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The 2017 Beyond the Box Score preseason predictions poll, part one

Our writers preemptively make fools of themselves by acting like they know anything about the upcoming season.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

[Extremely Cornelius Fudge voice] He’s back! Yes, I have returned. Don’t everyone trip over themselves to say hello.

The season, at long last, is upon us. We’ve burrowed out of the snow, and while it’s still a bit chilly out, there’s a warmness in our hearts. Baseball is here. Real, honest-to-goodness baseball. God bless us, everyone.

Because we’re about to start watching said real baseball, ‘tis the season for us Dishonest Elite Media Types to start reeling off our projections and hot takes (sad!). The Yearly Predictions Piece is a tradition in all manner of sports coverage, and baseball lends itself to it well. We’ll get to who we think is going to win the World Series on Monday, once you’ve had some of America’s Pastime injected directly into your veins.

For now, though, we’re going to focus on the hardware.

Awards predictions are a relatively pain-free exercise. You don’t have to think long and hard about whether or not the Phillies have enough young talent filtering up from Lehigh Valley to beat finish ahead of Atlanta’s collection of has-beens. You only have to think about who’s really good at this game, and which of them isn’t too hot of a take to surprise for the award. Conversely, you also have to consider whether or not Mike Trout is simply too damn good to be beaten.

We sent a poll to the BtBS staff, and 22 of them (including myself) responded. Here are their predictions for the MVP, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and Manager of the Year awards in both leagues.

2017 Awards Predictions

Name AL MVP AL ROY AL CYA AL MOY NL MVP NL ROY NL CYA NL MOY
Name AL MVP AL ROY AL CYA AL MOY NL MVP NL ROY NL CYA NL MOY
Anthony Rescan Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Chris Sale Buck Showalter Corey Seager Dansby Swanson Kyle Hendricks Terry Collins
Zack Moser Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Chris Sale John Farrell Kris Bryant Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Dusty Baker
Devan Fink Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Chris Sale Scott Servais Bryce Harper Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Torey Lovullo
Nick Stellini Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Masahiro Tanaka A.J. Hinch Nolan Arenado Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Dusty Baker
Travis Sarandos Manny Machado Andrew Benintendi Lance McCullers A.J. Hinch Nolan Arenado Lewis Brinson Noah Syndergaard Bud Black
Mark Davidson Mike Trout Jharel Cotton Yu Darvish Scott Servais Bryce Harper Dansby Swanson Noah Syndergaard Dave Roberts
Jerry Burnes Manny Machado Andrew Benintendi Corey Kluber A.J. Hinch Anthony Rizzo Manuel Margot Clayton Kershaw Joe Maddon
Steven Martano Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Chris Sale A.J. Hinch Corey Seager Tyler Glasnow Clayton Kershaw Joe Maddon
Shawn Brody Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Yu Darvish Scott Servais Paul Goldschmidt Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Torey Lovullo
Ryan Romano Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Chris Sale Scott Servais Bryce Harper Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Terry Collins
Julien Assouline Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Chris Sale A.J. Hinch Corey Seager Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Dave Roberts
Henry Druschel Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Chris Sale Ned Yost Clayton Kershaw Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Terry Collins
Kazuto Yamazaki Mike Trout Matt Strahm Yu Darvish A.J. Hinch Bryce Harper Robert Gsellman Clayton Kershaw Mike Matheny
Stacey Gotsulias Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Chris Sale Joe Girardi Corey Seager Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Dusty Baker
Chris Anders Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Yu Darvish Terry Francona Kris Bryant Andrew Toles Clayton Kershaw Joe Maddon
Rob Rogacki Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Yu Darvish Scott Servais Corey Seager Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Terry Collins
Nick Cicere Manny Machado Andrew Benintendi Aaron Sanchez A.J. Hinch Christian Yelich Tyler Glasnow Matt Harvey Bud Black
Azam Farooqui Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Marcus Stroman A.J. Hinch Bryce Harper Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Dusty Baker
Thomas Bennett Carlos Correa Mitch Haniger Corey Kluber Joe Girardi Nolan Arenado Dansby Swanson Noah Syndergaard Bud Black
Evan Davis Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Chris Sale Scott Servais Kris Bryant Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Dusty Baker
Luis Torres Mike Trout Andrew Benintendi Corey Kluber Abstain Bryce Harper Dansby Swanson Clayton Kershaw Abstain
Austin Yamada George Springer Andrew Benintendi Carlos Carrasco Kevin Cash Bryce Harper Josh Bell Clayton Kershaw Joe Maddon

There are obviously a few trends here.

  1. Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw are transcendent talents, and people expect them to be rewarded as such. Trout has never finished lower than second in the MVP race. Kershaw is what happens when you teach Superman to throw a curveball. They’re far and away the best position player and best pitcher in the big leagues, and it would be surprising if they didn’t win.
  2. Only two people picked Kris Bryant to repeat as MVP.
  3. We like that Andrew Benintendi and Dansby Swanson have shown that they can play in the bigs, while still qualifying for the award by the skin of their teeth. Swanson was actually just one plate appearance away from losing rookie status. He’ll graduate off of all prospect lists the second he steps up to the plate on Opening Day.
  4. We seem pretty set on either Chris Sale or Yu Darvish winning the Cy Young. Both are extremely talented pitchers, and both are on teams that project to play well. Nobody picked Rick Porcello to win again.
  5. There’s a lot of talent in the National League. While almost all of us expect Trout to win again, the field is a lot more open in the NL. Any one of those guys could conceivably win. It’s exciting!
  6. The Manager of the Year Award is sort of the “Team That Performed Much Better Than Last Year Award.” That’s why we like A.J. Hinch and Scott Servais so much in the AL. Interestingly enough, it seems to be more of an emeritus position in the NL.
  7. Nick Cicere is our Hot Take Champ so far for picking Matt Harvey to win the Cy Young. That takes cajones.

Once again, we’ll return on Monday with our predictions on the standings and the playoff field, as well as who we think will win the World Series. We apologize in advance, Padres fans.

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Nicolas Stellini is an editor at Beyond the Box Score. He also writes for FanGraphs. You can follow him on Twitter at @StelliniTweets.