The Nevada and Arizona senate races aren’t the only ones that are too close to call as it is unclear who will win the National League Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year awards. The NL Most Valuable Player and Cy Young trophies, though, will be won in landslide fashion by St. Louis’ Paul Goldschmidt and Miami’s Sandy Alcantara — as indicated by the Las Vegas odds. Anything that happened in the playoffs is moot because voting occurred prior to the postseason.
Manager of the Year: Phillies Robbed of Opportunity
The fact that Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson isn’t a finalist is a travesty. The Phillies fired Joe Girardi on June 3 and handed the reins to Thomson on an interim basis. That tag was lifted during the playoffs when the club gave Thomson a two-year contract. The former bench coach led Philadelphia to the postseason and was a deserving finalist based on that alone. Instead, New York’s Buck Showalter seeks his fourth award while Los Angeles’ Dave Roberts and Atlanta’s Brian Snitker go after their second. The winner will be announced on Tuesday.
Rookie of the Year: Brave New Face To Emerge
St. Louis’ Brendan Donovan, and Atlanta’s Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider have something in common. They weren’t listed in the MLB odds for NL Rookie of the Year at the start of 2022. Harris sits at -275 while betting online in broader betting markets with Strider at +225, so it appears the Braves will boast a top rookie for the sixth time.
Harris made his major league debut on May 28. The center fielder finished with an OPS of .853 with 19 home runs, 64 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases.
Strider went 11-5 with a 2.67 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 31 starts. The right-hander posted a 1.88 ERA in four starts in September before missing the rest of the regular season with an oblique injury.
Donovan showed his versatility by playing every infield position, the corner outfield spots, and serving as the designated hitter. His work earned him the first NL Utility Player Gold Glove. Donovan also batted .281 with 45 RBIs and 60 walks in 391 at-bats. The winner will be announced on Monday.
Cy Young: Sandy Was Smooth
The NL Cy Young Award finalists all had odds attached to them to start the season. Alcantara was listed at +1600 while Atlanta’s Max Fried (+2000) and Los Angeles’ Julio Urias (+2500) weren’t far behind. Alcantara left everyone in the dust by going 14-9 with a 2.28 ERA and 0.98 WHIP for a team that finished 24 games under .500.
“Everybody in the game knows who Sandy Alcantara is now,” Miami pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. told the media. “The hitters know, the fans know, and that’s a tribute to him, and a nice feather in the cap for the organization, too.“
Alcantara picks up his hardware on Wednesday.
Most Valuable Player: Gold Standard Set
Goldschmidt was a juicy +6600 at the start of the season to win his first MVP, with teammate Nolan Arenado at +3000 and Los Angeles’ Freddie Freeman at +1200. Goldschmidt got off to a slow start but took control of this race in May en route to batting .315 with 35 home runs and 115 RBIs. The first baseman also flirted with the Triple Crown before cooling off in September.
Goldschmidt on Wednesday won the Hank Aaron Award, which goes to the top offensive players in each league. Six of the last seven Aaron winners, including Bryce Harper (2021) and Freeman (2020), won MVP that season. Goldschmidt, who also claimed the Hammerin’ Hank in 2013, joined Barry Bonds (2001, 2002, 2004) as the only three-time winners of the Aaron.
How much does defense matter? Nolan Arenado made it a career 10-for-10 in winning Gold Gloves at the hot corner but looks to be second-best in this matter. Arenado also had another MVP-type season at the plate by batting .293 with 30 home runs and 103 RBIs.
Goldschmidt adds his first MVP trophy to the mantel on Thursday.