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Way Too Early MLB Season Predictions

With the regular season for all 30 teams looming this week, it is the perfect time to predict what will happen this season. After a long offseason with injuries to key players, some of the races for the big awards are wide open. Here are my 2024 awards predictions, along with some other predictions for the MLB season. 

American League MVP: Juan Soto (NYY)  

With Shohei Ohtani’s departure from the American League, the competition for MVP is more open than ever. While Soto’s accolades occasionally got snubbed in the National League, he has the chance to make an immediate impact with his new team. Over eight seasons, Soto has led the league in walks three times and OBP twice. This season, he will have the chance to set a personal home run record as a lefty with the Yankee Stadium short porch. Since Aaron Judge will be batting behind him, pitchers will not want to pitch around Soto, meaning he will have all the chances to destroy league pitching and win his first MVP. Soto is also playing on an expiring deal and will want to piece together the best performance to get as big of a contract as possible.

Photo Credits: Neil Neibergall / Associated Press

National League MVP: Mookie Betts (LAD) 

Besides Ronald Acuña Jr, there is not much competition for the National League MVP that is not on the Dodgers. Superstars Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, and Betts will all go against each other for the MVP while working together to get the Dodgers to the World Series. Betts will play a brand-new position this season and lead off the lineup before the rest of the biggest stars. Like Soto, Betts will get all the pitches this season that pitchers might not have thrown in earlier seasons because no one wants to face Ohtani with the game on the line. Since this is the case, Betts will have all the chances to beat his home run total from last year, which is the highest of his career.  

Photo Credits: Sam Hodde / Getty Images

American League Cy Young: Framber Valdez (HOU) 

With news of Gerrit Cole’s shoulder injury that will sideline him until at least June, the American League Cy Young race got significantly smaller. Framber Valdez had his breakout season in 2022, and his numbers were not as good last year. Valdez has proved he can shine in a rotation under Justin Verlander and should do the same this year. Many associate Valdez with older pitchers since he is known for pitching in more innings than other modern-day pitchers. While he will not be at the top of the leaderboard for strikeouts, Valdez will log meaningful innings in Houston en route to winning the first Cy Young of his career.  

Photo Credits: Michael Starghill / Getty Images 

National League Cy Young: Spencer Strider (ATL) 

While fans consistently question Spencer Strider’s greatness, he is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. Last season, Strider led the league in strikeouts by a wide margin and also led the league in FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching – his ability to allow fewer home runs and strike out more hitters). However, Strider’s ERA was much higher than his stats suggest, leading many to believe he is a less-than-capable pitcher. If he can have an ERA as low as his 2022 season (2.67), Strider will win the National League Cy Young by a landslide. 

Photo Credits: Matt Slocum / Associated Press

American League Rookie of the Year: Jackson Holliday (BAL) 

Jackson Holliday might not even make the opening-day roster. However, his debut is one of the most anticipated in a long time. Holliday is the number-one prospect in baseball and climbed the minor leagues extremely fast. At only 20 years old, Holliday has played at every level in the minors and excelled at each, closing his 2023 campaign with a .323 batting average. When Holliday lands in the majors, he will be part of the young Orioles core, which includes Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson. With his minor league success, Holliday can instantly help the Orioles return to the playoffs for redemption. 

Photo Credits: Tommy Gilligan / USA Today Sports

National League Rookie of the Year: Yoshinobu Yamamoto (LAD) 

Yoshinobu Yamamoto seems almost like a lock to win NL Rookie of the Year this season. The Japanese pitcher’s signing and debut were highly anticipated, and the rest of his season will be under a microscope. While his first regular-season appearance in Seoul was less than impressive, Yamamoto will have plenty of chances to regain the form he had in Japan. He is not too far removed from a season in Japan where he won his third straight MVP award and had a mere 1.16 ERA. If Yamamoto has even a fraction of that season in MLB, he could have a great chance of winning a Cy Young in addition to the Rookie of the Year award.

Photo Credits: Lindsey Wasson / Associated Press

Edited By: Sarah Muñoz 

Social Media Content Created By: Jenna Rose Weisenbach

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