MLB MVP and Cy Young Rankings October 1: Blake Snell will Win his Second Cy Young Award
Justin Vreeland brings you his top five rankings in MVP and Cy Young with break downs as we head into the final day of the regular season.
Hello and welcome to the Final/October edition of my MVP and Cy Young Leader board! The season is coming to a close and awards will be handed out soon. All the awards are pretty obvious at this point, so the only real debate will be who gets 2nd-5th place in each category. You can check out the September 1 Edition of this article and see how things have changed over the last month.
I was able to nail down NL MVP, AL MVP, and AL Cy Young for months, with the only miss coming at the NL Cy Young spot. I hope you were able to take advantage of this article series, or simply just found it as an enjoyable read!
Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves (Prev: 1)
Stats: 158 Games, .338/.417/.597, 41 Home Runs, 73 Steals, 106 RBI, 149 Runs, 8.3 fWAR
Notes: Mookie tried to make it interesting, but Acuna seemed determined to take home this award and with his historic 40-70 season, there is no debate. He wins his first MVP award.
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers (Prev: 2)
Stats: 151 Games, .306/.408/.580, 39 Home Runs, 14 Steals, 107 RBI, 126 Runs, 8.2 fWAR
Notes: Betts had an MVP year, but Acuna was simply better. This will be Mookie’s THIRD runner-up finish in MVP voting (to go along with his win in 2018).
Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers (Prev: 3)
Stats: 160 Games, .333/.411/.570, 29 Home Runs, 13 Steals, 73 RBI, 89 Runs, 7.9 fWAR
Notes: Another great season for steady Freddie, setting new career highs in stolen bases, runs scored, and fWAR. This will be his 5th top-5 finish in MVP voting.
Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves (Prev: 4)
Stats: 161 Games, .282/.388/.603, 54 Home Runs, 1 Steal, 137 RBI, 127 Runs, 6.6 fWAR
Notes: He hit the most home runs this year and it wasn’t even close. He also led the league in total R/RBI. Monster season.
Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks (Prev: 5)
Stats: 155 Games, .285/.362/.506, 25 Home Runs, 54 Steals, 76 RBI, 116 Runs, 5.9 fWAR
Notes: Last month’s update I wrote, “it would be cool to see him hit the 25-50 mark” and he did just that. Incredible rookie season for Carroll.
Dropped from ranks:
NL Cy Young
Blake Snell, San Diego Padres (Prev: 2)
Stats: 32 games, 14-9 record, 2.25 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 180.0 innings, 234 strikeouts, 11.70 K/9, 4.1 fWAR.
Notes: Snell has this locked up. He has now won both AL and NL Cy Youngs, while never finishing top-10 in any other season. Remarkable.
Justin Steele, Chicago Cubs (Prev: 4)
Stats: 30 games, 16-5 record, 3.06 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 173.1 innings, 176 strikeouts, 9.14 K/9, 4.9 fWAR.
Notes: Steele lacks flash and lacks a high inning total, but his numbers are overall very solid and that could be enough for him to land the runner-up spot.
Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves (Prev: 1)
Stats: 32 games, 20-5 record, 3.86 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 186.2 innings, 281 strikeouts, 13.55 K/9, 5.5 fWAR.
Notes: Ranking Strider is pretty challenging. I could see him finishing as high as 2nd with his Ks, lofty win total, and strong advanced stats, but could also see him not even finishing top-5 because of his ERA.
Kodai Senga, New York Mets (Prev: NR)
Stats: 29 games, 12-7 record, 2.98 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 166.1 innings, 202 strikeouts, 10.93 K/9, 3.4 fWAR.
Notes: Senga makes a late surge into the top-5 for me. His lacking innings total (166.1) could hurt him, but it didn’t hurt Burnes when he won the award over Wheeler a few years back. Senga had an incredible rookie campaign with his sub-3.00 ERA and over 200 Ks.
Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies (Prev: 5)
Stats: 32 games, 13-6 record, 3.61 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 192.0 innings, 212 strikeouts, 9.94 K/9, 6.0 fWAR.
