Tuesday, December 7 2021

With just more than a month remaining in Major League Baseball’s regular season, there’s very little USA TODAY Sports’ power ranking voters agree on regarding postseason awards.

Here’s one of them: This is Shohei Ohtani‘s year.

Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels‘ two-way star putting together an unprecedented season, was a unanimous choice for American League Most Valuable Player in balloting conducted by our seven-person panel.

While Ohtani’s Angels are just about out of playoff contention, his dominance at the plate and on the mound is too overwhelming to ignore. Ohtani leads the major leagues with 41 home runs and his .986 OPS ranks fourth. His 20 stolen bases make him the first player since Curtis Granderson in 2013 to produce a 40-homer, 20-steal season.

Shohei Ohtani is the leading candidate to win the AL MVP award.Shohei Ohtani is the leading candidate to win the AL MVP award.

Shohei Ohtani is the leading candidate to win the AL MVP award.

And then there’s his pitching: 127 strikeouts in 105 innings, a 3.00 ERA, an adjusted ERA of 153 and an 8-1 record.

Ohtani the hitter’s 4.4 Wins Above Replacement is tied for eighth in the AL.

FOUR TEAMS, THREE SPOTS: How AL East playoff run could play out

Ohtani the pitcher’s 3.4 WAR ranks eighth in the AL. And his 7.8 WAR is unparalleled in baseball.

Here’s a look at voting on the six major awards, with stats entering Monday’s games:

AL MVP

Player, team, points (first-place votes)

1. Shohei Ohtani, Angels 98 (7)

2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays 63

3. Matt Olson, Athletics 51

4. Aaron Judge, Yankees 46

5. Marcus Semien, Blue Jays 35

6. Rafael Devers, Red Sox 27

7. Jose Abreu, White Sox 23

t-8. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland 21

t-8. Carlos Correa, Astros 21

10. Cedric Mullins, Orioles 13

Salvador Perez, Royals, 7; Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox, 6; Tim Anderson, White Sox, 2; Bo Bichette, Blue Jays 1.

Notable: In a tribute to their balanced roster and admirable depth, no player from the Tampa Bay Rays – who have the best record in the AL – received a vote.

AL Cy Young

Player, team, points (first-place votes)

1. Gerrit Cole, Yankees 43 (5)

2. Robbie Ray, Blue Jays 30 (2)

3. Lance Lynn, White Sox 24

4. Chris Bassitt, Athletics 14

5. Carlos Rodon, White Sox 6

Zack Greinke, Astros 1; Shohei Ohtani, Angels, 1.

Notable: Cole (200) and Ray (192) rank 1-2 in strikeouts, while Ray is second in ERA (2.72) and Cole third (2.80) behind Lynn (2.59).

AL Rookie

Player, team, points (first-place votes)

1. Randy Arozarena, Rays 25 (3)

2. Adolis Garcia, Rangers 23 (3)

3. Luis Garcia, Astros 8 (1)

Ryan Mountcastle, Orioles, 3; Casey Mize, Tigers, 3; Wander Franco, Rays, 1.

Notable: Garcia hit 22 first-half home runs with an .840 OPS and was the lone player in this group to make the All-Star Game, but he’s hit just seven homers with a .261 OBP and .689 OPS since the break.

NL MVP

Player, team, points (first-place votes)

1. Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres 93 (6)

2. Max Muncy, Dodgers 52

3. Bryce Harper, Phillies 41

4. Brandon Crawford, Giants 38 (1)

5. Willy Adames, Brewers 35

6. Trea Turner, Dodgers 34

7. Juan Soto, Nationals 29

8. Austin Riley, Braves 23

9. Joey Votto, Reds 21

10. Jake Cronenworth, Padres 11

Manny Machado, Padres, 9; Jesse Winker, Reds, 8; Walker Buehler, Dodgers 7; Nick Castellanos, Reds, 5; Freddie Freeman, Braves, 4; Ozzie Albies, Braves, 2; Will Smith, Dodgers, 1.

Notable: If Tatis and Ohtani claim the MVPs and their teams miss the playoffs, it will mark the first time both MVPs did not make the postseason since 1987, when the Chicago Cubs’ Andre Dawson and Toronto’s George Bell won.

NL Cy Young

Player, team, points (first-place votes)

1. Walker Buehler, Dodgers 49 (7)

2. Brandon Woodruff, Brewers 19

3. Corbin Burnes, Brewers 17

4. Kevin Gausman, Giants 15

t-5. Max Scherzer, Dodgers 7

t-5. Zack Wheeler, Phillies 7

Wade Miley, Reds, 2; Joe Musgrove, Padres, 1; Adam Wainwright, Cardinals 1; Freddy Peralta, Brewers, 1.

Notable: Burnes is second in ERA (2.30) and first in strikeout-walk ratio (6.92), but after missing multiple starts after a COVID-19 infection, has pitched 36 fewer innings than Buehler and 18 less than Woodruff.

NL Rookie

Player, team, points (first-place votes)

1. Jonathan India, Reds 35 (7)

2. Trevor Rogers, Marlins 19

3. Patrick Wisdom, Cubs 6

4. Jazz Chisholm, Marlins 2

5. Dylan Carlson, Cardinals 1

Notable: India joins Buehler and Ohtani as the only players to receive unanimous support from our panel.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB awards: Shohei Ohtani’s historic year has him primed for MVP honor

Source: Yahoo Sports

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