With nearly a third of the season over, it’s time to take a look at some of the major American League awards races. From MVP to Manager of the Year, every award race will be covered. There have been a few surprises in the AL this season that could impact some of the major award races by the end of the season. However, it remains to be seen if the breakout of players such as John Means or Yermin Mercedes can continue. With that said, let’s take a look at the top three nominees for each award.
American League Cy Young
- Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
- Tyler Glasnow, Tampa Bay stingrays
- Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians
They’re three elite pitchers with some of the best elements in the game. Shane Bieber won the AL Cy Young award in 2020 with a 1.63 ERA, 2.07 FIP and 122 strikeouts in 77 and a third. sleeves. His 14.2 K / 9 stands are the greatest single-season figure of all time. While not so dominant in 2021, Bieber has always been exceptional. In 11 starts and 72 innings pitched at the top of the league, Bieber posted a 3.13 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 110 strikeouts, 13.8 K / 9 and 1.8 fWAR.
It’s the healthy glasnow that baseball fans and media have wanted to see for years. In 11 starts for Tampa Bay, Glasnow pitched 70 innings and struck out 98 on catches, good for a 12.8K / 9 ratio. Along with that, there is a 2.57 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 0.93 WHIP and a 1.7 fWAR which ranks fourth in the AL.
Now to the favorite for this price. Gerrit Cole has been an unstoppable force so far in 2021. His 2.8 fWAR is baseball’s best among pitchers, and the AHL’s first by a wide margin. He is the leader of a pitching team that has been one of the best in baseball in many ways. With 10 starts and 64 two-thirds innings, Cole posted a 1.81 ERA, 1.70 FIP, 92 strikeouts, 12.8 K / 9, 0.84 WHIP. With just eight walks against 92 strikeouts, his K / BB ratio of 11.50 is baseball’s first among qualified pitchers. Other pitchers such as John Means and Chris Bassitt also have good numbers. No matter how you cut it, Gerrit Cole is the favorite for this price.
American League Rookie of the Year
- Adolis García, Texas Rangers
- Yermin Mercedes, Chicago White Sox
- Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox
Michael Kopech and Yermin Mercedes are just two of many young players taking the White Sox to one of the AL’s best records. If Mercedes is no longer the favorite for this price, as it might have been a few weeks ago, what it is doing on the plateau is still impressive. It hits .340 / .386 / .525, which is good for a .911 OPS and 155 OPS +. His seven homers and 29 points make him a key cog in the middle of this dangerous lineup. His teammate, Michael Kopech, was also quite impressive. In 14 appearances, three starts, Kopech pitched 31 innings and two-thirds, posting a 1.72 ERA and 2.55 FIP. He also had 45 hitters, which gives him an elite 12.9 K / 9 ratio. Kopech’s story is remarkable considering he hasn’t pitched since 2018. He was the victim of an operation. of TJ and has become a huge question mark for the White Sox over the past two years.
While other rookies like Nick Madrigal and James Karinchak have also had very good seasons, none stand out like Adolis Garcia. The 28-year-old rookie was a revelation for Texas in 2021. His 2.0 fWAR ranks # 1 among all AL rookies and his 16 homers # 1 in baseball. With an exceptional .609 SLG, .929 OPS and 153 OPS +, let’s not forget how great he was in the field. Garcia has already racked up 9 DRS in center field and 1 DRS on right, for a total of 10 DRS so far in 2021. This ranks second in baseball among outfielder. Garcia is clearly the favorite right now for AL Rookie of the Year, and it’s not that close.
American League Manager of the Year
- Alex Cora, Boston Red Sox
- Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays
- Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians
Predicting the manager of the year is always difficult. The prize often goes to managers whose teams have managed to do more than expected. However, he rarely goes to the manager whose team had the best records. That said, Alex Cora and Kevin Cash lead teams with the top two American League records. After a one-year suspension from baseball, the Red Sox rehired Cora to manage the team. The club held the top spot in the division until a few days ago. According to most punters, Boston should finish closer to the bottom than the top of the division. This is what makes Cora the favorite for this price.
