Altuve, Stanton are likely MVP winners

Noah Guyette, Baseball writer

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Even though the postseason is over, Major League Baseball has some big hardware to hand out. The MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year awards for the 2017 regular season are set to be announced starting Nov. 13. Here are my picks for who should and will win the major awards.

AL MVP: This is a two-man race between the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and the world champion Astros’ Jose Altuve, with Judge trying to become the first MVP – ROY since Ichiro in 2001. Setting a rookie record with 52 homers and leading the AL in runs scored are big parts of his resume. However, his weakness of consistency will cost him. Altuve (.346, 24 HR, 81 RBI, 32 SB) hit at least .291 in every month, while Judge had a massive slump to start the second half. Those two factors are what puts Altuve on top. Should win: Altuve   Will win: Altuve

NL MVP: While this looked like Paul Goldschmidt’s or Bryce Harper’s award to lose, injuries to both put MLB home run leader Giancarlo Stanton and offensive force Joey Votto in the frontrunning. Stanton’s 59 homers and league-leading 132 RBI are the numbers the voters are looking for. Meanwhile, Votto made a case to be the best hitter in the game with another phenomenal year. He was a league leader in walks, on-base percentage, OPS, and intentional walks, not to mention playing all 162 games. Votto is more deserving of the award, but Stanton’s home run total and the surrounding hype will sway the majority of voters.Should win: Votto   Will win: Stanton

AL Cy Young: Another award that looked wrapped up midway through the season, the AL Cy Young race was flipped when Boston ace Chris Sale struggled down the stretch, and Cleveland’s Corey Kluber dominated. After being acquired in an offseason trade with the White Sox, Sale’s total of 308 strikeouts was the most since Pedro Martinez in 2000. Ironically, though, it was his rough starts against the Indians that hurt his stats and resume. He surrendered 14 runs in two starts against Cleveland, whose ace was tops in ERA, WHIP, and BB/9, and he had three complete game shutouts. Kluber was dominant nearly all season long for the best regular season team in the AL. Should win: Kluber   Will win: Kluber

NL Cy Young: Just like the NL MVP, an injury to Clayton Kershaw opened the door for Nationals stud Max Scherzer. Alreading an owner of two Cy Young awards, he put his case forward for a third with the most strikeouts in the NL, along with the fewest H/9 in either league. Kershaw did end up leading the NL in ERA; however, he made 27 starts to Scherzer’s 31. If Kershaw had put a full campaign together, he might have been the frontrunner, but Mad Max’s complete season is why he deserves and will win the Cy Young. Should win: Scherzer   Will win: Scherzer

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