For as predictable as the NBA was this past season, this MLB season has been just as unpredictable. Who saw Aaron Judge coming? Who thought the Rockies would be a playoff contender while the Giants sit in the cellar of the NL West? Who thought the Mets would be victims of a ton of injuries? (I guess SOME things are predictable, even in baseball.) But as we sit at the All-Star break, we still have another half season of baseball to be played before October. So I’ll take my best stab at predicting who will take home the individual awards, as well as the World Series trophy when it’s all said and done.
AL MVP: Aaron Judge, Yankees
I know, shocker. I’ll try and keep it in my pants on this one. But if you told me in spring training that between Judge and Greg Bird, one would have started the season 6-60 and been on the DL ever since, and the other would have 30 homers and be the front-runner for AL MVP, I would’ve picked Bird to be having the great year, not Judge. But that’s baseball for you, and let’s hope Judge can keep mashing baseballs in the second half.
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale, Red Sox
This guy just has unreal stuff. 11-4, 2.75 ERA and 178 strikeouts thus far almost doesn’t even do him justice. The Yankees did beat him once in April with Tanaka before he turned into a glorified BP pitcher, but I pray they don’t run into him too many more times in the second half.
AL Rookie of the Year: Judge
See the definitely not biased statement above.
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Mike Moustakas, Royals
After a strong 2015 campaign in which he helped the Royals win a World Series, Moustakas hit 7 homers in 27 games in 2016 before tearing his ACL. At the break this year, Moustakas has hit .270 with 25 homers and 54 RBI for a Royals team just 3 games out of first place.
NL MVP: Bryce Harper, Nationals
While not as strong as his 2015 MVP season, Harper is hitting .325 with 20 homers and 65 RBI for the first-place Nationals. Teammate Ryan Zimmerman will receive consideration for this award as well if he continues his pace, but Harper is the one who will need to perform to give the Nats a chance in October.
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer, Nationals
Bert said it best, it seems like this guy has no-hit stuff every time he takes the mound. At 10-5 with a 2.10 ERA and 173 strikeouts, surely no NL team wants to see this guy on the mound in a Game 1.
NL Rookie of the Year: Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
As easy of a pick as Judge is in the NL. Bellinger has had a red-hot start to his career, hitting .261 with 25 homers and 58 RBI in just 70 games. The Dodgers are in first place in the NL West, and Bellinger is a huge reason why.
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Harper
For as good as 2015 and 2017 went for Harper, 2016 was as bad. He hit only .243 last year, but has rebounded for sure this year.
Yankees beat Rangers in Wild-Card Game
Astros beat Yankees, Red Sox beat Indians in ALDS
Astros beat Red Sox in ALCS
As a Yankee fan, I hate to admit this, but the postseason is about pitching, and we don’t have enough. Even a trade deadline move for someone probably won’t give us enough to beat the Astros in a series. The Red Sox will take care of the Indians this time around, but will fall to the superior Astros.
Diamondbacks beat Rockies in Wild-Card Game
Dodgers beat Diamondbacks, Nationals beat Brewers in NLDS
Nationals beat Dodgers in NLCS
All season, I’ve thought the Cubs would turn it on and make the playoffs, but I’m not so sure anymore. I still wouldn’t doubt it, but at 5.5 games behind Colorado, they need to find their groove sooner rather than later. I’ll take the D-Backs behind Robbie Ray over the Rockies in the one-game playoff, only to falter to the superior Dodgers. The Nationals will easily take care of the Brewers, and manage to hold off Clayton Kershaw’s Dodgers in a great NLCS.
World Series: Nationals over Astros in 7 games
The 2016 World Series gave us baseball’s 2 best teams, and one of the best series ever. Hopefully, 2017 will be the same. Both of these teams have dominated their respective leagues, and hopefully would deliver a competitive World Series. A Scherzer-Dallas Keuchel Game 7 would be what every baseball fan dreams of, with Scherzer taking home Series MVP honors with the win.
You can talk about it, write about it, and analyze it to death, but at the end of the day, talk means nothing. That’s why they play the games. That’s baseball baby.