The month of November is typically reserved for making NFL expert picks, but Major League Baseball has been in the news quite a bit during the month. Not only is the free agency period starting to heat up, but the league has also been handing out season-ending awards.
There are a number of big awards given out by MLB, with the biggest of them all being the Most Valuable Player in each league. This is an award that is voted on by members of the media, and there are some years in which the winner comes with plenty of debate.
That wasn’t exactly the case during the 2022 season as it was pretty clear which players were going to be honored. Aaron Judge was named the American League MVP, while Paul Goldschmidt was given the award in the National League.
Both of these players were in the running to win the Triple Crown in their respective leagues as well, but being honored as the MVP is a great way to end the season.
Battle in the American League
Aaron Judge picked up 28 of the 30 first place votes from the writers, but that doesn’t actually tell the whole story. Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels was clearly in the mix as well, but Judge made history and also carried the Yankees to a better overall season.
Judge belted 62 home runs during the 2022 season to set the new record in the American League. He is the first Yankees outfielder to win the AL MVP Award since Mickey Mantle, and he is just getting his career started.
Judge also won Rookie of the yEar back in 2017, and was second place in the MVP voting that season. The slugger finished in second place in the race for the AL batting title or he would have won the Triple Crown.
Ohtani kept the pressure on all season long and he ended up doing things that have never been done before in the league. In the end it was simply too hard to ignore what Judge did with New York, and he was honored by the voters.
Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros finished in third place in the American League, but he didn’t receive any first place votes.
Goldschmidt Finally Breaks Through
Paul Goldschmidt has now finished in the top-six of NL MVP voting six times in his 12-year career, and he has been looking to break through. The St. Louis Cardinals first baseman received 22 of the 30 first place votes, and he picked up eight second-place votes to easily win the award.
A couple of third baseman were in the mix in the National League, including Goldschmidt’s teammate, Nolan Arenado. It was actually Manny Machado that finished in second place in the voting, squeezing between the two stars from St. Louis.
Goldschmidt looked as if he was going to win the NL Triple Crown heading into the final month of the season, but he collapsed a bit down the stretch. It was still a terrific season at the plate for the slugger, and he also continues to be one of the best defensive infielders in the game.
Flamethrowers Win Cy Young Awards
The Cy Young Award is arguably the second most important end of season award that is handed out in MLB. This is another award that tends to be pretty tight when it comes to the final voting, but that wasn’t the case this season.
Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros won the AL Cy Young Award, and he was actually a unanimous choice. Verlander became the fourth-oldest player to win this award after being nearly unhittable for the entire season.
Shohei Ohtani was not even a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award, as it was Dylan Cease and Alek Manoah that took home second and third place.
Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins was also a unanimous choice for the Cy Young Award, this time in the National League. It was pretty clear throughout the summer that Alcantara was going to win this award as he seemingly pitched at least eight innings every time out.
Max Fried, and Julio Urias finished in second and third place respectively, but several pitchers got votes for this award.