MLB midseason review: Forecasting the 2017 award winners

We’ve already talked about the surprises and disappointments this season in Major League Baseball. And we’ve revised our World Series picks after what we’ve seen in the first half. Now, in the conclusion of our midseason review series, The Stew is forecasting this year’s award winners.

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And, surprise, it’s not all Aaron Judge. Well in the MVP race, anyway.

These are our picks for the MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year in both leagues. Disagree? Leave your picks in the comment section.

Jose Altuve can catch Aaron Judge for AL MVP, perhaps. (AP)

CHRIS CWIK
AL MVP: Jose Altuve (Astros)
NL MVP: Bryce Harper (Nationals)
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale (Red Sox)
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer (Nationals)
AL Rookie of the Year: Aaron Judge (Yankees)
NL Rookie of the Year: Cody Bellinger (Dodgers)
AL Manager of the Year: A.J. Hinch (Astros)
NL Manager of the Year: Craig Counsell (Brewers)

I want to pick Mike Trout for AL MVP. I really do. But he has a few things going against him that should penalize him among voters. His team might not make the playoffs, he’s already missed time and his fWAR gap with Aaron Judge is significant. You know who has none of those concerns? Jose Altuve. The Astros will easily make the postseason and Altuve is only 0.5 fWAR away from Judge. That’s close enough to debate now, but if he continues to close the gap, and the Yankees miss out on the playoffs, I could see Altuve stealing the award in the second half. (Chris Cwik)

Can Carlos Correa overtake Aaron Judge in the AL? (AP)

MIKE OZ
AL MVP:
Carlos Correa (Astros)
NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks)
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale (Red Sox)
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer (Nationals)
AL Rookie of the Year: Aaron Judge (Yankees)
NL Rookie of the Year: Cody Bellinger (Dodgers)
AL Manager of the Year: A.J. Hinch (Astros)
NL Manager of the Year: Torey Lovullo (Diamondbacks)

I guess there’s one pretty hot take in there — Aaron Judge not being picked as my MVP. Here’s my thinking: Judge’s otherworldly start defies numbers in some ways. It’s not out of the question that he comes back to earth a bit. Not that I expect him to be a second-half disappointment necessarily, but history says that .420 BABIP is not sustainable. So if Judge falls back a little, I like Correa to surge to the top. He’s already having a great season. He’s one of the few Astros to earn a spot in the MVP discussion, actually. But I can see Correa really picking things up from now until the playoffs.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo (AP)

LIZ ROSCHER
AL MVP: Aaron Judge (Yankees)
NL MVP: Justin Turner (Dodgers)
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale (Red Sox)
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
AL Rookie of the Year: Aaron Judge (Yankees)
NL Rookie of the Year: Cody Bellinger (Dodgers)
AL Manager of the Year: Paul Molitor (Twins)
NL Manager of the Year: Torey Lovullo (Diamondbacks)

As the brand new manager of the Diamondbacks, Torey Lovullo was hired into a pretty thankless job. The Diamondbacks had high hopes of competing a few years ago, but bad trades, bad strategy, and bad luck led to a major housecleaning after yet another disappointing season in 2016. Lovullo didn’t have any of that D-backs failure stink on him, but he still had to deal with the aftermath. He could have been forgiven for just treading water this first season as the rest of the D-backs new front office hires figure out what they want to do with the future. But instead, he’s helped bring out the talent on a team that has plenty already, and he’s plugged that talent into games like a Lite Brite. The D-backs success has definitely been helped by a pathetic Giants team and a continually non-competitive Padres club, but there’s definitely something about these Diamondbacks. You can’t call them “new-look” because they didn’t make a lot of on-field changes between 2016 and 2017. The biggest change they made was their manager, and that seems to be working out just fine.

Nolan Arenado for MVP? Maybe. (AP)

MARK TOWNSEND
AL MVP: George Springer (Astros)
NL MVP: Nolan Arenado (Rockies)
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale (Red Sox)
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer (Nationals)
AL Rookie of the Year: Aaron Judge (Yankees)
NL Rookie of the Year: Cody Bellinger (Dodgers)
AL Manager of the Year: Paul Molitor (Twins)
NL Manager of the Year: Bud Black (Rockies)

The MVP races are by far the most interesting this season. I feel like Aaron Judge would be a lot of people’s current AL favorite, but I think what Springer is doing and will continue to do will become impossible to deny. He’s putting up amazing numbers as a leadoff man and is the best player on baseball’s best team. As for Arenado, if Colorado is going to hold its ground in the second half, I feel like he’ll have to do a lot of the heavy lifting. This will be his opportunity to shine, and I think he’ll embrace it. (Mark Townsend)

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!