Award Frontrunners and Their Cards

We're close to October baseball, meaning the MLB Awards is in full swing. Let's look at the top two for the MVP and Cy Young, sorted by Vegas odds to win.

 

AL MVP


Shohei Ohtani, P/DH (-2000)


2021 Notable Hitting Stats and Rankings:

.258 Batting Average (47th)

.359 On Base Percentage (14th)

.595 Slugging Percentage (2nd)

1.024 On Base Plus Slugging (2nd)

44 Home Runs (3rd)

94 RBIs (12th)

23 Stolen Bases (5th)

12 Intentional Walks (1st)


Pitching Stats:

.211 Batting Average Allowed (6th)

.638 On Base Plus Slugging Allowed (5th)

3.38 Earned Run Average (9th)

28.8% Strikeout Percentage (5th)

I'm sure I don't need to go over what Ohtani has done this year, as the MLB social media crew has done a great job at immortalizing what he has done this year. However, his card above was a mystery for me as I could not find much current information on the Epoch brand. I deduce that it is a Topps Now style card company that is only available on their website for a limited time. That's probably why this card went for $18,895.



Vladimir Guerrero Jr, 1B/DH (+800)


2021 Notable Stats and Rankings:

46 Home Runs (1st)

.318 Batting Average (1st)

.409 On Base Percentage (2nd)

.615 Slugging Percentage (1st)

1.024 On Base Plus Slugging (1st)

118 Runs Scored (1st)

175 Hits (1st)

81 Walks (3rd)


If it weren't for the one-of-a-kind Shohei Ohtani, Vlad Jr would easily capture the AL MVP. He's top three in most hitting statistics. He'll be around for a while as he's only 22 years old, so I can anticipate Vladdy to pick up a couple of MVPs, and maybe even Triple Crowns, throughout his career. His Bowman First card is the most sought-after for his collection, with the above one selling recently for $27,999.


 

AL Cy Young


Robbie Ray, SP (+100)


2021 Notable Stats and Rankings:

233 Strikeouts (1st)

177.1 Innings Pitched (1st)

2.64 ERA (1st)

33.1 Strikeout Percentage (3rd)

.207 Batting Average Allowed (1st)


Fans of Robbie Ray aren't surprised to see his dominance. Among qualified players, Ray is the ALL-TIME LEADER in strikeouts per nine innings at 11.3. He's toned it down on the walks as well, with a career-low 2.2 walks per nine. But, as we know in the hobby, pitcher's cards don't carry the same amount of value as hitters. It also doesn't look like Robbie has signed many cards or had many cards. The above National Treasures card went for $285.


Gerrit Cole, SP (-125)



2021 Notable Stats and Rankings:

224 Strikeouts (2nd)

2.75 Earned Run Average (2nd)

34.6 Strikeout Percentage (1st)

.210 Batting Average Allowed (2nd)

What's intriguing to me is that being the husband of a Yankees fan, you would think Cole had an average year. But, it turns out, his average performance is usually league-best. This is Cole's fifth time in nine years with a serious shot at the Cy Young. Check out the Topps Update Pink Parallel of his rookie year, which sold recently for $3,800.


 

NL Cy Young


Max Scherzer, SP (+100)


2021 Notable Stats and Rankings:

226 Strikeouts (2nd)

2.08 Earned Run Average (1st)

35.1 Strikeout Percentage (2nd)

.171 Batting Average Allowed (1st)

.536 On Base Plus Slugging Allowed (2nd)


Scherzer gathered his 3,000 strikeouts this year, which pairs nicely with his three Cy Young awards. So here he is again, playing with the Nationals and then traded to the Dodgers at the deadline at the tops of the leaderboards. Mad Max didn't sign many cards either, but his Topps Update Rookie Card black parallel fetched $3,800.


Corbin Burnes, SP (+140)