Hello and welcome to the September edition of my MVP and Cy Young Leader board! We are now over 100 games into the season and the leader board is really becoming clear. The AL MVP Race is over, with Shohei Ohtani a lock and betting sites have him north of -10000 odds, but it will be interesting to see how 2-5 shakes out. Both of the Cy Young awards (especially in the NL) are up for grabs. Injuries hurt some players stock (like Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager), while monster months of July have vaulted a few players into the discussion. You can check out the July 1 Edition of this article and see how things have changed over the last month. 

These rankings are based on a mix of stats to date, my projected stats moving forward, team record, etc. Feel free to debate them if you want to and I will give my reasoning behind each decision. You can look to find potential value in futures bets on any sportsbook with the help of these rankings. 



Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves (Prev: 1) 

Stats: 104 Games, .333/.415/.573, 24 Home Runs, 51 Steals, 61 RBI, 93 Runs, 5.6 fWAR

Notes: Acuna maintains a sizable lead for NL MVP. It isn’t set in stone like in the AL, but as long as he continues to produce, he should win it. 

Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers (Prev: 2) 

Stats: 104 Games, .329/.409/.575, 21 Home Runs, 13 Steals, 73 RBI, 89 Runs, 5.1 fWAR

Notes: Freeman is certainly having an MVP-caliber season and he just had a very strong month of July, but he will need to continue to post big numbers if he hopes to chase down Acuna. 

Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers (Prev: 5) 

Stats: 99 Games, .277/.383/.560, 27 Home Runs, 7 Steals, 68 RBI, 81 Runs, 4.6 fWAR

Notes: The former AL MVP and two time MVP runner-up is having another great year as he remains one of the games top players. He probably isn’t going to add another MVP award to his trophy case this season, but he will likely add another top-5 finish. 

Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks (Prev: 3) 

Stats: 102 Games, .281/.360/.538, 21 Home Runs, 33 Steals, 58 RBI, 77 Runs, 4.2 fWAR

Notes: The rookie continues to play extremely well, and his falling in the ranking is more of a product of how well Betts has played and less about Carroll. 

Juan Soto, San Diego Padres (Prev: NR) 

Stats: 107 Games, .273/.424/.505, 20 Home Runs, 6 Steals, 64 RBI, 60 Runs, 4.0 fWAR

Notes: Soto had a better month than his teammate, Fernando Tatis Jr., and has leapfrogged him in the race for MVP. There is still a lot of ground to make up here for Soto though. 

Dropped from ranks:

Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres (Prev: 4) 

Honorable Mention:

Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres 

Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves

Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

Ha-Seong Kim, San Diego Padres


NL Cy Young

Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves (Prev: 3) 

Stats: 21 games, 11-3 record, 3.73 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 123.0 innings, 199 strikeouts, 14.56 K/9, 3.4 fWAR. 

Notes: Strider may have the worst ERA of the top three, but he has the best FIP and is doing historic things with strikeouts, which make me view him as the favorite to win when it’s all said and done. Not to mention he plays for the best team and could be the only one of the three that makes the playoffs, potentially. 

Blake Snell, San Diego Padres (Prev: NR)

Stats: 22 games, 8-8 record, 2.50 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 119.0 innings, 156 strikeouts, 11.80 K/9, 2.5 fWAR. 

Notes: Snell has come roaring onto the scene by being incredibly dominant for two months now and he has taken over the ERA lead. If he can keep this going, he will take home this award and add a NL Cy Young to his trophy case that already has an AL Cy Young in it. 

Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks (Prev: 1)

Stats: 22 games, 11-5 record, 3.36 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 136.2 innings, 143 strikeouts, 9.42 K/9, 3.6 fWAR. 

Notes: Gallen is currently a slight odds favorite on the books over Strider and Snell, but I actually feel like he’s the least likely of the three to win. His season has consistently trended downwards as his ERA by month is 2.15 in April, 3.34 in May, 3.69 in June, and 4.45 in July. He also lacks the flash of the other two. 

Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies (Prev: 4)

Stats: 21 games, 8-5 record, 3.74 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 125.0 innings, 145 strikeouts, 10.44 K/9, 4.4 fWAR.

Notes: The books hate his chances, and the 3.74 ERA is certainly why, but if voters look at advanced numbers (which they do seem to do a bit more nowadays) and factor in the Phillies having a terrible defense, Wheeler gets a huge boost. Among ALL qualified pitchers in baseball, he is FIRST in fWAR, FIRST in FIP, and FOURTH in xERA. He has pitched SO much better than his 3.74 ERA shows. And he has been on a pretty dominant run lately. 

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers (Prev: NR)

Stats: 22 games, 9-6 record, 3.44 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 133.1 innings, 136 strikeouts, 9.18 K/9, 2.2 fWAR. 

Notes: Burnes had a rough June, but used a very strong July (1.85 ERA with 47 Ks in 39 innings) to vault himself up the Cy Young leader board and into a top-5 placement. 

