AL MVP- Aaron Judge
Judge led the New York Yankees to the playoffs in 2017 in what was thought to be a “rebuilding” year for the Yankees. Judge led the Yankees in virtually every offensive category, including home runs, runs batted in, runs scored, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, extra base hits, and yes of course, strike outs. Judge also carried his weight in the field, making only five errors all season. Judge hit .284 with 52 HRs, 114 RBIs, 128 runs and a .422 OBP in 2017. Sure Jose Altuve had a great season for Houston, hitting .346, with 24 HRs and 81 RBIs but you have to ask yourself, “Would Houston still have made the playoffs without him?” Without Judge, the Yankees would have missed the playoffs, making Judge the most valuable player in the AL to his team in 2017.
AL Cy Young- Corey Kluber
This award is virtually a two-horse race between Kluber and Chris Sale, but I give a slight edge to Kluber. Kluber led the AL in wins, ERA, WHIP, and finished just behind Sale in strikeouts. Kluber finished with a career best in five categories, including wins, ERA, WHIP, complete games and shutouts. Kluber posted an 18-4 record, with 265 strikeouts, a 2.25 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP, leading his team to the number one seed in the AL. It’s no question that Sale had a terrific season for Boston, but Kluber just had a better one, which should earn him his second career Cy Young Award.
NL MVP- Paul Goldschmidt
The NL MVP is probably the tightest race in all of baseball, considering you could make a case for about eight players to win it. But the biggest standout was the Diamondbacks’ first baseman. Goldschmidt slashed .297 with 36 HRs, 120 RBIs, with a .404 OBP and 18 stolen bases, leading his team in every category but steals. Joey Votto is a close second to Goldschmidt, but Votto’s team finished with one of the worst records in the MLB. Goldschmidt led his team, which was considered to be one the league’s worst in the preseason to a playoff berth. Without Goldschmidt, the Diamondbacks probably would have been nowhere near the playoffs, meaning Goldschmidt was the most valuable player in the NL for 2017.
NL Cy Young- Clayton Kershaw
Like the AL race for this award, this too, is a two-horse race. Kershaw and Max Scherzer are the top contenders. Kershaw led the NL in wins with 18 even after missing the entire month of August with a back injury. Kershaw also had a 2.35 ERA, second best in the MLB amongst qualifying starters, with a 0.97 WHIP and 202 strikeouts in just 175 innings. Scherzer also had a good season, but only beat Kershaw in one category – strikeouts. Of course, Scherzer finished with more strikeouts. He pitched 25 more innings than Kershaw. Kershaw also led his team to the best record in the entire MLB, which should be good enough to earn Kershaw his fourth career Cy Young award.