Current MLB MVP/Cy Young Candidates

With less than a month to go until the 2020 season ends (9/27), there have been numerous stand out players that have taken advantage of the shortened season to showcase their talents. Below I’ve listed the top performers in their respective leagues and also laid out what some of their stats would be in a full season.

For hitters, the 162-game projection should be seen as if the player played in all 162 games of the regular season. For pitchers, the 162-game projection should be seen as if the team participated in 162 games since pitchers obviously don’t pitch every day. I did this to keep the comparisons as fair as possible so take the total numbers with a large grain of salt. Also, I used Fangraphs for the stats and it is notated by fWAR. The following stats are dated to September 4, 2020.

AL MVP Candidates:

  • Mike Trout – LAA – OF:
    34 games: .267/.353/.603, 13 HR, 34 RBI 1.2 fWAR
    162-game proj: 62 HR, 162 RBI, 5.7 fWAR
  • Luke Voit – NYY – 1B:
    32 games: .293/.359/.664, 13 HR, 28 RBI, 1.3 fWAR
    162-game proj: 66 HR, 142 RBI, 6.6 fWAR
  • DJ LeMahieu – NYY – 2B:
    26 games: .382/.418/.559 4 HR, 12 RBI, 1.1 fWAR
    162-game proj: 25 HR, 75 RBI, 6.9 fWAR
  • Luis Robert – CWS – OF:
    36 games: .278/.331/.586 11 HR, 27 RBI, 1.6 fWAR
    162-game proj: 50 HR, 122 RBI, 7.2 fWAR
  • Nelson Cruz – MIN – DH:
    37 games: .326/.420/.667 13 HR, 29 RBI, 1.8 fWAR
    162-game proj: 57 HR, 127 RBI, 7.9 fWAR
  • Kyle Lewis – SEA – OF:
    36 games: .328/.418/.527, 8 HR, 21 RBI, 1.6 fWAR
    162-game proj: 36 HR, 95 RBI, 7.2 fWAR
  • Shane Bieber – CLE – SP:
    8 starts: 1.20 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 84 K, 8 QS, 2.3 fWAR
    162-game proj: 368 K, 10.1 fWAR

The AL MVP race is a very tight one. There are familiar faces and then there are new faces. For my prediction, I’m going to go with a bold one and say Shane Bieber. He has been absolutely dominant by turning in a Quality Start for each of his 8 starts so far and is on pace to strike out 368 batters! Wow! If he accomplishes this rare feat, he will be the first American League starting pitcher to do so since Roger Clemens in 1986.

AL Cy Young Candidates:

  • Shane Bieber – CLE:
    8 starts: 1.20 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 84 K, 8 QS, 2.3 fWAR
    162-game proj: 368 K, 35 QS, 10.1 fWAR
  • Lance Lynn – TEX:
    9 starts: 2.67 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 63 K, 7 QS, 1.2 fWAR
    162-game proj: 284 K, 32 QS, 5.4, fWAR
  • Lucas Giolito – CWS:
    8 starts: 3.14 ERA, 1.007 WHIP, 66 K, 5 QS, 1.6 fWAR
    162-game proj: 281 K, 21 QS, 6.8 fWAR

If Shane Bieber is my AL MVP pick, he’s obviously going to be my AL Cy Young pick, as well. Even though Lynn and Giolito are having fantastic years, they aren’t even coming close to Bieber. He will easily be the unanimous vote.

NL MVP Candidates:

  • Fernando Tatis Jr. – SDP – SS:
    39 games: .305/.392/.636, 13 HR, 34 RBI, 2.6 fWAR
    162-game proj: 54 HR, 141 RBI, 10.8 fWAR
  • Marcell Ozuna – ATL – OF:
    36 games: .301/.390/.624, 12 HR, 31 RBI, 1.2 fWAR
    162-game proj: 54 HR, 140 RBI, 5.4 fWAR
  • Charlie Blackmon – COL – OF:
    36 games: .343/.396/.500, 4 HR, 29 RBI, 0.9 fWAR
    162-game proj: 18 HR, 131 RBI, 4.1 fWAR
  • Juan Soto – WAS – OF:
    27 games: .354/.453/.758, 11 HR, 26 RBI, 1.4 fWAR
    162-game proj: 66 HR, 156 RBI, 8.4 fWAR
  • Mookie Betts – LAD – OF:
    27 games: .299/.378/.604, 12 HR, 28 RBI, 2.1 fWAR
    162-game proj: 53 HR, 123 RBI, 9.2 fWAR
  • Trea Turner – WAS – SS:
    35 games: .366/.420/.634, 8 HR, 21 RBI, 1.8 fWAR
    162-game proj: 37 HR, 97 RBI, 8.3 fWAR

The NL MVP is race is as close as the AL MVP race. The addition of Mookie Betts makes it more interesting and it’s nice to see Marcell Ozuna having a bounce-back season. However, I believe that 2020 will belong to Fernando Tatis Jr. This kid has taken the league by storm and for all intents and purposes, he is the future of the MLB. The BBWAA need to make Tatis the MVP to send the message that it’s okay to be yourself and break the lame unwritten rules of baseball. Plus, the kid is an excellent shortstop and has 7 stolen bases on the year which would give him about 30 in a 162-game season! Fernando Tatis Jr. is the five tool phenom the MLB needs right now. Make baseball fun again.

NL Cy Young Candidates

  • Yu Darvish – CHC:
    7 starts: 1.47 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 52 K, 6 QS, 1.8 fWAR
    162-game proj: 228 K, 26 QS, 7.9 fWAR
  • Jacob deGrom – NYM:
    7 starts: 1.76 ERA, 0.902 WHIP, 58 K, 5 QS, 1.7 fWAR
    162-game proj: 247 K, 21 QS, 7.2 fWAR
  • Zac Gallen – ARI:
    8 starts: 1.80 ERA, 0.940 WHIP, 54 K, 7 QS, 1.4 fWAR
    162-game proj: 230 K, 30 QS, 6.0 fWAR
  • Zack Wheeler – PHI:
    7 starts: 2.20 ERA, 1.067 WHIP, 29 K, 5 QS, 1.2 fWAR
    162-game proj: 142 K, 25 QS, 5.9 fWAR

    Although Yu Darvish has the better all around numbers at the moment, I would put my money on Jacob deGrom on winning the NL Cy Young award. Darvish has been nothing short of outstanding this year after suffering a chain of injuries the last few years. Personally, however, I have more faith in Jacob deGrom keeping this pace for the rest of the season compared to Darvish who had a 3.98 ERA in 2019 and allowed a league leading 33 homeruns.

Although there’s only a month left in the season, the above lists of candidates could easily change. Someone could get hot, someone could go into a slump. I could look back on my lists in October and have completely different opinions, but that’s the beauty of baseball.

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