Shane gives his updated predictions for who could win the 2024 MLB player awards as we approach our second month of regular season baseball.

Welcome back for another MLB Futures breakdown! We’re now over a month into the season, which means we’re starting to see how players and their respective teams are shaping up, yet it’s still early enough to find some value in the odds for MLB Players Awards. Some preseason predictions are holding strong, while some newcomers to the Awards race are making their case with some stellar play. Here are the top hogs for each category, as I see it!

Bobby Witt Jr. got paid and is playing at the superstar caliber skill level that he displayed at the end of last year when his potential evolved into talent. Juan Soto has been the frontrunner and looks to stay that way at this rate, but Bobby Witt is on to something with his game. Gunnar Henderson has a lot of hype coming off an AL Rookie of the Year campaign. I don’t have faith in any dark horse behind them – it’s just a different level of value right now with limited outcomes. Witt has more runs, 1 more hit, a .02 worse average, and 4 less home runs than Soto. Soto is the better hitter overall, he is second in the league in walks, and he should finish with more RBIs than Witt because of their teams’ respective lineups. The first year Yankee has the New York pedigree, and his fielding is very capable to keep him the AL frontrunner unless Bobby starts yamming some home runs.

It’s a 2-horse race and both of these stallions are on the same team. Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani are both putting together MVP level campaigns so far. Shohei is absolutely shredding the baseball right now while leading the MLB in hits. When compared with Mookie, Shohei will beat him at the plate more times than not. Mookie Betts is fielding unlike Ohtani which gives him the slight advantage that he could finish 2nd in hitting while earning a Golden Glove. Will Shohei Ohtani be able to outhit what feels like a destined, and due, MVP winner in Mookie who has been in the lead all season?

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it twice, this is Corbin Burnes year to finally win a Cy Young. He’s been a favorite in the NL for multiple years and now with a stud Baltimore Orioles team, he should cruise comfortably at the rate he’s currently performing. More strikeouts would help his campaign greatly as the challengers have a significant lead in that department. Tarik Skubal is a lefty who boasts a stellar WHIP. Logan Gilbert is a quality dark horse and it’s not a bad idea to put a little cheese on him. He’s pitching lights out and, if he’s consistent, could very well challenge Burnes and Skubal at the end of the year if the Mariners make the playoffs.

Zach Wheeler has the only legitimate chance to beat Tyler Glasnow. Zach is absolutely WHEELING this season and I highly doubt this team around him loses steam, as they should be playoff contenders. Although the same can be said for Glasnow, as both are currently tied as strikeouts leaders in the MLB. Wheeler is sporting a stunning 1.64 ERA and just looks like a man possessed this year, as nobody can touch his stuff.

One thing is for sure – Jackson Holliday did not have a successful stint in the MLB his first go around. Hitting under .200 with no whammies has seen Holliday slide out of the lineup after about two weeks, as he has been sent down for more training. His teammate Colton Cowser, on the other hand, has been electric for this lineup and slides ahead as a clear frontrunner. Evan Carter on the Rangers will keep things interesting as the preseason favorite showed plenty of skill last year with plenty of reps on the way to winning a World Series. Evan Carter is finding the ball on the barrel, so home runs are adding up but his overall average is still below .230, which will not be enough to beat out Cowser.

It’s a war of the pitchers in this race, as Yoshinobu Yamamoto sits between frontrunner Shota Imanaga and 3rd place Jared Jones. Shota Imanaga is a legit contender and has zoomed up the leaderboard behind some shutout performances. Jared Jones has been a true gem for the Pittsburgh Pirates and his stuff is elite level strikeout material. Shota is the nifty lefty who got stronger and stronger thru his first 5 starts. Sporting a 1.08 ERA is no joke after 7 games with the Cubs. Yamamoto has had some bad starts already, and I mean some bad starts, but he has struck out 5 or more in every game. Can Shota keep this pace up? Most likely not but he’s had such a great start to the season that it would take some serious bad outings for there to be some competition in the long run.

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