On the other hand, the Kevin Cash Rays hummed while doing what they usually do. Small markets, platoons, openers and timely strikes seem to be the keys to Tampa Bay’s success. Their 32-20 record is the third best in baseball, and don’t be surprised if the Rays end up winning the American League East for the second year in a row. Similar to the Rays, the Cleveland Indians also have a tiny payroll. Despite this, they are 27-21 and rank second in the Central Division. The Indians are one of those teams who go above and beyond what is expected of them. Francona missed a good chunk of 2020 due to a health scare, so it’s good to see him back in the dugout and handle the Indians in the final.
American League MVP
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
- Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
- Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
Choosing just three favorites for the American League MVP award was extremely difficult. There have been several notable performers so far in 2021. Aaron Judge, JD Martinez and Marcus Semien are notable players who narrowly missed the cup. With that said, let’s get into the best offensive shortstop in baseball. Xander Bogaerts has been under the radar for years. While not as complete as the other top shortstops, Bogaerts’ 16.3 fWAR since 2018 has led all baseball shortstops. In addition, its 140 wRC + ranks 20% better than the next closest shortstop, Trevor History. So far in 2021, Bogaerts beats .330 / .401 / .588, good for a .989 OPS, 171 OPS + and 170 wRC +. He had 10 home runs, drove 31, and tied for first with 60 hits. His 2.7 fWAR is second in the American League because he was a cog in one of baseball’s best offenses.
Shohei Ohtani is doing something that hasn’t been done for 100 years. This feeling is often repeated but remains surreal. With a WAR at batting of 1.7 and WAR at pitcher of 0.5, Ohtani’s total of 2.2 fWAR is one of the best numbers in the American League. Even still, WAR is not a metric that can properly quantify what Ohtani is doing this season and his value to his team. In six starts, Ohtani pitched 30 one-third innings, striking out 45 on catches and posting a 2.37 ERA. Command has been a problem for him on the mound, but he rarely gives up punches and therefore doesn’t allow many runs. Even with the ordering issues, his FIP of 3.81 is still a very good number. At home, Ohtani is second in baseball with 15 home runs. He even added three triples and six steals. In total, his batting line of .266 / .328 .616 equates to .944 OPS, 154 OPS +, and 157 wRC +.
It seems few people are talking about Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s elite season With all the attention surrounding Ohtani, Guerrero Jr. calmed down with a 3.2 fWAR, 199 wRC + and 16 home runs in the league. His hit line of .333 / .443 / .661 is equivalent to 1.104 OPS. He leads the American League in OBP and SLG while leading the majors in HR, OPS, OPS + and total bases. Plus, he currently has the same number of strikeouts as steps, 31, which is barely seen in today’s game. It’s kind of an escape for Guerrero, as he seems to have everything in place in 2021. Potential, hard-hit abilities were still there in 2019 and 2020, but the circle just didn’t come full circle until. present. At 22, it was the Guerrero who made him one of the most prominent prospects of all time for the 2019 season.
There are some very intriguing award races in the American League right now. While Cy Young and Rookie of the Year seem clear right now, the MVP and Manager awards are very much up in the air. There is still plenty of time for away players to become favorites and vice versa. Keep in mind that without the injuries of Mike Trout and Byron Buxton, they would clearly be two of the favorites for the MVP award. Either way, the amount of parity in baseball in 2021 has been quite refreshing, and that’s reflected in the major award races.
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John means, Yermin Mercedes, Gerrit Cole, Tyler glasnow, Shane Bieber, Chris Bassitt, Adolis garcia, Yermin Mercedes, Michael kopech, Nick madrigal, James karinchak, Alex cora, Kevin cash, Terry francona, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Alex Bogaerts, Aaron Judge, JD Martinez, Marcus Semien, Trevor’s story, Mike Trout, andByron buxton.