MLB awards: Our staffers make their pre­dic­tions for MVP, rookie, pitcher and man­ager in the AL and NL.

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - INSIDE - USA TO­DAY Stephen Borelli

A USA TO­DAY Net­work panel of nine writ­ers and ed­i­tors voted on their choices for Ma­jor League Base­ball’s awards, which will be an­nounced be­gin­ning Nov. 12. Be­low are our choices. First-place votes in paren­the­ses.

Amer­i­can League MVP

Mookie Betts, OF, Bos­ton Red Sox: The best player on the 108-win Red Sox, base­ball’s top team dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, Betts led the AL in bat­ting av­er­age (.346), slug­ging per­cent­age (.640) and runs (129) in 136 games and is our unan­i­mous choice. He also played Gold Glove-cal­iber de­fense as a cor­ner outfiel­der and ranked first in the AL with 10.9 wins above re­place­ment (WAR). He had 32 home runs, 80 RBI, 30 steals in 36 at­tempts and a 1.078 on­base-plus-slug­ging per­cent­age. He hit .415 with a 1.245 OPS with 15 RBI and 22 runs in 17 games against the New York Yan­kees, Bos­ton’s pri­mary AL East com­pe­ti­tion. Vot­ing on a 14-9-8-7-6-etc. ba­sis

Rk. Player Pts 1. Mookie Betts, Red Sox (9) 126 2. Jose Ramirez, In­di­ans 71 3. J.D. Mar­tinez, Red Sox 70 4. Mike Trout, An­gels 66

5. Alex Breg­man, Astros 55 6. Fran­cisco Lin­dor, In­di­ans 42 7. Matt Chap­man, Ath­let­ics 38 8. Khris Davis, Ath­let­ics 32 9. Mitch Haniger, Mariners 12 10. Xan­der Bo­gaerts, Red Sox 7 11. Blake Treinen, Ath­let­ics 4 T12. Jose Al­tuve, Astros 3 T12. An­drew Ben­in­tendi, Red Sox 3 14. Miguel An­du­jar, Yan­kees 1 T14. Michael Brant­ley, In­di­ans 1

AL Cy Young

Blake Snell, SP, Tampa Bay Rays: The left-han­der led the AL in wins (21-5) and ERA (1.89) as well as ERA+, which fac­tors in his league, ball­parks and op­po­nents. Snell also closed by

win­ning his last nine de­ci­sions, com­pil­ing a 1.19 ERA and hold­ing op­po­nents to a .458 OPS from Aug. 4 to the end of the sea­son as his team closed at 3418. Over­all, he struck out 11 hit­ters per nine in­nings and com­piled a WHIP (walks plus hits per in­ning pitched) of 0.974.

Vot­ing on a 7-4-3-2-1 ba­sis

Rk. Player Pts 1. Blake Snell, Rays (8) 60 2. Justin Ver­lan­der, Astros (1) 36 3. Corey Klu­ber, In­di­ans 23 4. Chris Sale, Red Sox 22 5. Trevor Bauer, In­di­ans 6 6. Blake Treinen, A’s 3 7. Ger­rit Cole, Astros 2 8. Ed­win Diaz, Mariners 1

AL rookie of the year

Sho­hei Oh­tani, SP-DH, Los An­ge­les An­gels: Oh­tani edges New York Yan­kees third base­man Miguel An­du­jar, pri­mar­ily be­cause Oh­tani dou­bled as a fear­some des­ig­nated hit­ter when he wasn’t start­ing games. The right-han­der added an el­e­ment the ma­jors had not seen since Babe Ruth hit and pitched reg­u­larly for the Bos­ton Red Sox in 1919. As a DH, he hit .285 with a .925 OPS, 22 homers and 61 RBI in 104 games. He also started 10 games at pitcher, go­ing 4-1 with a 3.31 ERA, 63 strike­outs and 1.161 WHIP in 512⁄3 in­nings while pitch­ing around an el­bow in­jury that even­tu­ally re­quired Tommy John surgery. An­du­jar hit .319 with 15 homers and 53 RBI with a .919 OPS in the sec­ond half as the Yan­kees held off the Oak­land A’s to main­tain the top spot in the AL wild-card race. An­du­jar was the over­all hit­ting star of the AL rookie class, hit­ting .297 with 27 homers, 92 RBI and a .855 OPS in 149 games.

Vot­ing on a 5-3-1 ba­sis

Rk. Player Pts

1. Sho­hei Oh­tani, An­gels (6) 35 2. Miguel An­du­jar, Yan­kees (3) 33 3. Gley­ber Tor­res, Yan­kees 10 4. Joey Wen­dle, Rays 3

AL man­ager of the year

Three strong can­di­dates emerged, two us­ing lim­ited re­sources to suc­ceed in smaller mar­kets. Both Bob Melvin and Kevin Cash flour­ished, Cash push­ing the Rays to the brink of a play­off berth and Melvin lead­ing the A’s to a 22-game im­prove­ment at 97-65, sec­ond to the Astros in the AL West but good enough to claim the sec­ond wild-card berth. Melvin helped urge ca­reer years out of DH Khris Davis (48 homers, 123 RBI, .874 OPS), 24-year-old first base­man Matt Ol­son (29 homers, 84 RBI) and 25-year-old third base­man Matt Chap­man (.864 OPS, Gold Glove-cal­iber de­fense). The A’s also boasted a no-name yet dom­i­nant bullpen led by closer Blake Treinen (0.79 ERA, 38 saves in 43 chances) as Oak­land at one point went on a 49-19 run.

Vot­ing on a 5-3-1 ba­sis

Rk. Man­ager Pts

1. Bob Melvin, Ath­let­ics (7) 37 2. Kevin Cash, Rays (1) 22 3. Alex Cora, Red Sox (1) 21 4. Aaron Boone, Yan­kees 1

Na­tional League MVP

Chris­tian Yelich, OF, Mil­wau­kee Brew­ers: Yelich let the NL in hit­ting (.326), slug­ging per­cent­age (.598), OPS (1.000) and WAR among po­si­tion play­ers. But he seized this award when his team won 10 of its last 11 games, in­clud­ing eight in a row to close the sea­son, steal­ing the NL Cen­tral ti­tle from the Chicago Cubs. Over those 11 games, Yelich bat­ted .457 with five homers, 17 RBI and 1.057 OPS to be­come our unan­i­mous choice. Yelich also had 36 homers, 110 RBI, 118 runs scored and 22 steals and played strong de­fense at all three outfield po­si­tions.

Vot­ing on a 14-9-8-7-6-etc. ba­sis

Rk. Player Pts 1. Chris­tian Yelich, Brew­ers (9) 126 2. Javier Baez, Cubs 79 3. Fred­die Free­man, Braves 65 4. Nolan Are­nado, Rock­ies 61 5. Matt Car­pen­ter, Car­di­nals 54


Rays start­ing pitcher Blake Snell went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA, 221 strike­outs and 9.974 WHIP.

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