Published On: Mon, Aug 22nd, 2016

MLB award watch: Sizing up the 6 major races

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The Major League Baseball schedule is heading into the final stretch, and as teams jockey for playoff positioning, the major award contenders have begun to separate themselves.

Our MLB editors made their predictions for who will claim the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year in both the American and National Leagues:


The American League MVP race is wide open as Mike Trout and Josh Donaldson have plenty of company this season after going head-to-head in 2015. Trout, who’s finished in the top two in each of the last four seasons, leads all players with 6.9 WAR, according to FanGraphs, followed closely by Jose Altuve (6.8), Donaldson (6.3), Mookie Betts (6.0), and Manny Machado (5.6).

Editor Player Team
Birenbaum Mike Trout Angels
Casaletto Jose Altuve Astros
Halim Manny Machado Orioles
Mcwilliam Jose Altuve Astros
Rogers Jose Altuve Astros
Sharkey-Gotlieb Jose Altuve Astros
Soveta Jose Altuve Astros
Toman Mike Trout Angels
Wile Mookie Betts Red Sox


After 22-year-old Bryce Harper won the award in 2015, youngsters once again headline the battle for the NL MVP one year later. Twenty-four-year-old Kris Bryant and 22-year-old rookie Corey Seager are the front-runners to claim the award, while 25-year-old NL home run leader Nolan Arenado is making a strong case. Seager is looking to become just the third player in major-league history to win both MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season.

Editor Player Team
Birenbaum Corey Seager Dodgers
Casaletto Anthony Rizzo Cubs
Halim Nolan Arenado Rockies
Mcwilliam Daniel Murphy Nationals
Rogers Corey Seager Dodgers
Sharkey-Gotlieb Corey Seager Dodgers
Soveta Kris Bryant Cubs
Toman Corey Seager Dodgers
Wile Kris Bryant Cubs

AL Cy Young

The Blue Jays sent Aaron Sanchez to the minors in order to limit his innings which could hinder his Cy Young candidacy, though teammate J.A. Happ is making a compelling case to win the award with his AL-leading 17 wins. Blue Jays pitchers have claimed the Cy Young on four occasions, though the performance of Indians starter Corey Kluber could prevent the award from heading north. The 2014 winner leads all AL starters in WAR and sits third in strikeouts.

Editor Player Team
Birenbaum Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays
Casaletto Corey Kluber Indians
Halim J.A. Happ Blue Jays
Mcwilliam J.A. Happ Blue Jays
Rogers J.A. Happ Blue Jays
Sharkey-Gotlieb Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays
Soveta Cole Hamels Rangers
Toman Corey Kluber Indians
Wile Corey Kluber Indians

NL Cy Young

Clayton Kershaw appeared well on his way to a fourth NL Cy Young before missing the last eight weeks with a back injury. Kershaw’s absence could open the door for Madison Bumgarner, who surprisingly has never won the award despite owning 97-65 record and 2.93 ERA over his eight-year career. The Giants ace has thrown more innings than anyone this year, while his 2.25 ERA is second lowest in the majors.

Editor Player Team
Birenbaum Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
Casaletto Madison Bumgarner Giants
Halim Kyle Hendricks Cubs
Mcwilliam Madison Bumgarner Giants
Rogers Max Scherzer Nationals
Sharkey-Gotlieb Madison Bumgarner Giants
Soveta Madison Bumgarner Giants
Toman Madison Bumgarner Giants
Wile Noah Syndergaard Mets

AL Rookie of the Year

Despite the efforts of Nomar Mazara, Tyler Naquin, and Max Kepler, the performance by Tigers starter Michael Fulmer makes him the unanimous choice. Acquired from the New York Mets for Yoenis Cespedes, Fulmer leads all rookie starters in wins, innings pitched, and strikeouts, while his ERA sits at 2.58 through 20 starts. He’d join Mark Fidrych as the only Tigers pitcher to win the award.

Editor Player Team
Birenbaum Michael Fulmer Tigers
Casaletto Michael Fulmer Tigers
Halim Michael Fulmer Tigers
Mcwilliam Michael Fulmer Tigers
Rogers Michael Fulmer Tigers
Sharkey-Gotlieb Michael Fulmer Tigers
Soveta Michael Fulmer Tigers
Toman Michael Fulmer Tigers
Wile Michael Fulmer Tigers

NL Rookie of the Year

Seager, a legitimate threat to win NL MVP, is a virtual lock to claim the NL Rookie of the Year after Rockies shortstop Trevor Story suffered a season-ending injury. He’d be the 12th Dodger to claim the award and first since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996.

Editor Player Team
Birenbaum Corey Seager Dodgers
Casaletto Corey Seager Dodgers
Halim Corey Seager Dodgers
Mcwilliam Corey Seager Dodgers
Rogers Corey Seager Dodgers
Sharkey-Gotlieb Corey Seager Dodgers
Soveta Corey Seager Dodgers
Toman Corey Seager Dodgers
Wile Corey Seager Dodgers

*Picks compiled by theScore MLB editors Jonah Birenbaum, Lucas Casaletto, George Halim, Brian Mcwilliam, Steph Rogers, Simon Sharkey-Gotlieb, Jonathan Soveta, Dan Toman, and Brandon Wile.

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