There are the common names such as Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, and David Price in the American League and Bryce Harper,Andrew McCutchen and Clayton Kershaw in the National League, but every so often, there happens to be a slightly smaller name that winds up taking home the MLB hardware.
There was a prime case of such when Dallas Keuchel and Jake Arrieta each took home the Cy Young award in 2015, and you can expect things to go pretty much the same way in 2016.
In the MVP race, expect Paul Goldschmidt and Carlos Correa to pick up some steam.
If it had not been for Harper’s great season — yes, that’s why he was MVP — Goldschmidt would have won the award with his .321 batting average, 33 home runs and 110 RBIs. That still wasn’t his best season with the bat, which came in 2013 when he won the Hank Aaron award, but again, finished second. That year, behind Andrew McCutchen.
Goldschmidt though has been putting up consistently high numbers, and this year should be no different with a new look Diamondbacks. This time, it should be good enough to get him the award in November.
In the American League, it’s Mike Trouts world, and we’re all playing witness to that. There’s no question that he’s the best all around player in the league and 10 out of 10 times, he’d be taken as the first overall pick in everybody’s fantasy baseball draft.
However, it’s been seen that some players can have more productive years and get awarded for it. There’s people who argue that Trout should have won the award in 2012 when Cabrera had hit for a triple crown or last year’s over Josh Donaldson, but in the end, voters liked their numbers more, and probably figure Trout is young enough to win even five more.
This year however, Trout comes up short again, and to a third different player. This time, he comes up with less votes to a division rival, shortstop Carlos Correa.
Correa won the AL Rookie of the Year last season despite playing in fewer than 100 games for the Astros. His numbers in 99 games were through the roof, hitting .279 to go along with 22 home runs, 68 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. It’s not out of the question the man could have a 30-30 season with well over 100 RBIs with a full season ahead, making him the most exciting shortstop since the days of Nomar Garciaparra, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter.
On the pitching side of things, Clayton Kershaw has been known for putting up big numbers, and though he lost to Arrieta last season —could have also lost to then teammate Zack Greinke — in the Cy Young voting, he remains the best pitcher in the game, and the must see hurler the game hasn’t since Pedro Martinez. The award will rightfully be his again for the fourth time in his illustrious career. Scary to think he’s only 27.
In the American League, Price seems like a heavy favorite after looking like he’d win it in September while pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays. With the Tigers and Blue Jays, Price was able to put up typical numbers of his that most pitchers can’t even fathom having. Now that he’s back in the AL East, he’s going to remain confident and comfortable, and it’ll show as he looks like a cornerstone for a franchise that finishes first in the AL East after finishing last in each of the last two seasons.
Expect some changes in the MVP race and there could be surprises when it comes to Cy Young voting similar to last year, but anything could happen in the course of 2,430 games in six months. Don’t be surprised though because change is inevitable. After all, the Cubs are World Series favorites, and they haven’t won it all since 1908.