Notes: I wouldn’t be surprised if Gallen or Webb finishes in the top-5, but they really shouldn’t. Their ERAs ended up close with Wheeler’s and Wheeler has been better in just about every other aspect. If either one makes it over Senga or Wheeler, it’s simply because they pitched over 200 innings. This would be Wheeler’s second top-5 finish, but he will capture his third top-12 finish even if he does not finish top-5 this year.
Dropped from ranks:
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels (Prev: 1)
Hitting Stats: 135 Games, .304/.412/.654, 44 Home Runs, 20 Steals, 95 RBI, 102 Runs, 6.6 fWAR.
Pitching Stats: 23 games, 10-5 record, 3.14 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 132.0 innings, 167 strikeouts, 11.39 K/9, 2.3 fWAR.
Notes: He hasn’t appeared in a game in nearly a month and hasn’t pitched in a month and a half, but it doesn’t even matter. That’s how good he was/is.
Corey Seager, Texas Rangers (Prev: 3)
Stats: 118 Games, .330/.393/.628, 33 Home Runs, 2 Steals, 96 RBI, 88 Runs, 6.1 fWAR
Notes: Seager slides into a runner-up spot. While I don’t like how much time he spent on IL this year, he still has the third highest fWAR in the AL and it’s hard to argue with the season he had. The Rangers also made the playoffs, while the Mariners did not.
Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners (Prev: 2)
Stats: 154 games, .276/.335/.487, 32 Home Runs, 37 Steals, 103 RBI, 102 Runs, 6.0 fWAR
Notes: He started a bit slow, but turned around and had a monster season. He has cemented himself as one of the game’s best players.
Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals (Prev: 5)
Stats: 157 Games, .275/.318/.491, 30 Home Runs, 49 Steals, 96 RBI, 96 Runs, 5.7 fWAR
Notes: Right there with Jrod has a top-tier talent. Both had amazing second seasons and the future is so bright for both. If Witt can swipe a bag in the final game, it would give him an incredible 30-50 campaign and I am sure he will want to hit that milestone.
Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros (Prev: 4)
Stats: 156 Games, .282/.369/.512, 29 Home Runs, 30 Steals, 111 RBI, 95 Runs, 4.9 fWAR.
Notes: Another great year for the sweet-swinging lefty. He may come up just short of a 30-30 campaign, but he is elite regardless.
Dropped from ranks:
AL Cy Young
Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees (Prev: 1)
Stats: 33 games, 15-4 record, 2.63 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 209.0 innings, 222 strikeouts, 9.56 K/9, 5.2 fWAR.
Notes: Cole finally takes home his long overdue first Cy Young award.
Sonny Gray, Minnesota Twins (Prev: 4)
Stats: 32 games, 8-8 record, 2.79 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 184.0 innings, 183 strikeouts, 8.95 K/9, 5.3 fWAR.
Notes: Gray put together a Cy Young caliber season, but he will fall just short as Cole was simply just a bit better in just about everything, while pitching more innings. This will be his third top-7 finish in Cy Young voting, and will be his second top-3 finish (assuming he does).
Kevin Gausman, Toronto Blue Jays (Prev: 2)
Stats: 31 games, 12-9 record, 3.16 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 185.0 innings, 237 strikeouts, 11.53 K/9, 5.3 fWAR.
Notes: He continues to prove to be one of the elite arms in the game. This will be his third straight top-10 Cy Young finish and his first top-5 finish.
Luis Castillo, Seattle Mariners (Prev: 3)
Stats: 33 games, 14-9 record, 3.34 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 194.1 innings, 219 strikeouts, 10.01 K/9, 3.5 fWAR.
Notes: He struggled in September and worked his way down in the voting a bit, but he should still capture his first top-5 Cy Young finish.
Framber Valdez, Houston Astros (Prev: NR)
Stats: 31 games, 12-11 record, 3.45 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 198.0 innings, 200 strikeouts, 9.09 K/9, 4.3 fWAR.
Notes: This spot could have gone to Valdez, Monty, Kirby, or Bradish as they all close in my opinion, but it doesn’t matter a whole lot as they are all distant from the top-4 in my opinion. This would be Valdez’s second straight top-5 finish (if he does) and third top-11 finish.
Dropped from ranks:
Thanks for tuning in this season!