Dropped from ranks:

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (Prev: 2)

Marcus Stroman, Chicago Cubs (Prev: 5)

Honorable Mention:

Kodai Senga, New York Mets

Jesus Luzardo, Miami Marlins

Justin Steele, Chicago Cubs

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers 



Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels (Prev: 1)

Hitting Stats: 105 Games, .305/.407/.680, 39 Home Runs, 12 Steals, 81 RBI, 81 Runs, 5.5 fWAR.

Pitching Stats: 20 games, 9-5 record, 3.43 ERA, 4.15 FIP, 120.2 innings, 156 strikeouts, 11.64 K/9, 2.0 fWAR.

Notes: As stated in the intro, this is fully over. He doesn’t even need to play anymore at this point to win MVP.  He would win this award even if he had zero innings pitched this season. 

Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros (Prev: NR)

Stats: 105 Games, .301/.380/.510, 18 Home Runs, 20 Steals, 72 RBI, 59 Runs, 3.4 fWAR.

Notes: Tucker had a monster month of July, hitting .359 with seven home runs, six steals, 23 RBI, and 19 runs scored to vault himself, not only into the top-5, but all the way to second. Yordan Alvarez went down with an injury, and Tucker stepped up like an MVP would when the Astros needed him most. 

Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers (Prev: 5)

Stats: 106 Games, .274/.342/.447, 15 Home Runs, 9 Steals, 66 RBI, 83 Runs, 3.8 fWAR

Notes: Semien just keeps chugging along for the first place Rangers. Seager has probably been their best player this year, but with a second IL stint now, he has just missed way too much time for MVP discussions, while Semien has been a steady force at the top of the Texas lineup. 

Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays (Prev: 2)

Stats: 102 games, .267/.332/.446, 13 Home Runs, 29 Steals, 49 RBI, 56 Runs, 3.9 fWAR

Notes: Franco has really fallen off and just had an awful month of July. He remains in the top-5 but if he doesn’t heat up soon, this could be his final month in the top-5. 

Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Guardians (Prev: 3)

Stats: 103 Games, .292/.362/.509, 18 Home Runs, 14 Steals, 63 RBI, 67 Runs, 3.9 fWAR

Notes: It’s looking like another top-5 MVP finish for Jram this year as he continues to be carrying force in the Guardians lineup. 

Dropped from ranks:

Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays (Prev: 4)

Honorable Mention:

Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays 

Corey Seager, Texas Rangers

Luis Robert Jr., Chicago White Sox

Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays


AL Cy Young

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees (Prev: 1) 

Stats: 22 games, 9-2 record, 2.64 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 136.1 innings, 149 strikeouts, 9.84 K/9, 3.2 fWAR.

Notes: Cole is starting to pull away from the field and books have his odds about -300 greater than anyone else. He has been fantastic since the start of June and after multiple runner-ups and four top-5 finishes, this could be the year that Cole finally captures the award that he is long overdue for. 

Kevin Gausman, Toronto Blue Jays (Prev: 2) 

Stats: 21 games, 8-5 record, 3.10 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 127.2 innings, 171 strikeouts, 12.05 K/9, 3.9 fWAR.

Notes: Gausman has the best shot at catching Cole with his very impressive FIP, high strikeout rate, and high fWAR. However, voters still view ERA as the most important stat for pitching, and Cole has a strong edge there. I also believe the fact that Cole has never won the award, despite pitching well enough to earn it so many times, will play a factor, even if shouldn’t. 

Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays (Prev: 4) 

Stats: 20 games, 11-1 record, 3.00 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 111.0 innings, 118 strikeouts, 9.57 K/9, 1.9 fWAR. 

Notes: McClanahan has not been the same since the back issues as he has struggled recently. His overall line is still very strong, but there’s really no basis for him to win over Cole or Gausman, so it will take some work for him to come out on top. 

Luis Castillo, Seattle Mariners (Prev: NR)

Stats: 22 games, 7-7 record, 2.88 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 131.1 innings, 149 strikeouts, 10.21 K/9, 2.4 fWAR.

Notes: Castillo is having a great overall year, but there are a few factors here that will probably lead to him landing a 4th or 5th finish and no higher. His record, while not as big of a factor as it used to be, is really bad. His fWAR is very low and his FIP is not great. 

Nathan Eovaldi, Texas Rangers (Prev: NR)

Stats: 19 games, 11-3 record, 2.69 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 123.2 innings, 111 strikeouts, 8.08 K/9, 3.0 fWAR.

Notes: He joins the top-5 for the first time, but it could be very short-lived, depending on his current injury. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt, for now, as the Rangers said he will miss the minimum time and be back. 

Dropped from ranks:

Framber Valdez, Houston Astros (Prev: 3)

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels (Prev: 5)

Honorable Mention:

Framber Valdez, Houston Astros

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

Felix Bautista, Baltimore Orioles

Sonny Gray, Minnesota Twins


The next release will be on September 1 and with each passing the month the picture will become more and more clear.