Javy Báez is an NL MVP Award Finalist!

After some unpleasant news on Sunday night regarding the NL Second Base Gold Glove Award, it was announced that Cubs INF Javier Báez was one of the top vote recipients for the National League MVP Award, a well-deserved honor after an All-Star Game appearance and a league-leading 111 RBI to go along with 34 HR, joining Cubs Hall-of-Famers Rogers Hornsby, Ernie Banks and Ryne Sandberg as the only Cubs middle infielders with a 30/100 season. Báez is the fifth Cub to post these numbers during or before their age-25 season, joining Cubs legends Banks and Ron Santo as well as current stars INF Anthony Rizzo and INF Kris Bryant. “El Mago” finished the season hitting .290/.326/.554 with an .881 OPS and 126 OPS+ and continued to display defensive prowess in multiple positions, winning the Fielding Bible’s Multi-Position Award for the third consecutive year after spending time at second base, shortstop and third base.

Here is a rundown of the major 2018 postseason awards decided by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).

AL MVP

Mookie Betts, BOS OF

José Ramírez, CLE INF

Mike Trout, LAA OF

Who Should Win: Mike Trout

Trout has been MLB’s overall best player for years and was a leader again this year in OBP (.460), OPS (1.088) and OPS+ (199).

Who Will Win: Mookie Betts

Betts led Boston to a historic 108-win season and edged out Trout’s 10.2 bWAR with a total of 10.9 after speculation that Trout could post a record WAR total in 2018.

NL MVP

Nolan Arenado, COL INF

Javier Báez, CHC INF

Christian Yelich, MIL INF

Who Should Win: Javier Báez

“El Mago” powered the Cubs offense with a league-leading 111 RBI, and it is clear to Cubs fans that their 95-win season would not have been possible without his contributions due to the slow start by INF Anthony Rizzo and the multiple injuries to INF Kris Bryant, the 2016 NL MVP winner. Báez also played spectacular defense at second base, shortstop and third base.

Who Will Win: Christian Yelich

Yelich’s late season surged pushed the Brewers past the Cubs for the NL Central Division title and helped them make a postseason run to Game 7 of the National League Championship Series before they were eliminated by the Dodgers. He was a leader in BA (.326), SLG (.598), OPS (1.000) and OPS+ (164).

AL Cy Young Award

Corey Kluber, CLE SP

Blake Snell, TB SP

Justin Verlander, HOU SP

Who Should Win: Blake Snell

Snell was one of MLB’s most unhittable pitchers in 2018, with a league-leading 1.89 ERA, an astonishing ERA+ of 219 and an MLB-high 21 wins.

Who Will Win: Justin Verlander

I am pretty cynical about these awards. It’s my opinion that the baseball writers tend to favor previous winners, and Verlander is a highly decorated veteran player ranked at the top of Fangraphs’ advanced stats leaderboard for pitchers in 2018. Verlander had an MLB-leading WHIP of 0.902 and also was a leader in games started (34).

NL Cy Young Award

Jacob deGrom, NYM SP

Aaron Nola, PHI SP

Max Scherzer, WSH SP

Who Should Win: Jacob deGrom

Who Will Win: Jacob deGrom

It would be a crime against baseball not to give this award to deGrom after he posted an MLB-leading 1.70 ERA with an ERA+ of 216, not far behind Snell. deGrom was also a leader in allowing the fewest home runs per 9 innings (0.4) and posted a FIP of 1.98. The only strike against him is his unimpressive win-loss record of 10-9, which was due to his team’s poor run support. MLB fans should mount a rescue mission to relocate deGrom to a team that deserves him.

AL Rookie of the Year

Miguel Andújar, NYY INF

Shohei Ohtani, LAA SP/DH

Gleyber Torres, NYY INF

Who Should Win: Shohei Ohtani

Who Will Win: Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani accomplished a feat that has not been seen in MLB for nearly a century by hitting 15 HR during a season where he pitched 50 IP, which was last accomplished in MLB by Babe Ruth in 1919. Ohtani was later shut down from pitching after a severe elbow injury that later required Tommy John surgery and is unlikely to pitch for the Angels next year, which is a disappointing development to say the least.

NL Rookie of the Year

Ronald Acuña Jr., ATL OF

Walkher Buehler, LAD SP

Juan Soto, WSH OF

Who Should Win: Ronald Acuña Jr.

Who Will Win: Ronald Acuña Jr.

While Soto also had a very impressive rookie season, Acuña was a better power hitter and became the seventh player to hit 25 HR before the age of 21. Acuña finished the year hitting .293/.366/.552 with an OPS of .917 and an OPS+ of 144 with 26 HR and 64 RBI.

AL Manager of the Year

Kevin Cash, TB

Alex Cora, BOS

Bob Melvin, OAK

Who Should Win: Alex Cora

Who Will Win: Alex Cora

Cora’s first year as an MLB manager resulted in a historic run for the Red Sox with 108 regular season wins (best in MLB) and a World Series title.

NL Manager of the Year

Bud Black, COL

Craig Counsell, MIL

Brian Snitker, ATL

Who Should Win: Craig Counsell

Who Will Win: Craig Counsell

Counsell’s Brew Crew surged past the Cubs in September to win the NL Central Division championship and finish with the National League’s best record in a tiebreaking Game 163 thanks to the offensive and defensive leadership of Yelich and OF Lorenzo Cain, who were new acquisitions over the offseason, as well as one of the top bullpens in MLB.

P.S. Fuck the Brewers.