The latest 2022 MLB award races recap includes a relatively open NL Cy Young contest.
American League MVP
1. Aaron Judge, Yankees
Judge had gotten hot, raising his average from .299 to .310 over the past ten games while smashing his 56th and 57th home runs of the year against the Red Sox. Most seasons, this AL MVP race would not be close with how well Judge has played.
2. Shohei Ohtani, Angels
However, Ohtani’s performance makes it not a total slam-dunk for Judge with the season winding down. Ohtani’s pitching (two runs allowed over his past 19 innings) is the headline right now, and it’s simply crazy to write those pitching numbers for a guy with 34 home runs.
3. Jose Ramirez, Guardians
There are other players in the discussion for No. 3, but AL MVP is an absolute lock to come down to Judge or Ohtani at this point. Still, Ramirez is enjoying an excellent season headlined by 111 RBI.
National League MVP
1. Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
Goldschmidt is in a relative cold streak, but he’s now up to 101 runs scored and 110 RBI to go along with his 35 home runs for the first-place Cardinals.
2. Freddie Freeman, Dodgers
Freeman has homered in three of his past five games (bringing his season total to 20), and it looks like he might be able to make the NL MVP more interesting than anticipated. Freeman now leads the majors in average (.329) and hits (181).
3. Trea Turner, Dodgers
Austin Riley and Mookie Betts have both been at No. 3 for a while, but I’m going to give some recognition to Trea Turner this week. The Dodgers shortstop is hitting .305 with 20 home runs, 90 runs scored 96 RBI, and 24 stolen bases in 2022.
American League Cy Young
1. Justin Verlander, Astros
Verlander is be back for the Astros this weekend, and he’s looking to resume and potentially lock up his AL Cy Young. Currently, the 39-year-old is 16-3 with a 1.84 ERA.
2. Dylan Cease, White Sox
Cease took a no-hitter into the ninth and ultimately threw a complete game shutout in a key spot versus the Twins on September 3, and he followed it up with strikeout totals of eight and nine in his next two starts. Cease is second in the American League in strikeouts (214) and is 14-7 with a 2.16 ERA. He has a strong case for the top spot after what he did while Verlander was out.
3. Shane McClanahan, Rays
In his first start since August 24, McClanahan threw five shutout innings. It was a necessary outing to keep himself in the Cy Young race, and he’s now 12-5 with a 2.13 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP for the Rays.
National League Cy Young
1. Sandy Alcantara, Marlins
Alcantara has been scattering the hits, but his latest outing was a seven-inning, two-run (on eight hits) effort against the Phillies. Alcantara remains the heavy betting favorite with a few weeks remaining.
2. Tony Gonsolin, Dodgers
The status of Gonsolin in the Cy Young race is an indication of how uncommon this year is. He hasn’t pitched this month and remains 16-1, 2.10 ERA, 0.86 WHIP—but he might not be totally locked into a spot in the postseason rotation after missing time.
3. Julio Urias
Zac Gallen (12-2, 2.50 ERA) has gotten hot and shouldn’t be counted out, nor should Kyle Wright (18-5, 3.18 ERA). Julio Urias has been ultra consistent in the second half of the season, though, and the 26-year-old should not be forgotten as a guy that’s stepped up as an ace for LA. Urias is 16-7 with a 2.30 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.