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MLB Awards Predictions 2020

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So baseball is back, albeit in a whole new way.

Major League Baseball in 2020 will be unlike any season that we’ve ever seen. Instead of a leisurely 162 games unfolding over six months, we’re getting a 60-game sprint taking place in just over two months. The National League has the DH for the first time and MLB is experimenting with new extra innings rules involving the addition of runners. Oh, and 16 teams will make the playoffs.

So yeah. Different.

With the ever-looming threat of the coronavirus, it’s hard to say what will happen over the course of the season; just because they’ve started is no guarantee that they will finish.

For the most part, no one knows anything when it comes to sports prognostication. But this year, we ESPECIALLY don’t know anything. You might think that that would discourage me from making any sort of predictions, but you would be wrong. While I won’t be doing my annual season preview, I am going to offer up my picks for the winners of MLB’s major awards this year.

Feel free to hold me to these, but just remember – I have no idea what I’m doing.

AL Rookie of the Year

Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox

I love this guy, and not just because I have him at a very reasonable price in my dynasty fantasy league. He’s a consensus top prospect, rated in the top five by every reputable source. He’s got incredible physical gifts and has excelled at every level thus far. Power, speed, defense – he’s the total package. And he’s got the added benefit of having already signed an extension, meaning that the White Sox will not be playing any sort of service time manipulation games with him. He’s playing from day one.

(Other possibilities: Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays; Jo Adell, Los Angeles Angels; Jesus Luzardo, Oakland Athletics; Kyle Lewis, Seattle Mariners)

NL Rookie of the Year

Carter Kieboom, Washington Nationals

This is an odd pick, because the reality is that if LA’s Gavin Lux had stayed with the club out of summer camp, he’d be the runaway pick here. He still may pull it out, but Kieboom looks like the real deal. He’s got big shoes to fill – he’s essentially replacing perennial All-Star Anthony Rendon – but he’s got the tools to make it happen. It’ll boil down to whether he’s ready – he’s got the tools, but his cup of coffee in 2019 was less than impressive. Still, he’s a safe, solid pick for this spot right now.

(Other possibilities: Lux; Dylan Carlson, St. Louis Cardinals; Dustin May, Los Angeles Dodgers; MacKenzie Gore, San Diego Padres)

AL Cy Young Award

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

Another dude who happens to be under contract for my fantasy team – sensing a pattern yet? – Cole is probably the easiest pick of all of these. Obviously, pitcher health is always a question; in these uncertain times, those concerns are even higher. But Cole has been a dominant presence on the mound the last couple of years and is just starting a massive contract with the Yankees. His stuff is unparalleled and he has shown that he is more than capable of using it. He might not end up winning when all is said and done, but it’s tough to imagine picking anyone else here at the beginning. And hey, he almost won it last year – I’m saying he’s due.

(Other possibilities: Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians; Tyler Glasnow, Tampa Bay Rays; Mike Clevinger, Cleveland Indians; Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox)

NL Cy Young Award

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets

Winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards is a big deal, as deGrom knows – he’s won the last two. Three in a row is a different animal – deGrom would be just the third pitcher ever to do it, behind a pair of pretty good pitchers in Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux. And yet, if anyone can do it, it’s deGrom, who has shown a proclivity toward excellence even as his team’s offense repeatedly lets him down. There are a couple of guys who could easily make the leap this year – Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler, for instance, and the regularly dominant Max Scherzer of Washington – but until he shows that he can’t win it, it’s tough to pick against deGrom.

(Other possibilities: Buehler; Scherzer; Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds, Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals)


Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

In an uncertain time, with a weird season unfolding, why pick anyone else for MVP other than the consensus best player in baseball? You could make an argument for other players, but picking the dude who has been a top-five MVP candidate literally every full season of his career is probably the move. He is as complete a player as there is in the game, beloved by old-school heads and analytic stat fiends alike. You can count on him to be utterly exceptional. Sure, he might not ultimately win the award, but of all the picks here, this is the one that feels safest. Yes, he’d be the first guy not named Barry Bonds to win at least four MVPs, but you’re not going to go broke picking Mike Trout to be the best in the game.

(Other possibilities: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians; Alex Bregman, Houston Astros; Josh Donaldson, Minnesota Twins; Gleybar Torres, New York Yankees)


Ronald Acuna, Atlanta Braves

Considering the monster 2019 Acuna had – he just missed a 40-40 season, with 41 homers and 37 steals – and the fact that he’s just 22, well … he’s going to win one of these eventually. So why not now? He has all of the tools necessary to put up some monster numbers, even in the abbreviated season; so long as he stays healthy, he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. I like Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts to both have big years as well, but the fact that they share a team could well result in a vote split that ensures a win for someone like Acuna – a win that could be the first of many in a long and storied career.

(Other possibilities: Bellinger; Betts; Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers; Juan Soto, Washington Nationals)

Last modified on Thursday, 30 July 2020 09:00


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