2019 MLB Awards: CBS Sports staff picks for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and more

The 2019 MLB regular season is nearly complete. Most postseason races are finalized and, realistically, nothing that happens this weekend will change the various awards races drastically. The players have made their cases over the last six months.

With 98.1 percent of the season in the books -- 2,384 of 2,430 regular-season games have been played -- and the final weekend upon us, this is as good a time as any to dole out end-of-season awards. The story of the 2019 season is mostly written, after all.

To hand out our season awards, our five CBS Sports MLB scribes (R.J. Anderson, Katherine Acquavella, Mike Axisa, Dayn Perry, Matt Snyder) each cast a hypothetical ballot for each award (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie and Manager of the Year). Our rules:

  • Our individual ballots for each award were only three names deep. In reality, the MVP ballot is 10 players deep and the Cy Young ballot is five players deep. Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year each includes three slots.
  • The scoring system: Three points for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote, and one point for a third-place vote. Most points wins. Nice and easy.

For reference, here are our 2019 midseason awards from July. Below are our 2019 end-of-season award voting results for the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie and Manager of the Year in each league, with a short explanation. Let's get to it.

AL MVP: Mike Trout, Angels


First PlaceSecond PlaceThird PlacePoints

Mike Trout, Angels

5

15

Alex Bregman, Astros

4

1

9

Marcus Semien, Athletics

1

3

5

DJ LeMahieu, Yankees

1

1

Unfortunately, a nagging foot injury ended Trout's season earlier this month, but he remains the best and most valuable player in baseball. Trout set career highs in home runs (45) and slugging percentage (.645), and he still leads the American League in WAR despite not playing since Sept. 7. It's unfortunate the team around him isn't all that good. It would be great for the game to have Trout in the postseason each and every year.

Bregman would be a very deserving MVP in most non-Trout seasons. He's a brilliant all-around player who has been a rock for the league's best team, a team that lost numerous star players to injuries throughout the season. Semien might not be getting the same publicity as teammate Matt Chapman, but he has had the better year, and he's a legitimate impact guy on both sides of the ball. What a year for him. LeMahieu has been great all season for the injury-ravaged Yankees.

NL MVP: Cody Bellinger, Dodgers


First PlaceSecond PlaceThird PlacePoints

Cody Bellinger, Dodgers

4

1

14

Christian Yelich, Brewers

1

4

11

Anthony Rendon, Nationals

5

5

Yelich's freak knee injury took the steam out of a great MVP race. You could argue he still deserves MVP -- one of our voters believes he does -- given how productive he was and how much the Brewers needed that production. The argument against Bellinger is that his team hasn't played a meaningful game in weeks because the Dodgers built such a huge division lead. It's not a good argument, but it is an argument. Bellinger has been the best player on the league's best team and that always equals MVP support.

It's real easy to build an MVP narrative for Rendon. The Nationals were floundering in May before getting crazy hot and securing a postseason berth, and he has been the team's best player all year. Rendon is a quiet superstar and one of the most productive players in the game. He would be a deserving MVP winner in a year without guys doing what Bellinger and Yelich have done. Shout out to Diamondbacks two-way threat Ketel Marte. He has had a great year and would've been fourth on most of our ballots.

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Astros


First PlaceSecond PlaceThird PlacePoints

Justin Verlander, Astros

3

2

13

Gerrit Cole, Astros

2

3

12

Shane Bieber, Indians

3

3

Lance Lynn, Rangers

1

1

Charlie Morton, Rays

1

1

It is a two-Astro race. Cole has struck out more batters this season than any American League pitcher in over 40 years, and he has the league's lowest ERA as well. Verlander is right behind him in ERA, however, plus he has thrown more innings and is threatening 300 strikeouts himself. Cole and Verlander can become the first teammates to finish first and second in the Cy Young voting since Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling with the 2002 D-Backs. They would be the first American League teammates to accomplish the feat.

The race for third place behind Verlander and Cole is heated. Bieber, Lynn, Morton, White Sox righty Lucas Giolito and Rangers lefty Mike Minor all have strong cases for third-place votes. A closer like A's righty Liam Hendriks or Yankees lefty Aroldis Chapman could get some Cy Young love as well, though third-place votes would be aggressive. Bieber finishes third in our voting but it is hardly clear-cut. Lots of guys are worthy of finishing behind Verlander and Cole.

NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom, Mets


First PlaceSecond PlaceThird PlacePoints

Jacob deGrom, Mets

5

15

Max Scherzer, Nationals

1

3

5

Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers

2

4

Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

2

4

Jack Flaherty, Cardinals

2

2

In our midseason awards, deGrom did not receive a single Cy Young vote. He stumbled a bit early in the season but has been just remarkable the past five months or so, putting himself in position to become the first back-to-back Cy Young winner since, well, Scherzer in 2016 and '17. Not that long ago. Ryu's second-half fade has him slipping in the Cy Young race and Scherzer's nagging back issue a few weeks ago will cost him some votes, I imagine.

The National League pitching crop is incredibly deep this year. In addition to those five men above, Reds righties Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray could receive Cy Young votes, ditto Nationals southpaw Patrick CorbinBraves rookie Mike Soroka, Dodgers stars Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler and even Cubs righty Yu Darvish. Don't let our voting results fool you. The NL Cy Young race is pretty wide open.

AL Rookie of the Year: Yordan Alvarez, Astros


First PlaceSecond PlaceThird PlacePoints

Yordan Alvarez, Astros

5

15

John Means, Orioles

3

2

8

Brandon Lowe, Rays

2

2

6

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays

1

1

Unanimous, as it should be. Alvarez has been a devastating offensive weapon since being called up in June. He has squeezed a full season's worth of production into a half-season's worth of playing time. Hard to think Alvarez won't win this year's Rookie of the Year Award unanimously. It's clear as day. Means has been the bright spot on an otherwise crummy Orioles team, and Lowe might have challenged Alvarez for the award had he not gotten hurt. The Blue Jays' second-generation big leaguers (Vlad Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio) could all receive Rookie of the Year votes.

NL Rookie of the Year: Pete Alonso, Mets


First PlaceSecond PlaceThird PlacePoints

Pete Alonso, Mets

5

15

Mike Soroka, Braves

4

1

9

Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres

1

4

6

Had Tatis not gone down with a groin injury in May and a season-ending back injury in August, the Rookie of the Year race could've come down to the wire. Tatis was that impressive. But the injuries happened, and Alonso is shattering home run records on a near daily basis, making him the obvious Rookie of the Year at this point. Soroka has been great as well. Other notables in an incredibly deep National League rookie crop include Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds, Nationals outfielder Victor Robles, Padres righty Chris Paddack, Marlins righty Sandy Alcantara, Cardinals utility man Tommy Edman and Dodgers outfielder Alex Verdugo.

AL Manager of the Year: Aaron Boone, Yankees


First PlaceSecond PlaceThird PlacePoints

Aaron Boone, Yankees

4

1

14

Rocco Baldelli, Twins

1

4

11

Bob Melvin, Athletics

5

5

Generally speaking, the Manager of the Year Award is the "manager of the team that most exceeded expectations" award, and Boone is decidedly not that. The Yankees were projected to be a World Series contender this year and they won the AL East title with ease. The injuries changed the calculus, however. The Yankees have put a record number of players on the injured list this season, yet you wouldn't know it by their record. New York could've easily crumbled under the injuries but Boone didn't let it happen. Baldelli is a serious challenger for the award and could very well win it given his team's success.

NL Manager of the Year: Craig Counsell, Brewers


First PlaceSecond PlaceThird PlacePoints

Craig Counsell, Brewers

1

2

2

9

Mike Shildt, Cardinals

2

1

7

Dave Roberts, Dodgers

2

6

Brian Snitker, Braves

2

2

6

Dave Martinez, Nationals

1

1

Our most wide-open race. Roberts received two first-place votes and was left off the other three ballots entirely. Counsell appeared in all three voting slots, and Shildt received two first-place votes and was left off two ballots. Counsell edges out the other candidates because the Brewers have overcome injuries and pitching deficiencies to secure a postseason berth. Manager of the Year in the National League might be the most unpredictable award this year. Any of the five men above could plausibly win it.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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