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The 2022 MLB regular season is winding down and the brand new Wild Card Series will begin this Friday. The best-of-three Wild Card Series will be followed by the League Division Series next Tuesday. Here's what you need to know about the postseason schedule and new format

MLB's major awards are regular season awards, and, as such, ballots must be submitted before the postseason begins. The awards winners are not announced until November, well after the World Series, but they are regular season awards only. What happens in the postseason has no bearing on the awards voting.

Because we don't feel like waiting around for the official awards announcement, our four CBS Sports MLB writers (R.J. Anderson, Mike Axisa, Dayn Perry, Matt Snyder) and two intrepid MLB editors (Kate Feldman and Stephen Pianovich) each cast a hypothetical ballot for the four major awards (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie and Manager of the Year) in each league. Our rules:

  • Our individual ballots for each award include three names. 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 include 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.

No, the regular season is not over yet, but it's close enough to being over (and the postseason races are all but wrapped) that nothing that happens between now and the end of the season Wednesday will change our votes, so we're casting our ballots now. 

Here are our midseason awards in case you want to see how much has changed/laugh at us for being so wrong. Now let's get to the CBS Sports MLB awards for the 2022 season.     

AL MVP: Aaron Judge, Yankees

Aaron Judge
NYY • CF • #99
BA0.311
R131
HR61
RBI130
SB16
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1st place2nd place3rd placePoints

Aaron Judge, Yankees

5

1

17

Shohei Ohtani, Angels

1

5

13

Yordan Alvarez, Astros

4

4

Andrés Giménez, Guardians

1

1

José Ramírez, Guardians

1

1

The AL MVP race is a race for third place. Judge is going to win, Ohtani is going to finish second, and it's a wide open race for third. That's not some super secret insider information. It's just pretty clear at this point Judge will beat out Ohtani for the award given his home run total and possible Triple Crown. I can't say for certain it will be unanimous but I do think it will be a lopsided win. Even voters who revere Ohtani will have a hard time voting for him over Judge. In our voting, Alvarez is ahead of the pack for third place, but I wouldn't bet the farm on the real voting playing out exactly that way. 

NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals

Paul Goldschmidt
STL • 1B • #46
BA0.319
R106
HR35
RBI114
SB7
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1st place2nd place3rd placePoints

Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals

4

2

14

Nolan Arenado, Cardinals

2

2

1

11

Manny Machado, Padres

3

1

7

Freddie Freeman, Dodgers

1

2

Sandy Alcantara, Marlins

1

1

Francisco Lindor, Mets

1

1

A sluggish September has brought Goldschmidt back to the pack a bit and made the NL MVP race closer than it appeared it would be a few weeks ago. That said, two Cardinals lead our voting (and also lead NL position players in WAR) and by a fairly large margin too. My hunch is Machado will fare better in the real voting now that the Padres have clinched a postseason berth. He was their best player all season with Fernando Tatis Jr. first injured and then suspended. Freeman has so much help with the Dodgers that it might cost him votes. Alcantara is the only pitcher in either league worthy of serious MVP consideration.

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Astros

Justin Verlander
HOU • SP • #35
ERA1.80
WHIP.85
IP170
BB28
K175
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1st place2nd place3rd placePoints

Justin Verlander, Astros

5

1

17

Dylan Cease, White Sox

4

8

Alek Manoah, Blue Jays

1

3

5

Framber Valdez, Astros

1

3

Shohei Ohtani, Angels

2

2

Shane McClanahan, Rays

1

1

Beginning with Blake Snell in 2018 and continuing with Corbin Burnes in 2021, voters are beginning to favor per-inning excellence over bulk workload. Verlander, in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, is a good 30 innings behind the AL leaders, but he also has substantial leads in ERA and WHIP, and is top 3-5 in just about every pitching rate stat that matters. Bottom line, a 1.80 ERA is never going to look out of place atop the Cy Young ballot, especially when no one else is below 2.20. Cease leads AL pitchers in WAR and has been terrific since early June.

