MLB announces major award finalists: Top three listed for MVP, Cy Young, Manager and Rookie of the Year

Last week, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) announced the three top vote-getters -- i.e., the finalists -- for the major individual awards for 2018. One award per night will be handed out this week, starting with the Rookie of the Year honors on Monday night.

Miguel Andujar, Shohei Ohtani and Gleyber Torres are the RoY finalists in the American League. Ronald Acuna Jr., Walker Buehler and Juan Soto are the final three up for the award in the National League. Ohtani and Acuna are the betting favorites in their respective leagues.

Here's a quick explainer on how the BBWAA vote works for individual awards ... 

Now here's a look at the last men standing (players listed in alphabetical order):  

AL Manager of the Year

Kevin Cash, Rays - Guided Tampa Bay to first 90-win season since 2013 and a 10-game improvement over 2017. 

Alex Cora, Red Sox - In Cora's first season, the Red Sox won a franchise-record 108 games in the regular season and then won the World Series despite having to face the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers in the playoffs.

Bob Melvin, Athletics - The surprise A's won 97 games in the tough AL West (a 22-game improvement) and claimed a spot in the AL Wild Card Game. 

This one's a bit hard to figure, as all three will likely have their supporters. Given the extent to which the A's surprised us all in 2018, Melvin is likely the narrow favorite to win the award for the second time in his career (he also has an NL Manager of the Year award to his credit). 

NL Manager of the Year

Bud Black, Rockies - The Rockies reached the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time in franchise history. The 91 wins was the second-most in franchise history. 

Craig Counsell, Brewers - Milwaukee under Counsell upset the Cubs in the NL Central and pushed the Dodgers to seven games in the NLCS.

Brian Snitker, Braves - The Braves arrived ahead of schedule and won the NL East over the heavily favored Nationals. It was Atlanta's first division title since 2013.

Snitker seems likely to win the award. The Braves coming into 2018 were thought to be still coming out of a deep rebuild, but instead they stunned baseball by comfortably winning the NL East. 

AL Rookie of the Year

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Miguel Andujar NYY • 3B • 41
BA.297
R83
HR27
RBI92
SB2
OPS+126
WAR2.2
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Shohei Ohtani LAA • DH • 17
PA367
HR22
OPS+152
Hitting/baserunning/defense WAR2.7
IP51 2/3
ERA+126
Pitching WAR1.2
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Gleyber Torres NYY • 2B • 25
BA.271
R54
HR24
RBI77
SB6
OPS+118
WAR2.9

Ohtani is widely regarded as the favorite, what with the value he provided at the plate and on the mound (all while, of course, taking up only a single roster spot). Even though Ohtani was limited by elbow troubles, he still had a strong debut season that exceeded most expectations. 

NL Rookie of the Year

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Ronald Acuna ATL • LF • 13
BA.293
R78
HR26
RBI64
SB16
OPS+144
WAR4.1
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Walker Buehler LAD • SP • 21
ERA2.62
WHIP.96
IP137.1
BB37
K151
ERA+148
WAR3.4
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Juan Soto WAS • LF • 22
BA.292
R77
HR22
RBI70
SB5
OPS+142
WAR3.0

This one's a compelling race all around, and you could plausibly argue for any of the three finalists. The guess here, though, is that Acuna takes the vote thanks to his well-rounded game. He hits, fields and runs the bases well, and that's reflected in his lofty WAR, which he compiled in just 111 games.

AL Cy Young

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Corey Kluber CLE • SP • 28
ERA2.89
WHIP.99
IP215.0
BB34
K222
ERA+151
WAR5.9
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Blake Snell TB • SP • 4
ERA1.89
WHIP.97
IP180.2
BB64
K221
ERA+219
WAR7.5
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Justin Verlander HOU • SP • 35
ERA2.52
WHIP.90
IP214.0
BB37
K290
ERA+159
WAR6.2

From the outside, this one looks like it'll come to do Verlander against Snell. Snell, though, figures to win somewhat comfortably given that sub-2.00 ERA. For Verlander, he'll likely be a Cy Young runner-up for the third time in his career.

NL Cy Young

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Jacob deGrom NYM • SP • 48
ERA1.70
WHIP.91
IP217.0
BB46
K269
ERA+216
WAR9.6
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Aaron Nola PHI • SP • 27
ERA2.37
WHIP.97
IP212.1
BB58
K224
ERA+175
WAR10.5
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Max Scherzer WAS • SP • 31
ERA2.53
WHIP.91
IP220.2
BB51
K300
ERA+168
WAR8.8

Middling win total aside (he went 10-9 thanks mostly to bad run support and bad bullpen support), deGrom is the obvious and indisputable choice here. Expect him to win with ease. This is a much stronger field than what you saw in the AL. 

AL MVP

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Mookie Betts BOS • RF • 50
BA.346
R129
HR32
RBI80
SB30
OPS+186
WAR10.9
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Jose Ramirez CLE • 3B • 11
BA.270
R110
HR39
RBI105
SB34
OPS+150
WAR7.9
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Mike Trout LAA • CF • 27
BA.312
R101
HR39
RBI79
SB24
OPS+199
WAR10.2

Surprised not to see J.D. Martinez? There's no disputing his brilliance at the plate, but it's hard for a primary DH to crack the top of the vote. (Something tells us that World Series ring will provide ample consolation for Mr. Martinez.) As for the names above, Betts, like Trout and Ramirez, did it in every phase of the game. He figures to be the modest favorite over Trout. That would make the fourth time in eight seasons that Trout has finished runner-up in the AL MVP balloting.

NL MVP

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Nolan Arenado COL • 3B • 28
BA.297
R104
HR38
RBI110
SB2
OPS+133
WAR5.6
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Javier Baez CHC • 2B • 9
BA.290
R101
HR34
RBI111
SB21
OPS+126
WAR6.3
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Christian Yelich MIL • LF • 22
BA.326
R118
HR36
RBI110
SB22
OPS+164
WAR7.6

Thanks in part to his stretch-drive surge, Yelich is the heavy favorite in this one. Did Lorenzo Cain (6.9 WAR) suffer from a "split the Milwaukee vote" dynamic? He's certainly got a case to be among the top three. Arenado has ensured his highest ever finish in the NL MVP vote. 


The winners of those aforementioned awards will be announced live on MLB Network at 6 p.m. ET according to the following schedule:

  • Rookie of the Year: Monday, Nov. 12
  • Manager of the Year: Tuesday, Nov. 13
  • Cy Young: Wednesday, Nov. 14
  • MVP: Thursday, Nov. 15

So ... who ya got?

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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