2023 NL Award Predictions
Here is one player from EVERY team that could come to the awards, and the Manager per division I can see winning the Manager of the year. It's about time for it to come to fruition as the season is getting kicked off, the WBC is over, and it's time for six months of the best sport, baseball. We are back today with the NL and MLB opening day tomorrow, 3/30.
MVP: The 2023 Dodgers lineup will look wildly different this season with no Trea Turner(FA), Gavin Lux(ACL), Cody Bellinger(FA), or Justin Turner(FA) are all no longer with this team, and those players each played some significant roles for the team in 2022. However, Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts, both former MVPs, are still here, and both put together solid seasons in 2022 and will do so again in 2023. It's a two-way race for the team MVP, but I give it to Freeman in his 2nd season in LA.
Cy Young: The Dodgers got excellent performances from Tyler Anderson, Tony Gonsolin, and Clayton Kershaw was excellent, but no one is showing more promise for Cy Young as a legit contender than Julio Urias. Urias is 26, going into free agency, and is genuinely elite. While being represented by the Boras Corp and going into his age 26/27 season, a big year and a Cy Young could be imminent.
MVP: After winning the NL West in 2021 with 107W, the Giants found themselves a mediocre 81-81, disappointed, to say the least, coming out of the 2022 season. They're a quartet of players who, if the stars align, could help the Giants massively and push for an MVP, but they need to be contenders. Mike Yastrzemski, Mitch Haniger, Michael Conforto, and Joc Pederson. If health works out for each player, a career average to above average for each should help the Giants compete in the West.
Cy Young: The Giants also have a solid pitching core for the most part, but after posting a 4.8WAR, 2.90ERA in 192.1IP, and he's only 26, Logan Webb looks legit and is genuinely the unsaid ace of the Giants staff. A step forward after a great season is on the horizon for Webb.
MVP: Well, Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr, Xander Bogaerts, Jake Cronenworth. The Padres are LOADED; now, with this group, I would pick Machado and Soto as the most likely to compete for the MVP.
Cy Young: There is a reason that Yu Darvish got a considerable extension, and I fully expect him to lead the Padres average to above-average pitching rotation in 2023.
MVP: 8yr/$100+MM for Corbin Caroll says entirely that they are in on him and expect him to perform at this level. However, Ketel Marte is more polished, all around better, as we know, for now, and Marte, I believe, has more potential to be in the conversation.
Cy Young: In the conversation will be the case again for Zac Gallen after finishing 5th in 2022 for the award. He posted a 5.1WAR, 2.54ERA in 184IP. He is only 27 and searching for his big payday.
MVP: Coming off a healthy spring training and quiet, Kris Bryant looks ready to stay on the field, stay healthy, and lead this Rockies team that needs someone to rely on. He is paid to perform at this level, and with his track record and health, he can get back into the conversation.
Cy Young: The Rockies won't have a true ace on this staff. Noah Davis, Ryan Felter, and Peter Lambert are all 26 and had good spring training. However, pitching at Coors for half your games is a different animal. Each player has a chance to take a step forward. However, they will be kept from the conversation.
MVP: two young, excellent players could find themselves taking a fast jump in the NL to be great to the elite. Ke'Bryan Hayes is the first, the next one that O'neil Cruz, who, with a total playing time and only 24, Cruz is going to pop off in 2022.
Cy Young: The Pirates have a mix of vets Rich Hill, Vince Velasquez, JT Brubaker, and, while also seeing what they got in Luis Ortiz, Roansy Contreras, and Johan Oviedo. Whoever is having a good season will get traded mid-season and be satisfactory to good at best.
MVP: Not only will the Cubs take a massive step forward as a team this season, but they could also push for the Divison behind Ian Happ and Dansby Swanson leading the offense for the Cubs. Neither could be in the MVP conversation, but both will be great this season.
Cy Young: 32, a contract year, and coming off a strong WBC and spring, Marcus Stroman should easily find himself in the conversation for Cy Young in front of this excellent Cubs defense and pitching off the more potent offense.
MVP: The Cardinals have the reigning MVP in Paul Glodsmict and 3rd place finisher Nolan Arenado. Goldy will have another fantastic season, but not at an MVP level; however, Nolan is primed to get back into the conversation and is a finalist for the award.
Cy Young: A healthy Jack Flaherty gets my vote for the MVP conversation. In the last fully healthy season in 2019, he finished 4th in the vote and 13th for the MVP.
MVP: A significant step forward for Garrett Mitchell is on the horizon. However, Christian Yelich is due for a bounce back, without a doubt.
Cy Young: Take your pick from this staff; Eric Lauer, Adrian Houser, Freddy Peralta, and Brandon Woodruff are all great pitchers and have an immense upside; however, there is one true ace of this staff. I would not be surprised to see him traded for max value; however, Corbin Burnes won the award in 2021 and finished 7th last season which was one place lower than his finish in 2020(6th); I see a pattern here and winning the award and demanding his way out, would be what the Brewers deserve for taking him to Arbitration.
