AL: Carlos Correa
Stats Prediction: .290 AVG., 30 home runs, 95 RBI, 25 steals
Correa narrowly edges out Mike Trout for the award by leading the Houston Astros to an AL West title. While Trout ends up with superior numbers, enough voters hold it against him that his Los Angeles Angels miss the postseason for the fourth time in his five year career to allow Correa to sneak by.
Think Correa is too young and unproven to already be considered the league’s most valuable player? Well, Trout finished as the runner-up for the award in his first full season, then won it the following year at the age of 21 – the age Correa is entering this season.
NL: Paul Goldschmidt
Stats Prediction: .310, 35 home runs, 125 RBI, 20 steals
He’s been putting up MVP caliber numbers over the past three years, finishing as the runner-up twice in that span. This is the year Goldschmidt finally cashes in with a trophy. Last year he finished second in the majors with a 1.005 OPS and tied for third with an 8.8 WAR.
He often goes overlooked because his Arizona Diamondbacks finished last season with a losing record, but they were the second-highest scoring team in the NL and enter this season with a stronger rotation, led by Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller. If Arizona at least makes a legitimate run at a playoff spot then Goldschmidt will be worthy of consideration for this award.
Next: Cy Young