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The Tighest MLB Award Races to Follow

MLB Award

Two weeks remain in the 2023 regular season, which means October baseball is around the corner. Not only is the postseason is near, a few individual award races too. Some awards have clear winners while others do not. One particular race that stands out the most in the National League MVP Award. Ronald Acuña Jr. certainly has a case to win it, but Mookie Betts might have something to say about that. With the award races heating up, be sure to watch the games and playoff races to stream MLB VPN. Here, we will break down the award races that are no where near the finish line.

2023 MLB Awards Race Home Stretch

AL Rookie of the Year

Favorite: Gunnar Henderson

Others to Watch: Masatka Yoshida, Triston Casas

Henderson got off to a slow start offensivley but has put it all together to emerge as a front runner for AL Rookie of the Year. He is up to 25 home runs, 75 RBI, 87 runs scored and nine stolen bases while slashing .257/.328/.492 over 132 contests in his fist full big league campaign. Although, an arugment can be made in Triston Casas of the Boston Red Sox. He’s hitting .322 with 15 homers in 52 second-half games. His performance elevated him into the Rookie of the Year conversation, but a big reason why Boson is six games over .500. The 23-year-old posted a .1019 OPS over his past 27 games as he’s in the Red Sox cleanup spot in the order.

The other rookie is Yoshida, who’s hitting just as well as Casas and Henderson. He’s player who can work counts, make contact, hit for defence power and player solid defense.

AL Cy Young Award

Favorite: Gerrit Cole

Other favorites: Luis Castillo, Kevin Gausman, Sonny Gray

This is Cole’s best season by far. His strikeout rate has declined by a third since 2019 in a season where posted a 2.50 ERA and 20 wins. He enters the final two weeks of the season as the leading favorite for the AL Cy Young Award. There hasn’t been an overwhelming candidate who’s made a case to compete with Cole. Instead, there’s different pitchers leading in different stats. Castillo leads with batters hitting .211 against him. Gausman leads in strikeouts and strikeout rate. Gray’s 2.96 ERA is second to Cole’s 2.79 ERA.

NL Cy Young Award

Favorite: Blake Snell

Other favorites: Zach Gallen, Justin Steele

Snell (2.43) is neck and neck with Steele (2.49) for the league lead in ERA. He has a signifcant advantage over his counterpart in strikeouts, 217 to 159. Gallen looked to be the clear NL Cy Young favorite for much of this season. His chances hit a brick wall when he allowed 11 earned in two starts on August 28 and September 3. Gallen’s ERA risen to 3.48, but he returned to form in his most recent start. He still has some work to do if he wants to close in the gap.


Favorites: Ronald Acuña Jr.,  Mookie Betts

Other favorites: Freddie Freeman, Matt Olson

The last tight MLB award race is the NL MVP and it’s become a coin flip. Like Gallen, Acuña looked he was ready to run away with the award, but Betts is right behind him. The Atlanta Braves superstar is the first player in history to put up a 30-60 season. Betts, meanwhile, is having a season that mimics the 2018 AL MVP version of himself. While Acuna has made history with power and speed, Betts leads the NL in WAR. He’s batting .314 with 39 home runs, just one  away from his first 40 homer season, 103 RBI and an NL leading 1.019 OPS.

Braves star Matt Olson has a major league leading 51 home runs. Olson is hitting .279 with 128 RBI. He’s got a .999 OPS. Freeman leads baseball with 83 extra-base hits, one shy of matching the Los Angeles Dodgers record. The 34-year-old is also six hits away from getting to the 200 mark for the first time in his career. Freeman has also scored 121 runs, another career high.

Photo Credit: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


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