MLB Season Predictions
By Judah Goldemberg
After an extremely eventful offseason, the MLB season is finally here. This season we will see many star players in new homes and new teams trying to compete for a World Series. Fans are excited to have baseball back, after an extended offseason, due to the lockout. Last season gave us many surprises and I expect many more to come this year. With that, here are my predictions for each major award.
American League MVP: Shohei Ohtani, DH/SP, Los Angeles Angels
Coming off an AL MVP last season, Shohei Ohtani has shown no signs of slowing down. Ohtani is a one of a kind baseball player, putting up historic numbers last season. He finished last season posting a .257 batting average with 46 home runs, all while pitching with a 3.18 ERA and a 9-2 record. So, what more does Ohtani have to do to secure this award? The answer is: nothing. He already looks to be improving at the pitcher position during spring training and assuming he can stay healthy, he could easily have a 50 home run season. It looks like Ohtani is looking like the second star Mike Trout has needed on his team his whole career, something that has prevented him from making deep playoff runs. If both of them continue to stay healthy and perform at elite levels, the Angels could be a dangerous team.
Runner up: Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
National League MVP: Juan Soto, LF, Washington Nationals
The MLB is in great hands for the future because of all its young talent, and Juan Soto is a great example of this. At only 23 years of age, Soto has already won a World Series, been selected to the All-Star game, and he is a 2x Silver Slugger. He has lead the league in on-base percentage (OBP) the past two seasons and is poised to have another great year. Soto has the ability to become one of the best players the league has ever seen. To think that he is one of the best players in the league right now and he is only 23 is still baffling. I think he has this award locked up this year, but then again, anything can happen in the MLB.
Runner Up: Ronald Acuña, OF, Atlanta Braves
American League Cy Young: Shane Bieber, SP, Cleveland Guardians
After suffering a shoulder injury during the 2021 season, Shane Bieber is expected to be fully ready to go for this upcoming season. Bieber posted a ridiculous 1.63 ERA during the shortened 2020 season and that was just a glimpse of what he can do in the future when healthy. Last season, he had a 7-4 record as a starter, and was selected to the All-Star game. Bieber is expected to continue to be a dominant force in the majors and is my favorite for this award.
Runner Up: Dylan Cease, SP, Chicago White Sox
National League Cy Young: Walker Buehler, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Walker Buehler, the 27 year-old out of Vanderbilt University, has been a key component to the Dodgers success over the past few years. Buehler had a significant impact on Los Angeles during their 2020 title run. With the departure of Max Scherzer in free agency and Trevor Bauer’s uncertain legal status, Buehler is expected to be the ace on this stacked Dodgers team. Buehler finished last season with a 2.47 ERA and a 16-4 record, while leading the league in games started.
Runner Up: Max Scherzer, SP, New York Mets
American League Rookie of the Year: Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles
This award is extremely up in the air. The American League has a lot of young stars that could break out this year such as Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez, and Tigers first basemen Spencer Torkelson. However, my pick for the AL Rookie of the Year is former number one pick Adley Rutschman. Although currently dealing with a tricep injury, when he returns this season he is expected to be a young star for the struggling Orioles. Last year in the minors Rutschman had a .285 batting average and .899 OPS. If Rutschman returns, I can see him running away with this award and becoming one of the top catchers in the league.
Runner Up: Tie: Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Kansas City Royals/Julio Rodriguez, OF, Seattle Mariners
National League Rookie of the Year: Seiya Suzuki, OF, Chicago Cubs
The Japanese slugger made his way to the majors this offseason and has already shown he can be one of the top hitters in the MLB. Seiya Suzuki had a .309 batting average and a .943 OPS in his career in Japan. Although he is already 27, he has proven he can hit the ball amongst the top players in Japan, and the Cubs believe that talent will transfer over to the majors. We have seen lots of talent come from Japan, such as Shohei Ohtani (mentioned earlier), and Suzuki looks to add to the list.
Runner Up: C.J. Abrams, SS, San Diego Padres
The upcoming season is expected to bring lots of entertainment and quality baseball. Opening Day is just behind us, and before you know it we’ll be into playoff baseball in October. The World Series as well as every award is up for grabs. Although there are many uncertainties as to what will happen, this season looks to be action packed.