The NL award races are much closer than the AL award races and there are many legitimate players capable of winning any of these awards. Tatis Jr. is the player most have their eyes set on for MVP after earning a $330 million contract before the season started. Will Tatis Jr. come out on top with this award or is someone more deserving of it? We’ll break down the 3 major awards and who is going to come out on top for each.
NL MVP: Bryce Harper – Philadelphia Phillies
Tatis Jr. is going to fall short to Bryce Harper in the MVP race. Tatis Jr. has proven why he is worth every penny of that monster deal, but Harper has been more valuable to the Phillies. Both of these players are going to be watching the playoffs from the outside as neither team will end up making it in. Both players have similar WAR scores with Tatis Jr. being slightly higher. The Padres have a stockpile of weapons that also helped bump that score up while the Phillies have heavily relied on Harper to be in the playoff contention for most of the season before losing it at the end. Harper edges out Tatis Jr. to take the NL MVP in a very close race.
NL Rookie of the Year: Jonathan India – Cincinnati Reds
Despite being the only NL rookie to make the All Star Game, Trevor Rogers slowed down after the All Star Break which has paved the way for Jonathan India to seize the opportunity of being rookie of the year. India is the only other Reds rookie with over 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases in a season since Bernie Cabo accomplished the feat in 1970. The infielder is also hitting above .265 which is very respectable for a rookie on a non-playoff team.
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer – Los Angeles Dodgers
If you asked us about this race a few weeks ago, we would have told you Scherzer’s teammate Walker Buehler would have been the clear frontrunner. Buehler was lights out until September where he has posted nearly an 8 ERA through his starts this month. During that time, Scherzer has continued to dominate and the Dodgers have won all 10 of their starts with Scherzer since acquiring him via trade earlier this season. That trade has paid dividends for the Dodgers as Scherzer currently leads the MLB in ERA with only a 2.28. Scherzer is also in the top 4 in strikeouts and wins as well. Scherzer looks to put another one in the record books as he seeks his 4th Cy Young to capitalize on his hall of fame worthy career.