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Award Winner Picks - 2021




With the awards finalists announced and the awards for MVP and Cy Young set to be announced soon, I wanted to share my picks and see what you guys think.

I've mentioned this in the past, but I have a system I use to choose award winners that's based on where qualified players rank in a large host of categories in their league, with different stats being weighted differently. A couple caveats are that it does not include pitchers for the MVP, and doesn't include relievers for the Cy Young. I will usually just include those in my ballot afterward if I think they are deserving. This year, I think there were enough good performances where I don't think it's necessary to include any (you could make a case for a couple, like Robbie Ray for MVP, etc.). I also don't take the team's success into account. It's purely based on the player's numbers

If you have more specific questions about my system, I'll answer them in the chat. Without further ado, here are my ballots, shown with the amount of players that are put on a real ballot for the awards (10 for MVP, 5 for Cy Young):

A.L. MVP:

1. Vlad Guerrero Jr.

2. Shohei Ohtani

3. Aaron Judge

4. Jose Ramirez

5. Matt Olson

6. Bo Bichette

7. Marcus Semien

8. Carlos Correa

9. Salvador Perez

10. Kyle Tucker

Obvious first note is that I have Vlad Jr. over Ohtani. It was very close, and it was hard to tell how much credit I should give Ohtani for his pitching, but I did include his total value for WAR and WPA, which made him first for both and benefitted him greatly. Vlad kind of just did what Trout has done recently. He was the best hitter in the league, pretty much across the board. Marcus Semien was a little lower than I thought, but he got his WAR like he did for us in 2019. He just did everything well, but maybe not the best in the league. Kyle Tucker was a surprise, but his late surge left him as one of the top 5 or so hitters in the league this year. Just missed were Whit Merrifield, Cedric Mullins (wish I could have gotten him on there), and Rafael Devers. Chapman was the only other Athletic to get points.

N.L. MVP:

1. Juan Soto

2. Bryce Harper

3. Fernando Tatis Jr.

4. Trea Turner

5. Freddie Freeman

6. Bryan Reynolds

7. Paul Goldschmidt

8. Austin Riley

9. Ozzie Albies

10. Nick Castellanos

Soto, Harper and Tatis were all very close, and clearly the top 3. You could really go with any of them. Bryan Reynolds was quietly amazing in Pittsburgh, and the "out of nowhere" Braves had 3 in the top 10. Goldschmidt surprised me as well, but he had a very good all around year. Just missed were Tyler O'Neill, Tommy Edman (shocker), and Joey Votto.

A.L. Cy Young:

1. Robbie Ray

2. Gerritt Cole

3. Lance Lynn

4. Nathan Eovaldi

5. Jose Berrios

This was essentially a tie at the top. For context, the winner had around 130+ points, and the top two were separated by 1 point. You could go either way. Lance Lynn gets in here despite his low innings, as he was that good (I have an adjustment for that; Rodon still did pretty well too). Eovaldi was a bit of a surprise, but he rated well in a lot of rate stats. Just missed were Lance McCullers, who finished very strong, and Frankie Montas and Chris Bassitt of the A's (Manaea was 19th). If Bassitt had more innings, he likely would have been top 5. It's interesting that the actual voters seem to have agreed on Lynn still being in there.

N.L. Cy Young:

1. Max Scherzer

2. Corbin Burnes

3. Zack Wheeler

4. Walker Buehler

5. Brandon Woodruff

No shocker in the overall top 5 here, as these were generally seen as the top guys, along with 6th place Kevin Gausman. This was also basically a tie at the top, with Scherzer and Burnes separated by 1 point. Wheeler was fairly close, and was definitely third for me, as he probably had the best combo of excellence and volume. It's pretty crazy that Washington could win the MVP and the partial Cy Young. The just missed were the aforementioned Gausman, Julio Urias (who had a great year also), and Charlie Morton.

Let me know what you think of the results. The only top 3 I don't have totally right is the A.L. MVP, as they have Semien higher. I'll be interest to see how Athletics like Matt Olson and Frankie Montas/Chris Bassitt do.