We’re 9 days away!
A lot of fantasy drafts are happening this week and if you’re still researching who to draft, check out our team-by-team division-by-division breakdown.
Now let’s get down to the fun and make some way too early, 2018 predictions for MVPs, Cy Young’s, and ROYs!
Mike Trout and Jose Altuve. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. Josh Donaldson and Francisco Lindor. Jose Ramirez and Carlos Correa.
Take your pick. Trout, Altuve, Stanton and Donaldson have been MLB AL MVP Award winners. Lindor and Judge probably will be one day.
Same goes for SS Carlos Correa who hasn’t won the award yet, but is my bold prediction to win in 2018.
The 2015 rookie of the year is coming off a pretty freakin’ impressive 2017 campaign despite injuries.
At the All-Star break, he was hitting .325 with 20 homers and 65 RBIs in 81 games. He played through the thumb injury for the last few games prior to the All-Star break before the surgery kept him out for 42 games.
The final numbers were good – a .315 average with 24 homers and 84 RBIs – and he walloped five dingers in the playoffs, including two in the World Series.
Expect him to pick up where he left off last year while hitting in this highly potent offense. Correa will enjoy the luxury of having Springer, Bergman, and Altuve being threats on the base paths all while being protected by slugger Josh Reddick.
There’s a similar dynamic in the National League with Joey Votto, Anthony Rendon, Paul Goldschmidt and Kris Bryant bunched atop everyone’s list in some order.
Although I do love Rendon in D.C this year; I also love OF Bryce Harper for one big reason, his upcoming contract.
The superstar avoided his last year of arbitration this year, but is eyeing becoming MLB’s first 400 million-dollar player. (bold 2019 prediction: NY Yankees reclaim their nickname of the Bank-yees)
The five-time All-Star is coming off what was arguably his second-best season in the majors, batting .319 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI. Only his 2015 MVP campaign eclipsed his 2017 outfit when he slashed .330/42/99.
Expect Bryce Harper to have a chip on his shoulder this year, as he looks to make history this coming off-season.
AL Cy Young
We have some heavy favorites in this division with Verlander and Chris Sale. But I also like the entire Indians starting rotation with Carasco and Kluber. But I’m throwing a curveball here and choosing Trevor Bauer for my 2018 Cy Young prediction.
In 2017, he averaged 10 strikeouts per nine innings and posted a 3.3 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. Kluber won the AL Cy Young Award in 2017 and is the ace of Cleveland’s staff, but Bauer is a big reason the Indians had the AL’s best rotation in ’17.
Nobody expected Trevor Bauer to win 17 games last season. Especially not after how his season started with an ERA of 6.26 in April. But it’s a long season and Bauer knows that. He turned things around with ERAs below 3.00 in August and September.
Bauer’s curveball was devastating and it only got better as the season went on. Teams were batting .192 and .189 in the last two months of the year against his curve.
Bauer certainly wasn’t the most consistent pitcher for the Tribe, but when he gets settled in he can hang with the best of them. He is also an elite trash talker, something we shouldn’t forget.
ICYMI: Trevor Bauer with a priceless play-by-play of how he reminded Avisail Garcia of the rules of baseball pic.twitter.com/iVLu4hR0Wo
— SportsTime Ohio (@SportsTimeOhio) September 5, 2017
MLB 2018 MVP, CY And ROY Predictions Cont…
NL CY Young
I’ll be a little more traditional on this prediction, only because every 5 games opposing teams of the Dodgers pray for rain as they prepare to face the dominant Clayton Kershaw.
My only concern here is that health will likely be the biggest obstacle for Kershaw, who won the award in 2011, 2013 and 2014. He appeared headed for another MLB Cy Young in each of the last two seasons but has been sidelined by a back injury in both seasons. He made 27 starts in 2017 and 21 starts in 2016, and has managed more than 27 starts just once in the last four seasons.
AL Rookie of the Year
I typically like hitters for this award, but my head turns for SP Michael Kopeck who has the chance to be one of the most electric starting pitchers in all of baseball. With a fastball that has touched 105 mph in live action, this flamethrower may find himself blowing hitters away at an alarming clip in 2018. His only hurdle, like most young pitchers….control.
NL Rookie of the Year
Baseball fans, meet OF Ronald Acuna; one of the funnest players to watch
The 20-year-old outfielder has drawn early comparisons to the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, setting huge expectations on the young phenom’s shoulders. With the Braves still going through a rebuild, Acuna should find himself in the bigs sooner rather than later. He’ll start the season in Triple-A, but I’m expecting that stint to be short as he posted absolutely ridiculous numbers this Spring.
Acuna entered Monday ranked second in the majors in average (.432), on-base percentage (.519), slugging percentage (.727) and OPS (1.392) during spring training. He led the Grapefruit League in each of those categories.
The 20-year-old phenom was tied for second in the majors in hits (19) and tied for first in the Grapefruit League in homers with four, one behind the major league leaders before Monday.
Acuna, the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball, has been arguably the best all-around player in the Grapefruit League this spring.