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2021 MLB AL&NL MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year Races
With the 2021 Major League Baseball regular season winding down to less than two months remaining now is a spectacular time to look at and analyze the races for the major MLB awards (American League MVP, National League MVP, American League Cy Young, National League Cy Young, American League Rookie of the Year, and National League Rookie of the Year) that will be handed out following the conclusion of the 2021 Major League Baseball season. The final day of regular season games for Major League Baseball this year is Sunday, October 3rd, 2021. Immediately following that date, the 2021 MLB Wild Card Playoff Series will commence.
This is a great time of the year for North American major sports as baseball (MLB) is finishing up and football (NFL), hockey (NHL), and basketball (NBA) are about to get underway with their regular season start dates quickly approaching. Listed below are the majority of the finalists for the major MLB regular season awards.
2021 MLB American League MVP Award Race
- Shohei Ohtani – This designated hitter / pitcher / outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels does it all. He hits lefty for average as well as power, he is one hell of starting pitcher throwing right – handed, and he runs the bases aggressively and judiciously. Currently Shohei Ohtani is batting .269, slugging .648, has an OBP of .363, has an OPS of 1.011, has an OPS + of 165, with 40 home runs, a war of 7.9, an ERA of 2.79, and 186 strikeouts. He should easily walk away with the American League MVP award once this MLB season is all said and done.
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – The first baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays, Vlad Jr. is a big – time force to be reckoned with at the plate especially. Although he has been slumping a little during the month of August, he is still carrying MVP type numbers at the dish. Right now, Guerrero Jr. is batting .313, has 35 homers, a war of 4.8, 88 RBIs, an OBP of .409, a SLG of .605, an OPS of 1.013, and an OPS + of 173 so far during this 2021 MLB season. Unfortunately for Vlad Jr. he would have to win the very rare Triple Crown in order to surpass Shohei Ohtani for the AL MVP award.
- Rafael Devers – Devers is the third baseman for the Boston Red Sox, and he is quietly having a very successful season out in the American League East division of Major League Baseball. Even though it seems like Rafael has been around in the big – league forever he actually has not been as Devers is only 24 – years – old at the moment and has played for the Boston Red Sox since the 2017 MLB season. Rafael is currently batting .280 with 29 home runs and 89 RBIs. He has a slugging percentage of .559, an on base percentage of .356, an OPS of .914, and an OPS + of 141.
- Matt Olson – Olson is having a great MLB season out in Oakland with the pesky Athletics. Matt is the very consistent at the plate as well as while playing first base defensively for the Oakland A’s. He should be very proud of his statistics so far this year too.
- Cedric Mullins – This outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles is experiencing an outstanding run during the 2021 MLB regular season so far, but it definitely doesn’t help his cause that he plays for an extremely poor ball club right now in the last place of the AL East, Baltimore Orioles. Batting .315 with 21 dingers as well as 22 stolen bases isn’t bad at all son.
- Others Receiving Votes: Marcus Semien, Tim Anderson, Xander Bogaerts, Bo Bichette, Carlos Correa, and Michael Brantley.
2021 MLB National League MVP Award Race
- Fernando Tatis Jr. – Right now, Tatis Jr. (shortstop of the San Diego Padres) is the heavy frontrunner for the National League MVP award this year. As long as Fernando remains healthy for the remainder of the 2021 MLB season and does not hit an unbelievably bad slump at the plate, he should easily walk away with the NL MVP for 2021. Tatis Jr. is currently hitting .295 with a top of the National League in homers with 34 of those, he has compiled 75 RBIs, an OBP of .374, a SLG of .669, an OPS of 1.042, and an OPS + of 184.
- Bryce Harper – If for some reason the Philadelphia Phillies go on a massive tear and take over control of the highly – competitive NL East division of the MLB mostly attributed to the outstanding play of Bryce Harper then he may have a slight chance of winning the National League MVP award this season. It would be beneficial for the veteran right fielder if Tatis Jr. either misses extensive time during the last couple months of the 2021 MLB season or his numbers plummet greatly before this October. Bryce is carrying a batting average of .294, 22 home runs, 50 RBIs, 12 stolen bases, an OBP of .411, a SLG of .567, an OPS of .978, and an OPS + of 166.
- Max Muncy – Muncy plays first base and occasionally second base for the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, and due to the fact that other big – name LA Dodgers such as Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, and Corey Seager have been injured a sizable portion of this season Max has been really carrying the load for the Dodgers this year. He waves a big bat that has extreme power as he tees off from the batter’s box designated for the left – handed hitters. Muncy is hitting .276 with 28 HR, 75 RBIs, and a very respectable WAR of 5.9.
- Jesse Winker – Winker roams the outfield for the Cincinnati Reds. He was an MLB All – Star this year, and he got off to a tremendous start to the 2021 Major League Baseball season. Jesse has been a top of the list for the most doubles as well as total bases in the National League, and he is having a personal best for many other offensive statistical categories. Winker is developing into a great Major League Baseball player, but I don’t think he has done enough this year especially playing for a team that will not make the 2021 MLB playoffs unless a miracle happens for the Cincinnati Reds.
