The MLB playoffs have reached its second round, The National and American League Championship Series. It is almost that time where us the fans vote on MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and so on. The NL and AL MVP award race has been very intriguing this season.
In the NL, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich tore it up in the second half of the regular season and now is doing the same during the postseason. Yelich spent the last 5 years with the Miami Marlins, and only had one season in which he hit over .300. In his first season with the Brewers, he has posted a .326 batting average, 36 home runs, and 110 RBIs.
Yelich has to be the front-runner for the NL MVP. Being that he was such a big reason the Brewers are having so much success. They won their first division title since 2011 and are lost in seven to the Dodgers in the NLCS.
The AL MVP race has been a little bit more open and up for grabs. The two big names from the AL have to be Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, both on the Red Sox, who are World Series bound after knocking off the Astros.
Betts, the Boston Right Fielder, has hit 32 home runs, drove in 80 runs, but also leads the entire majors with a .346 batting average. Betts is just a better all-around hitter. Betts is second in baseball in OPS, along with being 4th in the league with 180 hits.
Betts’s teammate, Red Sox right fielder J.D. Martinez, is another possible candidate. He’s second in the AL with 43 home runs, and first in RBI’s with 130. J.D. was also a possible candidate for the triple crown.
The player who has the better postseason is likely to win the award. Right now that is either one. Both are currently playing at a very high level and will continue to if they want to lead their team to a World Series.
The NL and AL Cy Young have been exciting as well. In The NL, a few pitchers have lit it up and pitched lights out for their teams. Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals was tied in wins with 18 and posted a 2.53 E.R.A. Even though Scherzer was on a team that wasn’t competing for a postseason spot, he was still a dominant part of the Nationals starting rotation. This comes as no surprise as fans are used to Scherzer taking control of whatever lineup he is facing. Scherzer has 3 previous Cy Young awards, winning it in 2013, 2016, and 2017.
In the AL, the front-runner would have to be Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays, another team who are not competing in the postseason, had a good season though, finishing the season with 90 wins. But being in a division like the A.L East, it would be tough for anyone to keep up with the Yankees and Red Sox.
Snell led the league in wins and ERA. In 31 started games, he had a 21-5 record and an ERA of 1.89. Those numbers are just astounding. 2018 was only his third year in the MLB, so he still has several more opportunities to impress the fans.
Another player who could be in the running is Edwin Diaz, closer for the Seattle Mariners. It’s not likely for a relief pitcher to win the Cy Young award, but it is possible. Diaz led the entire Majors in saves with 57 and posted a 1.96 ERA while doing so. Diaz, another player not on a playoff team who had an incredible year, is another pitcher who could continue to surprise us in the future.
The MLB has surprised this year as it always does. WIth many stars breaking out and hitting their peaks, there is hopefully much more to come within the next couple weeks of the season coming to an end. We should be in for quite a finish.