Major League Baseball announced its awards finalists for both the American League and National League Monday, raising a few eyebrows in the process.
A few categories, like AL Rookie of the Year, were already foregone conclusions before the finalists were announced. But a couple categories had notable omissions, including NL MVP and AL Cy Young.
Here are some players that could feel snubbed:
Finalists: Jose Altuve (Astros), Aaron Judge (Yankees) and Jose Ramirez (Indians)
Snubs: George Springer (Astros) and Elvis Andrus (Rangers)
Altuve likely will and definitely should win this award after leading MLB in average, while also producing power (24 home runs) and speed (32 stolen bases). Aaron Judge belted 52 home runs, but he also endured a horrendous stretch for a month after the All-Star break. Ramirez led MLB in doubles (56), and was solid across the board this season, but he too struggled after the All-Star break.
Springer was tied for sixth in MLB with 112 runs scored, slashed .283/.367/.522 and hit 34 home runs with 85 RBIs batting leadoff for the AL West-winning Astros. He performed admirably as Houston’s leadoff hitter, setting the tone for the heart of its order.
The Rangers struggled this season, but Andrus enjoyed a career year. Known mostly for his defense, the shortstop slashed .297/.337/.471 with 20 home runs, 88 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. He also scored 100 runs with 44 doubles and four triples. Andrus probably kept Texas out of the AL cellar.
Finalists: Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks), Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins) and Joey Votto (Reds)
Snubs: Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon (Rockies)
It was always going to be hard to fit both Rockies on the ballot with Goldschmidt’s 297/.404/.563 slash line, 36 home runs and 120 RBIs, and Stanton crushing 59 home runs with 132 RBIs. However, it was surprising to see both left off the list.
Blackmon, especially should feel slighted after registering a .331/.399/.601 slash line (MLB’s second-highest average), 37 home runs, 104 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and 137 runs scored. He put up video game numbers on a good team and should have been awarded for his amazing season.
Votto was also great for a bad Reds team. He finished with a .320/.454/.578 slash line, 36 home runs, 100 RBIs, 134 walks and 106 runs scored, but his numbers weren’t as good as Blackmon’s across the board and the Reds went 68-94 this season.
AL Cy Young
Finalists: Corey Kluber (Indians), Chris Sale (Red Sox) and Luis Severino (Yankees)
Snubs: Justin Verlander (Tigers/Astros) and Carlos Carrasco (Indians)
Kluber and Sale were locks, but Severino was a surprise. The young Yankees ace enjoyed a marvelous season, finishing 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 230 strikeouts, but it still seemed like someone else would get that third spot.
Enter Verlander: While the awards only take the regular season into consideration, Verlander did enough during that time to earn a top-3 finalists spot. He went 15-8 with a 3.36 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 219 strikeouts and a 6.4 WAR. Verlander allowed just four earned runs in 34 innings during his five regular season starts — all wins — with the Astros.
NL Cy Young
Finalists: Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), Max Scherzer (Nationals) and Stephen Strasburg (Nationals)
Snubs: Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke (Diamondbacks)
Like the AL, this award is likely a two-horse race between Scherzer and Kershaw. Strasburg was amazing as well, so there is no real problem with the three awarded finalists, but a couple of Arizona pitchers might feel as though they did enough to earn a spot.
Ray, who did miss some time with a concussion, enjoyed a massive breakout season. He went 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 218 strikeouts in only 162 innings pitched. Greinke was also spectacular, finishing 17-7 with 215 strikeouts.