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Weekly MLB Award Watch: Issue 1

As the 2016 MLB season draws to a close, check out our MLB award watch for the NL and AL MVP, CY Young, Rookie of the Year and more.

As the 2016 Season hits the final two months, our weekly MLB award watch will begin . We’re going to take a look at the rising, and falling stocks of the major award candidates each week. For this week, we’ll set the scene and show you the current favorites. As the final couple months roll on, we’ll add and subtract players.

Weekly MLB Award Watch: Issue 1

AL CY Young

The AL CY Young race is a little interesting. There are many ways this could go, since not one player is in the top five in every category. The candidates in this conversation would be Cole Hamels, Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, and J.A. Happ. Each candidate has something over the other, and really there is no clear favorite. The best way to predict the AL vote, is that they’ll go with the highest combination of Wins/ERA/WHIP. Even then it’s practically a toss-up. A wild-card in all this is Michael Fulmer. He’s made about 4-6 starts less than the four others I mentioned. If he could end up in the top 5 for wins by the end of the year, he has a solid chance at getting some votes. Could he even be the first to win ROY and the Cy Young in the same year? He just might, since he leads the AL in pitching WAR on

NL Cy Young

It seems that the current top three for the NL CY Young would be Madison Bumgarner, Max Scherzer, and Jake Arrieta. Bumgarner leads them all in innings pitched, and ERA. Scherzer leads them in strike outs and WHIP. Arrietta leads them in wins, hits against, and opponents batting average. Right now it’s a relative tossup. It will depend on which categories that voters will value more. In recent years, they seem to be trending away from Wins-Losses, and moving towards categories like WHIP, K’s, and ERA. On the fringe of the top three, you have Kyle Hendricks, Jose Fernandez, and Johnny Cueto. Clayton Kershaw’s injury has significantly hampered his place in the conversation. Barring a return in the next week or two, he most likely won’t be considered. He is on his way out of even being a statistical qualifier.

AL Rookie of the Year

It’s basically a run-away for Michael Fulmer at the moment. He’s the only rookie on both sides that’s in the conversation for two of the top awards. He’s also the leader for Pitching WAR in the AL according to, with four less starts than the average pitcher. Others to be considered for this award could be Cheslor Cuthbert and Nomar Mazara. Cuthbert has filled in nicely for Mike Moustakas, hitting .298 with a .788 OPS. Mazara has slightly worse averages, but better run production numbers, and more walks.

NL Rookie of the Year

It’s a much tighter race for the NL Rookie of the Year. Trevor Story jumped out at everyone over the opening week. Due to injury his rookie year got cut short, but he ends his campaign with a .909 OPS. Despite him putting up video game numbers, Corey Seager and Aledmys Diaz have put together incredible rookie campaigns as well. With their offensive numbers a virtual tie, we take a look at their defensive numbers, and their WAR. Defensively Seager has the better overall numbers, but Diaz hasn’t made an error since the All-Star break. As far as WAR goes, Seager takes the cake. At the moment, Seager has to be the favorite. But if St. Louis makes the postseason, Diaz has a lot to do with it.


The AL MVP seems like a two man race between Mike Trout and Jose Altuve. Voters in years past seem to go with players who make the postseason. Trout is at a disadvantage, thanks to the rest of his team. The Angels won’t be in the playoffs this year, and Altuve has the Houston Astros making a run at the AL Wildcard after a slow start. David Ortiz could definitely be in the conversation if he can get his average to climb back up to .320 or .340. Altuve’s slashline at .362/.427/.573/1.000 is just overwhelmingly impressive. At the moment I would tip Altuve to win, but Trout has as good of a chance as any.


The NL MVP Award is wide open. There are about 4-5 guys that have a legitimate case for the award. David Murphy and Nolan Arenado both have some incredible resumés put together. Murphy has a slashline of .347/.387/.612/.999 and Arenado has a slashline of .280/.354/.552/.905. Arenado leads the league in home runs and RBI. Then there is media darling, Kris Bryant. Bryant’s numbers are a slightly lower than Arenado’s, but he has the higher WAR. Arenado has the edge defensively over all three, with only 8 errors in over 1000 defensive innings. It’ll be interesting to see who ends up with it. Bryant has the “postseason edge,” while Arenado’s numbers on in all facets of the game have been unstoppable.

AL Manager of the Year

At the moment, there are three solid choices for AL Manager of the year. Terry Francona has managed an Indians team that is on its way to October, and Buck Showalter may be headed in the same direction. The most underrated job though has to go to Scott Servais. The Seattle Mariners finished twelve games out in a division who’s winner only had 88 wins. Servais now has the Mariners only 5.5 games back of the best record in the AL, and 2.5 games back of a wild card spot. Turning that team around has been quite impressive, especially doing so without Felix Hernandez for most of the season. If the Mariners make the postseason, that award should be his.

NL Manager of the Year

If I were voting, it would be a no-brainer to go with Dusty Baker. Baker is an all-time great of a manager, and is leading the Nationals to a 11.5 game lead on last years’ division winner in New York. The turn-around the Nats have had, the unity in the clubhouse, it’s no shock that it came with the arrival of Dusty Baker. Highlighted by the choking incident between Johnathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper, Matt Williams completely lost control of the clubhouse as the Mets ran away with the division last season. Now, the Nationals are taking their frustrations out on their opponents, not each-other. You can’t go without mentioning Joe Maddon, and Bruce Bochy. Those teams were expected to do what they’re doing though. Baker has easily surpassed expectations, and is running away with the NL East in doing so.
Stay tuned in as we update the award races weekly with our Weekly MLB Award Watch!

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