Shane gives his predictions for who he believes could win the 2024 MLB player awards as we approach a month of regular season baseball.

The NL Cy Young is pretty much between the “Zac’s”. Reigning champion Zac Gallen and current frontrunner Zach Wheeler look to run away with the trophy – unless Freddy Peralta strings a lot of wins together. I think Milwaukee will struggle for Peralta and the bullpen will blow some leads, while the Phillies and Arizona are practically guaranteed for the playoffs. The only other option is Tyler Glasnow and he is totally worth a little money at +850. He’s the #1 option of the World Series favorite LA Dodgers and if he can put some nice stats together, the lineup around him will definitely do their part. It’s a tough time to find an angle right now as Gallen has the 3rd best ERA and a 3-0 record, and Wheeler leads NL in strikeouts but is sporting a 0-3 record. Gun to the ballsack, I’m picking Zac Gallen to win at this point in time with the +650 tag.

The AL is a massive smokescreen. Tarik Skubal is really talented and on a cool, up & coming Detroit Tigers team. Cole Ragans is a stud lefty who is a bona fide #1 helping a surging Kansas City Royals team. Both are solid with great value, BUT this is Corbin Burnes’ year. He’s been a favorite in the NL for so long and in his first year with the Baltimore Orioles, he hasn’t missed a beat. The bullpen for the Royals and Tigers will disappoint Tarik and Cole plus this is their first time in this spotlight. Not only is Burnes so due for a Cy Young, but this Orioles team has a lot of jazz after last season and are poised for an easy playoff bid, maybe accompanied by an AL East title.

The NL is all up to Yoshinobu Yamamoto to win or lose. The stud pitcher from Japan has been solid recently after getting rocked by the Padres in his 1st MLB start over in the Korea series. Since then, he has locked in and seems to be everything he has been hyped up as. This Dodgers team is really good so they will be able to give plenty of run support and defense if Yoshi can do his thing. The main challenger to him is 20-year-old sensation Jackson Chourio of the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s already been paid like an MLB stud similar to Corbin Carroll, minus the previous year experience so I think he would need to hit 30 some homers to really lock it in this year. With Jung Hoo Lee falling off, Jackson Merrill of the Padres seems to be the only dark horse pick. I still think it’s between the two of Yoshi and Chourio. If Jackson Chourio hits like Josh Jung last year before he went down with an injury, then he can win the award. However, Yoshi should stay healthy and get plenty of strikeouts and wins with his Dodgers team, and +300 might be the best value you can get for him. However, this all changes if Chourio goes on a hitting tear.

The AL is probably the toughest award to pick from this season, as it features two teams with two rookies, so each could win it. First the Texas Rangers, who could have had Josh Jung from last year win it if he didn’t go down with a long injury. Now we have speedy Evan Carter who got reps last year and hit over .300. Wyatt Langford is the stud hitter from the draft last year out of the NCAA national champion runner-up Florida Gators. Carter is a starter and should win out between him and Wyatt, unless Wyatt can belt 30+ homers and a bunch of doubles. Otherwise, Carter will probably get 20+ ding dongs and swipe around 20 bags. The second team is the Baltimore Orioles with Colton Cowser and Jackson Holliday. Jackson Holliday is a legacy player with videos showing him as a baby playing with his dad before Rockies games. Colton looks legit and has been playing and swinging like an MLB player, while Holiday finds his stride. I’m thinking Carter might eventually edge Cowser, but this will be a crazy fight for a while.

The AL is captained by frontrunner Juan Soto who is not only mashing the ball but doing so as a New York Yankee which will help his hype so much. He’s currently around +300, and I don’t doubt that number to climb any higher unless Bobby Witt can really catch fire. Juan’s teammate Judge is nursing a foot injury and I doubt he smashes 50+ ding dongs this year. Juan should smash 40+ and have some solid hitting numbers. Getting the value while you can by putting a little cheese on Bobby Witt isn’t a bad idea, as he’s on a tear so far this season.

The NL is looking like it’s Mookie Betts’ year after playing second fiddle to Ronald Acuña’s record setting season as a leadoff man. Mookie has the juice in the media and talent, plus it seems like he’s due an MVP one time with all this hype around him. The player pool for this award is incredible, but Mookie seems to be ahead by a mile.

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