This offseason has changed the landscape of the MLB, both on the field and off. The 2021 season is likely starting on time and it is probably going to be a full 162 game season or close to it. It doesn’t look like the designated hitter will be used in the National League anymore after a seemingly successful run in 2020. There will also continue to be an expanded playoff field in both leagues. Free agency is winding down after it took months for it to get going, so rosters across the league are shaping up. Several stars have changed teams this offseason, changing the balance of power among the league’s best teams. With all of this in mind, here are our predictions for the American League Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards.
Cy Young: Shane Bieber, Cleveland
Shane Bieber solidified himself as a superstar with an unbelievable 2020 season. He won the triple crown award after leading all pitchers in wins with 8, ERA with 1.63 and strikeouts with 122. That feat also won him the American League Cy Young award. For a Cleveland team that strongly relies on their pitching, their ace pitcher should be given a hefty workload. While it is unlikely that Bieber gets another triple crown, it would be surprising if he isn’t the favorite to win the AL Cy Young again.
Runner-up: Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
Rookie of the Year: Nate Pearson, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Pearson didn’t quite live up to the hype in terms of efficiency last season after being called up to the majors, but he showed just how special he can be. Not only can his fastball hit triple digits regularly, but he has a great slider that can throw hitters off balance. Pearson’s changeup and curveball aren’t quite as effective yet, but they’re improving too. It looks like Pearson has a starting spot on one of the AL’s best teams, so he has everything he needs to win the Rookie of the Year award.
Runner-up: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners
MVP: Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels
Sometimes the best pick is the most obvious one. Trout has been dominating the sport for almost a decade now and he is still in his 20s. The eight time all-star and three time MVP should continue to put up hall-of-fame numbers as he has done for nearly his entire career. One thing that might work against Trout in MVP voting is the lack of success of his team. However, that hasn’t been too much of a problem for voters before, and the Angeles look better than they have in years past.
Runner-up: José Ramírez, 3B, Cleveland