Standouts Among Stars: Predicting the End of Season MLB Awards


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Best of the Best: Standouts Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Shohei Ohtani battle for the AL MVP Award.

As Major League Baseball (MLB) wraps up their 162-game regular season, it’s time to look at the select few players that took their game to another level this year. From prestigious past-MVPs showing out this season to first-year phenoms taking the league by storm, this year was one for the ages.

Here is a look at my picks for the MVP and Cy Young Awards:

AL MVP: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays – 1B

HM: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels SP/OF

The battle for American League MVP has been arguably the most closely contested of all the awards. Up until a few weeks ago, this was Japanese two-way player phenom Shohei Ohtani’s race to lose. With comparisons to the legendary Babe Ruth, a future MVP award for “Showtime Ohtani ” seems inevitable, but with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. playing the way he has, Ohtani will just have to wait. As of today, Guerrero is tied for the league-lead in home runs with 45, and is on Triple Crown (league leader in HRs, RBIs, and BA.) watch, hoping to be the first player since Miguel Cabrera in 2012 to accomplish the feat. Not to mention, he has helped the Blue Jays stay in the fight for a playoff spot in the cutthroat AL East Division. 


NL MVP: Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies – RF

HM: Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres – SS

A bounce back year for Bryce Harper could be topped off with his second MVP award. He is having his second best year of his career (behind only his 2015 campaign), but he faces stiff competition from the young star for the Padres, Fernando Tatis Jr. Tatis started off the year hot, and it was his award to lose for most of the year, but two trips to the infamous Injured List (IL) have really damaged his campaign. As great as Tatis is, his absence has been beyond detrimental to his MVP-caliber season and to the recently struggling Padres who now have a sub-5 percent chance of even making the playoffs. 


AL Cy Young: Robby Ray, Toronto Bluejays, LHP

HM: Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees, RHP

In 2021 there has been no shortage of outstanding pitching in both the American and National Leagues, but after Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred cracked down on the use of “sticky substances” such as Spyder Tack, some pitchers have struggled to maintain their dominant level of play. Robby Ray of the up and coming Bluejays was not one of those people. Posting a 2.72 era, over 230 strikeouts, and more than 180 total innings pitched on the season, Ray has been nothing short of dominant, but he’s not alone. Gerrit Cole of the Yankees is no stranger to the Cy Young conversation. Cole has put up similar numbers with a 3.03 era, 231 strikeouts, and just under 170 innings pitched, but having to adjust to the banning of “sticky substances,” Cole struggled coming out of the All-Star break, giving Ray a chance to run away with the award.


NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer Washington Nationals/Los Angeles Dodgers, RHP

HM: Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers, RHP

Max Scherzer is no stranger to the spotlight. “Mad Max” made his second career All-Star game start in one of his last appearances with the Washington Nationals. After being a part of a trade deal that sent him and fellow All-Star Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he continued his Cy Young caliber season. As of mid-September, Scherzer has posted a 2.08 era with 226 strikeouts in almost 170 innings pitched, while also being the Dodgers solidified ace heading into the postseason. It’s hard to deny Mad Max the Cy Young, but Brewers ace, Corbin Burnes is making a case. Burnes has been a crucial part of the Brewers division pennant winning season, where he has put up a 2.34 era and pitched 150 innings with over 220 strikeouts, all while collaborating with teammate and fellow All-Star reliever Josh Hader for a no-hitter on September 11th. Both pitchers have been crucial in their respective teams’ success, and will aim to lead their respective teams to the promised land this October.