MVP: No one from the Reds will be in the conversation for MVP. However, the best player on this team will come down to Jonathan India, while eyes will be on the upcoming talent of Noelvi Marte and Elly De La Cruz, among others.
Cy Young: Ideally, with a step forward in his control and accuracy, Hunter Greene could find himself among the NL's best pitchers.
MVP: So much talent on the field for the Mets. Jeff McNeil, Franky Lindor, Starling Marte, and lastly, the man who is due for some love is Polar Bear Pete Alonso. Coming off an 8th-place finish in the MVP vote in 2022, another step forward is coming after a 40HR/131RBI season. Pete wants the payday, Pete needs the payday, and a top-3 finish in the MVP will get him there.
Cy Young: 40yo Justin Verlander just won the AL Award and got paid by the Mets, Max Scherzer won him at 37, and both are paid to be in the conversation and win the award. Both will be in the conversation due to the name value. However, either will not win the award.
MVP: The Braves have loaded; Sean Murphy, Matt Olson, Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies, Vaughn Grissom, Michael Harris II, and none other than the man we want to stay on the field for an entire season Ronald Acuna Jr. Yes, Acuna is 25, however, he plays and goes all out every game. I want us all to let go of the potential for a 40/40 season, as that was pre-injury, Acuna. However, we can bank on a 25/25 or, at most, a 30/30. With a full 145+G played by Acuna, being in the MVP conversation and the Braves continuing their dominance of the NL East is a guarantee.
Cy Young: I would have loved to see Mike Soroka back on the bump. However, injuries have limited the Braves once ACE. A new ace in town got a 6-year/$75MM deal from the club Spencer Strider. The energy, the stuff, and the stache will guide the Silver Strider to being the Cy Young conversation.
MVP: I don't care how much it gives me it is to put Bryce Harper here; I would if he was healthy and didn't have TJ surgery this offseason. Trea Turner got big money as the biggest fish in the off-season, and now he is here to help the Phillies get back to a deep run in the Playoffs.
Cy Young: Co-Aces Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler are in the conversation here. However, Nola is my pick for the award if I had to take one if they were evenly matched and had similar stats. Nola, being 30, will have a much better season and find himself in the conversation.
MVP: New arrival Luis Arrez is coming off an AL batting title, and now CF Jazz Chisholm Jr in CF will have all the eyes on him going into the 2023 season. Jazz is the MLB The Show cover athlete, and that comes with wild expectations.
Cy Young: He won it in 2022, looked great in the WBC, and Sandy Alcantara will, by default, be in the conversation again.
MVP: Kiebert Ruiz just got a nice 8-year/$50MM extension and is the cornerstone for the rebuild for the Nationals. He is paid to be the best player, a top-tier catcher in the MLB, and will easily be the best player on the team in 2023.
Cy Young: Josiah Gray/Mackenzie Gore will be the best pitchers in the rotation as I believe, like you reading, that Corbin is washed, and we need to give up on him altogether.
Who wins it?
MVPs: Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna Jr., Pete Alonso, and Trea Turner will be the finalists for the award. However, an NL-leading HR/RBI total and a high average for Alonso will win him the NL MVP award.
Cy Young: Julio Urias, Corbin Burnes, Zach Gallen, Spencer Strider, and Aaron Nola will all be battling for this award all season. The award is Urias' to lose, and with an enormous payday and competing with Shohei Ohtani for best pitcher in the 2024 class, it will be excellent.
Manager of the Year: It wasn't a coincidence that the Phillies surged after Philly Rob Thomson took over at the helm, and with him locked in now and leading this team not to have a World Series hangover, watch out for the Phillies to go deep again.
Today's BLOG is AD FREE for your enjoyment! However, we have to plug Ball Boy Talk- Unhinged Sports Podcast, where myself, Jey and my brother Aaron give our takes on all things sports- NFL/NBA/MLB/MMA and much more. You can find that Podcast and our main one with over 15K downloads Young Dad Podcast by visiting our LinkTree: https://linktr.ee/BallBoyBlog.
We are on every podcasting platform; subscribe whenever you listen to your podcasts and leave five stars and any review you can. Feel free to leave a question you want answered; a would you rather, this or that, and a review. Oh, and five stars. If you're on YouTube, please hit that subscribe button, too.
The Podcast is now on Apple; remember to head over there and leave a 5 Star Rating review for us to read on our next show. You can find us on our website at ballboymedia.com or ballboyblog.com, or theballboyblog.com. All take you to the same place!
Remember to hit our linktree for all our deals: https://linktr.ee/BallBoyBlog.