NL Cy Young: Sandy Alcantara, Marlins

Sandy Alcantara
MIA • SP • #22
ERA2.28
WHIP.98
IP228.2
BB50
K207
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1st place2nd place3rd placePoints

Sandy Alcantara, Marlins

6

18

Max Fried, Braves

3

3

9

Zac Gallen, Diamondbacks

1

2

4

Julio Urías, Dodgers

2

4

Carlos Rodón, Giants

1

1

This year's easiest awards call. Alcantara combines per-inning greatness (second in the NL in ERA, fourth in WHIP, etc.) with an old school workhorse's workload. Entering play Monday, Alcantara led baseball in innings (by 28 2/3) and batters faced (by 77), and his 22 starts with at least seven innings pitched are seven more than anyone else. This one is a no-brainer. Alcantara will win the NL Cy Young award with ease, and he could/should be the first unanimous Cy Young winner in a 162-game season in either league since Clayton Kershaw in 2014. He will also be the first Cy Young winner in Marlins history.

AL Rookie of the Year: Julio Rodríguez, Mariners

Julio Rodriguez
SEA • CF • #44
BA0.284
R82
HR27
RBI74
SB25
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1st place2nd place3rd placePoints

Julio Rodríguez, Mariners

6

18

Adley Rutschman, Orioles

6

12

Steven Kwan, Guardians

5

5

George Kirby, Mariners

1

1

Similar to the AL MVP race, the AL Rookie of the Year race is a race for third. Rodríguez will win the award and Rutschman will finish in second -- for a few weeks there it looked like Rutschman could move ahead of Rodríguez, but Julio eventually pulled away -- and then there's everyone else. Kwan finishes third in our voting and seems like a good bet to finish third in the real voting. It should be noted that, according to the new collective bargaining agreement, finishing first or second in the Rookie of the Year voting will give Rutschman a full year of service time even though he wasn't called up until mid-May. That means he will be a free agent after the 2028 season rather than after 2029.

NL Rookie of the Year: Michael Harris II, Braves

Michael Harris
ATL • CF • #23
BA0.296
R75
HR19
RBI64
SB20
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1st place2nd place3rd placePoints

Michael Harris II, Braves

5

15

Spencer Strider, Braves

5

10

Brendan Donovan, Cardinals

4

4

Oneil Cruz, Pirates

1

1

Pick your Brave. Our voters went with the everyday player over the starting pitcher, and it could be that Strider's September oblique injury is what vaults Harris ahead in the real voting. With all due to respect to rookies like Cruz, Diamondbacks outfielder Jake McCarthy, Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki, and Reds hurlers Alexis Díaz and Nick Lodolo, the top three of the NL Rookie of the Year race appears set in stone. There's Harris and Strider, then Donovan, then everyone else.

(Note: One of our writers has an NL Rookie of the Year vote this season and abstained from our voting here.)

AL Manager of the Year: Terry Francona, Guardians


1st place2nd place3rd placePoints

Terry Francona, Guardians

2

3

1

13

Brandon Hyde, Orioles

2

1

2

10

Scott Servais, Mariners

1

1

2

7

Kevin Cash, Rays

1

3

Dusty Baker, Astros

1

2

Aaron Boone, Yankees

1

1

The Orioles becoming the first team since the 1890 Louisville Colonels to finish with at least a .500 record a year after losing 110 games wasn't enough to convince our voters Hyde is the AL Manager of the Year. That honor goes to Francona, who led a Guardians teams (very) few picked to reach the postseason to 90 wins and an AL Central title. Baltimore's major step forward could be enough to give Hyde the real award seeing how Manager of the Year is often given to the manager of the team that most exceeds expectations, and no team exceeded expectations more than the O's in 2022.

NL Manager of the Year: Dave Roberts, Dodgers


1st place2nd place3rd placePoints

Dave Roberts, Dodgers

3

1

10

Rob Thomson, Phillies

1

2

1

8

Oliver Marmol, Cardinals

1

3

6

Buck Showalter, Mets

1

1

1

6

Brian Snitker, Braves

3

6

The Dodgers came into the season as the projected best team in baseball and they certainly lived up to the billing, becoming the seventh team ever -- and only the third NL team along with the 1906 Cubs and 1909 Pirates -- to win 110 games in a season. Thomson did a remarkable job helping the Phillies turn their season around and the other managers above had fine years as well. Sometimes you just can't ignore historic greatness, and the Dodgers were so great this year that Roberts is our NL Manager of the Year.