With Opening Day drawing nearer and nearer by the day, the writers of Doubleday Double Talk have predicted the National League East, Central, West, and the American League East, Central, and West, all before a single regular season pitch has been thrown. Now, Daryll and Giuseppe are here to predict the winners of the 2019 MLB Awards.
American League Most Valuable Player Award
Giuseppe’s Pick: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: Is there really anything that needs to be said here? Trout is the favorite for the American League MVP every year regardless of whether he wins it or not. He is the best player of a generation and will continue to improve year after year for who knows how long. Until another player can consistently match Trout’s greatness year after year, he will continue to be a lock for me as the American League MVP.
Daryll’s Pick: Alex Bregman, Houston Astros: Bregman has been on the scene since 2016, but has really just had two full major league seasons. His OPS has improved significantly every season, from .791 to .827 to .926 last season, where he also blasted 30 home runs and upped his BA and OBP slightly. I see him just getting better.
National League Most Valuable Player Award
Giuseppe’s Pick: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies: Nolan Arenado led the National League with 38 home runs and put up 110 runs batted in while batting just a tick under .300 last year, as well as taking home a Silver Slugger and a gold glove award for the sixth year in a row. Thperennialal All-Star third baseman will put up some of the best numbers of his career in 2019 and is my pick for MVP of the National League.
Daryll’s Pick: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves: While I fully believe that Ronald Acuna Jr will have a great season and improve from his Rookie of the Year winning 2018 – it is Freddie Freeman who might benefit the most from all of the extra support he has in the lineup. Last year Freddie led the NL in hits and once again played in all 162 games for the second time in his career. He finished 4th last year in the MVP which was the highest of his career and looks to complete the title in 2019.
American League CY Young Award
Giuseppe’s Pick: Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros: Gerrit Cole posted a 15-5 record in 2018 with a 2.88 ERA through just over 200 innings pitched. While Cole tends to get overshadowed in the incredible starting rotation of the Astros, I see him breaking out in 2019 and establishing himself as one of if not the best pitcher in the American League.
Daryll’s Pick: Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins: Berrios had a terrific last season for Minnesota with some inconsistency, and he looks to build on it for a team that looks to challenge the Cleveland stranglehold on the NL Central. He improved across all statistical categories as well as advanced metrics, and I believe that as the Twins improve around him he will rise to the occasion and win the Cy Young Award.
National League CY Young Award
Giuseppe’s Pick: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals: Max Scherzer in the best pitcher in Major League Baseball right now and despite a historic year from Jacob deGrom who posted a 1.70 ERA in 2018, Scherzer consistently dominates hitters every year and my prediction is that Scherzer will be awarded the fourth Cy Young Award of his career in 2019 and it will be by a landslide.
Daryll’s Pick: Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers: Buehler showed last year that he can be the new ace in Los Angeles – or at least when Kershaw is battling an injury. Aside from the Acuna NLCS disappointment, he dominated in his rookie season and finished third in the ROY voting. A sparkling 2.62 ERA in 23 starts with 151 strikeouts in just 131 innings. Pitching in Dodger Stadium and good health will help him improve on last year and win the NL Cy Young.
American League Rookie of the Year Award
Giuseppe’s Pick: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the top rookie to watch heading into the 2019 season by a landslide. After flirting with a .400 batting average while splitting his season between Double-A and Triple-A while displaying exemplary power, plate discipline, contact, and the ability to swing with authority and balance. Vladdy Jr. finished his 2018 campaign with a .381 with 20 home runs and 78 runs batted in. Guerrero Jr. displays the offensive ability of a perennial All-Star and a possibly a future MVP. Guerrero will be a top ten hitter as soon as he gets called to the bigs and the baseball world can’t wait.
Daryll’s Pick: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
National League Rookie of the Year Award
Giuseppe’s Pick: Victor Robles, Washington Nationals: Victor Robles’ potential was seen in small sample sizes during his brief stint Nationalsaationals before a hyperextended left elbow derailed his season. Robles is expected to have an outfield spot next to Juan Soto waiting for him and could possibly find himself batting leadoff during the 2019 season. Robles was a stud in the leadoff spot for Washington during his breif stint with the Nationals, slashing a fantastic .356/.400/.667, far better than any other Washington leadoff hitter last season. Robles is going to be a stud in 2019 and could find himself with a Rookie of the Year trophy on his shelf by the season’s end.
Daryll’s Pick: Chris Paddack, San Diego Padres: Paddack came to the Padres from the Marlins in 2016 when the Padres traded Fernando Rodney, and now may end up being the Padres Opening Day starter after a spring training that has come very well for the 23-year-old despite never pitching above AA. His 3-year minor league ERA is 1.91. There are bound to be growing pains, but the Padres need pitchers like him, Cal Quantrill and Joey Lucchesi to emerge to back the Manny Machado signing and turn those prospects into wins.
American League Comeback Player of the Year Award
Giuseppe’s Pick: Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
Prior to going on the Disabled List in June, Correa was slashing .268/.352/.480 with 13 home runs through 73 games. After missing more than six weeks of playing time, Correa finally returned and posted a horrid .517 OPS and just two home runs during his final 37 games of the season. If Correa returns to his regular form, this award will be his to lose.
Daryll’s Pick: Matt Harvey, Los Angeles Angels. In general, I’m not a big fan of this award. Again, Harvey’s fall from grace in 2018 was less due to injury and more to attitude. That said if he can get a true fresh start with the Angels and show he is healthy again, perhaps we will see more of the Dark Knight again.
National League Comeback Player of the Year Award
Giuseppe’s Pick: Sonny Gray, Cincinnati Reds: Gray put up the worst numbers of his career in his horrid stint with the Yankees after pitching like an All-Star in Oakland for years. Now, Grey will get a chance at new life with the Reds and a solid season could mean a Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Daryll’s Pick: Alex Reyes, St. Louis Cardinals. He may not have had enough actual major league success to be considered a comeback player yet, but he has been touted from the Cardinals for some time and injuries have kept him. If he can finally stay healthy, he could easily end up with several other awards on this list.
American League Manager of the Year Award
Giuseppe’s Pick: Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays surprised baseball in 2018 after quietly winning 90 games and a repeat performance, with the Rays’ minimal salary, could be enough for a MOTY Award win, even if the Rays fail to make the playoffs.
Daryll’s Pick: Rocco Baldelli, Minnesota Twins: I might as well be consistent with my predictions. If I’m picking the Twins to win the Central led by Jose Berrios…Baldelli is a pretty good pick for Manager of the Year!
National League Manager of the Year Award
Giuseppe’s Pick: Bud Black, Colorado Rockies: I picked the Rockies to finally top the Dodgers and reign supreme in the National League West in 2019. If my prediction is correct than Black will run away with the Award making him an easy choice for me.
Daryll’s Pick: Bud Black, Colorado Rockies: Black has led the Rockies to two straight Wild Card appearances. If he can do it again he might be able to claim his second manager of the year award to follow up his 2010 win with the San Diego Padres.
Make sure to tune in tomorrow for Doubleday Double Talk’s Postseason Predictions.