhile, Michael Fulmer was also quite good, but faced the curious candidacy of Gary Sanchez. Fulmer himself was consistently good all season with the Tigers, eventually finishing with 3.4 WARP. However, the late season phenomenon that was Gary Sanchez was hard to ignore. In only 53 games, Sanchez clubbed an incredible 20 home runs on his way to a 3.2 fWAR campaign. Among our writers, Fulmer’s consistent, season-long play was too much to ignore, and he edged Sanchez out in the voting.
Manager of the Year
AL Manager of the Year: Terry Francona (88.2%)
NL Manager of the Year: Dave Roberts (52.9%)
Another vote that the playoffs may have impacted, as Terry Francona ran away with the AL Manager of the Year after a postseason in which he looked generally brilliant. His regular season performance was very good too, however, so he’s certainly a deserving winner. Runner-up Texas skipper Jeff Bannister only netted two votes, meaning Francona ended up with one of the larger victory margins among all awards. Dave Roberts, on the other hand, was the complete opposite, edging Joe Maddon by only two votes, one of which went to Dusty Baker. This might’ve been a different race if Maddon hadn’t sent Aroldis Chapman out for multiple innings in Game 6.
|Name||AL MVP||NL MVP||AL Cy Young||NL Cy Young||AL Rookie of the Year||NL Rookie of the Year||AL Manager of the Year||NL Manager of the Year|
|Anthony Rescan||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||CJustin Verlander¹||Max Scherzer²||Gary Sanchez||Corey Seager||Jeff Bannister||Joe Maddon|
|Henry Druschel||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Justin Verlander||Max Scherzer||Gary Sanchez||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Dave Roberts|
|Stacey Gotsulias||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Corey Kluber||Max Scherzer³||Gary Sanchez||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Dave Roberts|
|Travis Sarandos||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Corey Kluber||Max Scherzer||Michael Fulmer||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Joe Maddon|
|Anonymous||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Justin Verlander¹||Kyle Hendricks²||Michael Fulmer||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Dave Roberts|
|Nick Stellini||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Corey Kluber||Max Scherzer²||Gary Sanchez||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Dave Roberts|
|Joe Clarkin||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Corey Kluber||²||Gary Sanchez||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Dave Roberts|
|Carl Triano||Mike Trout||Daniel Murphy||Rick Porcello||²||Michael Fulmer||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Joe Maddon|
|Rob Rogacki||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Justin Verlander||²||Michael Fulmer||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Dave Roberts|
|Austin Yamada||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Corey Kluber¹||Max Scherzer?||Michael Fulmer||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Dave Roberts|
|Shawn Brody||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Corey Kluber||Max Scherzer||Michael Fulmer||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Joe Maddon|
|Kazuto Yamazaki||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Corey Kluber||²||Michael Fulmer||Corey Seager||Jeff Bannister||Joe Maddon|
|Anonymous||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Corey Kluber||Max Scherzer?||Michael Fulmer||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Dave Roberts|
|Luis Torres||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Justin Verlander¹||Max Scherzer²||Gary Sanchez||Corey Seager|
|Audrey Stark||Mike Trout||Daniel Murphy||Corey Kluber||Max Scherzer||Trea Turner?||Terry Francona||Dusty Baker|
|Julia Prusaczyk||Jose Altuve||Kris Bryant||Rick Porcello||Jon Lester²||Michael Fulmer||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Joe Maddon|
|Thomas Bennett||Mike Trout||Kris Bryant||Justin Verlander||Max Scherzer³||Michael Fulmer||Corey Seager||Terry Francona||Joe Maddon|
1 - Chris Sale
2 - Jose Fernandez
3 - Noah Syndergaard
4 - Madison Bumgarner
5 - Aledmys Diaz
Who got it right? Wrong? And how will the real award voters differ from us?