- Zack Wheeler – Wheeler is the only pitcher out of both the American and National League to make this list so he has been having a potential MVP campaign during the 2021 MLB season. This right – handed pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies has an overall record of 10 and 7, an ERA of 2.56, a WAR of 6.0, and Wheeler has punched out a total of 187 batters over the course of this year.
- Others Receiving Votes: Joey Votto, Trea Turner, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Juan Soto, Corbin Burnes, Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, Willy Adames, Walker Buehler, Bryan Reynolds, Adam Frazier, Nick Castellanos, Jacob deGrom, Chris Taylor, Jake Cronenworth, Kevin Gausman, and Manny Machado.
2021 MLB American League Cy Young Award Race
- Lance Lynn – Lynn is a right – handed starting pitcher for the first place Chicago White Sox. Lance is carrying an overall record of 10 wins and 3 losses, and currently he has posted a 2.26 ERA with 141 strikeouts throughout the 2021 MLB season. Lynn did miss time for a minor injury this year so hopefully that will not end up biting him in the long run as he does not make it in the top ten for innings pitched or strikeouts at the moment, but his ERA is considerably lower than all other American League starting pitches right now.
- Carlos Rodon – Another starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox that possess many of the characteristics of a Cy Young award – winning pitcher is Carlos Rodon. He pitched a no – hitter back on April 14th, 2021. The big left – handed Rodon has quite a presence on the mound for the Sox, and Carlos currently has a record of 9 and 5 with a sparkling ERA of 2.38 as well as 160 K’s so far during this 2021 MLB season. Lynn has been a more consistent pitcher this year, but Rodon has been neck and neck with Lance as the ace starter for the Chicago White Sox this year.
- Gerrit Cole – Cole has been widely considered the best pitcher in the entire Major League Baseball landscape over the course of the past 3 to 4 baseball seasons, and although he is enjoying quite a successful season this year with the New York Yankees he will need to drop a whole lot off of his current ERA in order to win his first Cy Young award for the 2021 MLB season. Gerrit’s strikeout total of 185 is quite impressive and his record of 11 and 6 is very solid right now, but I believe his ERA may be too high compared to other American League candidates.
- Other Possibilities: Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea, and Robbie Ray.
2021 MLB National League Cy Young Award Race
Zack Wheeler – See above section on Wheeler under the National League MVP award candidates.
- Brandon Woodruff – There are easily 2 to 3 2021 NL Cy Young award candidates on the Milwaukee Brewers team roster. If they want to try and catch the frontrunner in Zack Wheeler, they will have to finish off the 2021 MLB regular season tremendously well. Woodruff is a big, strong, and hard – throwing right – handed starting pitcher with exceptional numbers this year. Brandon has an ERA of 2.18 and 163 strikeouts during his 23 starts this season. Woodruff’s overall record of 7 and 6 could be better on the first place Milwaukee Brewers ball club, but other than that Brandon checks many of the boxes for a Cy Young pitcher in the big – leagues.
- Freddy Peralta – Peralta is another Milwaukee Brewers right – handed starting hurler that commands respect when he takes the mound either in Milwaukee or on the road. Freddy rocks an impressive record of 9 and 3 with the Brew – Crew during the 2021 MLB season so far. His 2.45 earned run average as well as 164 strikeouts is also very solid. In my opinion Peralta is having a better year than his teammate Brandon Woodruff, but Woodruff is more well – known due to his overall reputation. Cy Young awards are very hard to acquire so just being in the running for one is a great accomplishment in itself.
- Other Possibilities: Corbin Burnes, Jacob deGrom, Joe Musgrove, Trevor Rogers, Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer, and Kevin Gausman.
2021 American League Rookie of the Year Award Race
- Adolis Garcia (frontrunner), Luis Garcia, Casey Mize, Eric Haase, Emmanuel Clase, Shane McClanahan, Logan Gilbert, Randy Arozarena, and Akil Baddoo are all potential candidates to win the 2021 American League Rookie of the Year award.
2021 National League Rookie of the Year Award Race
- Trevor Rogers (frontrunner), Jonathan India, Ian Anderson, and Jazz Chisholm are all viable candidates to win the 2021 National League Rookie of the Year award.
“2 months left: Checking on '21 awards races”, Thomas Harrigan, mlb.com, August 2, 2021.
“MVP poll: Who are the favorites?”, Thomas Harrigan, mlb.com, August 17, 2021.
“Shohei Ohtani”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Vladimir Guerrero Jr.”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Rafael Devers”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Matt Olson”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Cedric Mullins”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Fernando Tatis Jr.”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Bryce Harper”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Max Muncy”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Jesse Winker”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Zack Wheeler”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Lance Lynn”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Carlos Rodon”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Gerrit Cole”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Brandon Woodruff”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
“Freddy Peralta”, baseball-reference.com, August 19, 2021.
Written by: David Green