by Hannah Begay | Well, we’ve made it. The end of the regular season has commenced, and the playoffs have begun. 16 spots have been claimed by baseballs best teams all in hopes of becoming World Series Champions. We’ve seen tragedies and triumphs as teams have battled each other throughout this unprecedented season. Let’s take a look at who proved themselves and have the chance to be the MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year in each league.
AL MVP: José Abreu – Chicago White Sox
This is an extremely tight race. We have players who have carried their teams to the playoff’s others are very good on a not so good team. Mike Trout is always a contender for MVP. I don’t even need to provide his stats; if you’re a baseball fan you know he’s a star. The Angels have done nothing to provide Trout with an opportunity to compete for the title but that’s another conversation. The Yankees DJ LeMahieu single-handedly carries the team each and every game. He dazzles on defense while always coming up clutch when they need him. LeMahieu had the best batting average for the season topping out at .364 while at times continuing to hit .400. He has emerged as a team leader in the clubhouse for the young Yankees.
While Trout and LeMahieu are two of baseball’s best, my pick for AL MVP has to be José Abreu. This kid is strong. Not only has he helped take the White Sox to their first playoff appearance since 2008, he’s played in all 60 games this season. Yes, you read that right. Abreu has played in every single game this season. He finished with a .987 OPS (On-Base Plus Slugging) with an American League best 76 hits. He topped the MLB with 60 RBIs and 148 total bases. Not only is he consistently good, he’s one of the most durable players I’ve watched this season. That is why he is my pick for AL MVP.
NL MVP: Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
Mookie Betts was quite the acquisition for the Dodgers. It was by far one of the biggest deals made. Betts helped the team with a 3.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) which is the highest in all of baseball. Betts can flash the leather and is one of the toughest hitters a pitcher can face.
However, the award this year must go to Freddie Freeman from the Atlanta Braves. The pitching for the Braves struggled the entire season. The team went out with Albies for a significant stretch while also losing start Acuna Jr. for a period of time. As one of the veterans of the team, Freeman finished the season with .341 batting average with the most runs in the MLB at 51. As the tough moments came in the game, Freeman only got better. If there was no Freddie Freeman, there would be no Atlanta Braves in the playoffs.
AL Cy Young: Shane Bieber – Cleveland Indians
My predictions as to who was going to win the Cy Young earlier in the season have never been more wrong. There is no doubt the AL Cy Young award should go to Shane Bieber. He has become the ace of the Indians allowing no more than three runs in each of his 12 starts. Eight of those starts resulted in double-digit strikeouts.
Bieber topped the MLB in multiple categories. He allowed only 5.35 hits per nine innings and finished with 122 strikeouts. He also had 14.2 strikeouts per nine innings and the best ERA in the league at 1.63. Just give him the award already.
NL Cy Young: Trevor Bauer – Cincinnati Reds
Trevor Bauer is one of my favorite pitchers to watch. He is interesting to say the least. He’s chucked the ball from the mound over the center field wall and has worn cleats with trash cans on them to show his true thoughts on the Astros.
Bauer dominated in each of the 11 starts for the Reds this season. He allowed only 41 hits and 14 earned runs on the season. Bauer led the National League with a 1.73 ERA and all of MLB with 5.05 hits per nine innings.
AL Rookie of the Year:
Kyle Lewis – Seattle Mariners
From the first game, Kyle Lewis was a star. He homered in the first two games of the year. Lewis finished the season batting .262 with an OPS of .801. He had 34 walks and the highest walk rate of 13.7 percent, topping all other rookies in the MLB. He was the piece the Mariners needed to begin to turn the club around.
NL Rookie of the Year:
Devin Williams – Milwaukee Brewers
While this kid only pitched 27 total innings this season, he achieved a .33 ERA. For anyone that is INSANELY good let alone a rookie. He’s also given up one earned run and nine walks over 53 strikeouts. Devin Williams is a force each and every time he pitches and is the addition the Brewers needed. He will be a force to be reckoned with next year. There is a clear future for this kid in baseball.
Featured image via Robert Beck | Credit: MLB Photos via Getty Images