Alek’s 2021 MLB Season Primer

Alek Para, Staff Reporter

The 2020 season of MLB baseball was, in my opinion, one of the more boring seasons in the sport’s history. There were no fans for all of the season because of the pandemic, and seemingly very little changed.

After all, most of the no-hitters last season — an otherwise very popular, news-breaking milestone — went basically unnoticed by the larger public. It took one football game for the whole MLB season to be put on the backburner. Even the NBA’s bubble season drew attention away from the MLB.

But don’t let the lack of attention fool you. The 2020 MLB season did have some gems. For instance, the San Diego Padres had a grand slam in four straight games. White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito threw a no-hitter against the Pirates. The Chicago Cubs’ Alec Mills threw a no-hitter against the Brewers. Pitcher Shane Bieber went 8-1 and was on-pace to break 162 game records.

And there were also had the infamous COVID-19 outbreaks on the Marlins and Cardinals squads earlier in the season. 

This year, however, is expected to be a full season. We are back to watching 162 games. Here are my predictions for the season:

MC = Matt Cappello

DM = Dylan McCorry

AP = Alek Para


    • AL MVP:
      • AP: Mike Trout. Who else is coming to take his throne? Alex Bregman? Aaron Judge?
      • DM: Trout. Only way he doesn’t get it is because of voter fatigue.
      • MC: Trout. No question.
    • NL MVP
      • AP: Juan Soto. Soto, Ronald Acuña and Fernando Tatis Jr have the best chances of winning the NL MVP over any Los Angeles Dodgers player. They’re the undoubtedly best players on their teams, whereas the Dodgers have three players you can say are the best player on their team. Soto had an awesome 2020 season where he led the league in Batting Average (.351), on-base percentage (.490), slugging percentage (.695), on-base plus slugging percentage (1.185) and intentional walks (12).
      • DM: Ronald Acuña. I think he’s the most well-rounded player in the NL and has a real shot at a 40/40 season.
      • MC: Ronald Acuña. In 13 games he’s averaging .442, he has 7 homers and 14 RBIs with an outstanding OPS of 1.492
    • AL Cy Young Award
      • AP: Gerrit Cole or Shane Bieber. These two pitchers terrify AL players everywhere with the two of them averaging multiple strikeouts a game. They’re just different compared to the other pitchers in the AL.
      • DM: Kenta Maeda. I think he’s the most underrated pitcher in baseball and a real sleeper pick.
      • MC: Max Scherzer. He’s off to a soso start. However I think he will pick it back up with a solid Nationals team.
    • NL Cy Young Awards
      • AP: Jacob deGrom. Think about it, the Dodgers also have good pitchers, too, and if they had just one good pitcher instead of two good pitchers, they’d win the award. But because the Dodgers are stacked, they’ll win zero awards. Also, deGrom is just way ahead of everyone else in the NL, unless voters get tired of him and vote for Fried or one of the Dodgers pitchers as well (Trevor Bauer or Walker Buehler)
      • DM: deGrom. Best pitcher in baseball, and I don’t think this is even going to be close.
      • MC: Yu Darvish. Coming back from a potential Cy Young season with an incredible Padres team, no way he doesn’t win it with his talent. 
    • AL ROY
      • AP: Randy Arozarena. His postseason heroics won’t go unnoticed as he carried the Rays through the 2020 postseason, which culminated in a World Series appearance for the Rays. I expect him to do the same throughout the 2021 regular season, given that he could play like he did in the postseason. He could really put up numbers on weaker teams. 
      • DM: Yermin Mercedes. The man is hitting .500 at the time I’m writing this, and I think if he even remotely keeps up with what he’s doing, he’s going to run away with the award.
      • MC: Mercedes. Mike Trout wanted a picture with him…. 
  • NL Rookie of the Year 
    • AP: Ke’Bryan Hayes. He only played 24 games, yet his numbers were so good he essentially forced his way to the award conversation. I’ll see if he will continue to produce those numbers throughout 140 or more games throughout the season.
    • DM: Hayes. Just from what I saw last year and this year so far, I think he can be a future star, and I think he’ll lock up this award pretty quickly.
    • MC: Hayes. Future all-star.
  • AL MOY
    • AP: Charlie Montoyo. The Blue Jays are low-key AL East contenders as they have the youngest squad in the league (the batters’ average age is 26.5). They are led by Vlad Guerrero Jr and Bo Bichette. They also have an experienced pitching rotation (whose average age is 30.6 years old), led by Hyun Jin Ryu and Julian Merryweather.
    • DM: Joe Maddon. He’s doing a great job so far this year with the Angels. If he can help this team make a run in the playoffs I think he has a good shot to win.
    • MC: Montoyo. I personally have the Jays going to the ship. Most underrated squad this season. 
  • NL MOY
    • AP: Jayce Tingler. I personally believe that he will lead the young, energetic San Diego Padres to a potential NLCS appearance against the Dodgers. He has Tatis and Manchado. In addition to those two and all around good hitting, awesome pitching staff of Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and Blake Snell, all of which were acquired during the five cold months between October and March, that would be fearsome to face.
    • DM: Tingler. I think the Padres are gonna be one if the best teams in the NL this year and can make a serious run in the playoffs. If he can lead them with proper management I think he has a good shot at the award.
    • MC: Luis Rojas. The Mets weren’t even a playoff team this year and they have odds for being the National League champions.

Overall, I expect the 2021 MLB season to be way better than the last season. For one, it’ll be 2.7 times longer. I expect more fun moments over the next 5-6 months. There’ll be more no-hitters, more home runs and more…everything.