New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom is named the National League Cy Young Award for the third straight year, and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts could be the second player to win the MVP award in any league.
The competition is of course tough.
DeGrom, Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish are the top finishers for the NL Cy Young Award when voted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Betts, Freddie Freeman and Manny Machado are the finalists for NL MVP.
The top three entrants for each BBWAA award were announced on Monday. The winners will be announced next week.
DeGrom was able to join Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux as the only pitchers to win at least three Cy Young Awards in a row. But Bauer had an NL-best 1.73 ERA in 11 starts for Cincinnati and Darvish went 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA in 12 starts for the Chicago Cubs, the equivalent of Cleveland Indian ace Shane Bieber for the MLB lead in wins .
Betts, who won the American League MVP award with Boston in 2018, helped the Dodgers win the World Series for the first time since 1988. Frank Robinson is the only player to win the MVP in every league and the feat in 1961 with Cincinnati and 1966 for Baltimore.
The voting for the BBWAA prizes was completed before the start of the postseason.
Freeman beat the Atlanta Braves with 13 homers and 53 RBIs .341 and Machado hit .304 with 16 homers and 47 RBIs for the San Diego Padres.
Bieber joined right-handed Kenta Maeda of Minnesota Twins and left-handed Hyun-Jin Ryu of Toronto Blue Jays as finalists for the AL Cy Young Award. Bieber is the strong favorite after the 25-year-old right-hander went 8-1 in 77⅓ innings with 1.63 ERA and 122 strokes, leading the majors in wins, ERA and strokes.
“My self-confidence continues to grow just because I came into the season or into the league in 2018,” said Bieber on the MLB Network. “I learn my things, find out, sharpen the breaking things and try to increase the speed as much as possible.” I can go from year to year was the big thing for me. ”
Chicago White Sox’s first baseman Jose Abreu, Indian infielder Jose Ramirez and New York Yankees front runner DJ LeMahieu are the top three players to vote for the AL MVP Award.
LeMahieu, who posted a major league high of .364, and Bauer are free agents after starring in the season shortened by the pandemic.
The top finishers in the AL Manager of the Year poll are Kevin Cash of Tampa Bay, Charlie Montoyo of Toronto and Rick Renteria, who were sacked by the White Sox after the team made the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Miami’s Don Mattingly, Jayce Tingler from San Diego and David Ross from the Cubs are finalists for NL Manager of the Year. Tingler and Ross have just finished their first seasons as skippers of the big league.
Mattingly led the Marlins to their first playoff appearance since 2003 despite dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that paused their season. Miami also lost 105 games last year.
“There have been a lot of people in our clubhouse and in our group this season who thought we were going to have pretty good pitching,” Mattingly said. “You can do a lot with it.”
The finalists for AL Rookie of the Year are right-handed Cristian Javier of the Houston Astros and midfielders Kyle Lewis of the Seattle Mariners and Luis Robert of the White Sox. Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies infielder, Jake Cronenworth of Padres and Devin Williams of Milwaukee Brewers are the top finishers for the NL Rookie Award.
The 25-year-old Lewis scored .262 in 58 games with 11 homers and 28 RBIs. He said playing 18 games with Seattle in September 2019 helped him a lot this year.
“It’s helped a lot, in terms of my nerves, of being able to slow down the game,” said Lewis. “Last year everything was so quick.”