The Athletic’s Jim Bowden gives his pick for NL MVP, Cy Young, more

MLB: JUN 30 Marlins at Braves

The Braves have several members of their organization that could be recognized at the end of the season, led by NL MVP frontrunner Ronald Acuña Jr., who The Athletic’s Jim Bowden has taking home the award after a historic season over Mookie Betts.

It’s been a fun race all year between Acuña and Betts and both deserve to win it. Acuña leads Betts in runs (135 to 122), batting average (.336 to .308), on-base percentage (.417 to .409), stolen bases (66 to 13) and triples (3 to 1), while Betts leads Acuña in doubles (37 to 33), home runs (39 to 37), RBIs (103 to 98) and slugging percentage (.596 to .586). Acuña’s 66 stolen bases will probably help him edge Betts in the end but Betts’ positional flexibility and better defense could balance that out. How they finish the season will matter. Olson (52 homers, 129 RBIs, 162 OPS+) and Freeman (.335 average, 55 doubles, 162 OPS+) deserve mention for their outstanding seasons.

Of note, Bowden also has Matt Olson edging out Freddie Freeman for third place in the race, but Acuña isn’t the only Brave that might be recognized at the end of the season. Spencer Strider also has an outside chance at the NL Cy Young; however, it will be hard for him to win due to his inflated ERA, which Bowden recognizes. He doesn’t even have Strider finishing inside the top three for the NL Cy Young, naming Blake Snell the winner.

I have to agree with Bowden. I would be shocked if Strider took home his first Cy Young award this season, even though I think he has the chance to win several in the future. However, I do want to talk about Brian Snitker as the potential NL Manager of the year. Oftentimes, managers of first place clubs with a lot of talent get overlooked, which is what Bowden predicts will happen, naming David Ross the winner. I understand why that occurs, but it’s not necessarily fair. You’d be hard pressed to find a manager that does a better job year after year than Brian Snitker, despite what some low-life fans might suggest.

Bowden doesn’t give his prediction for MLB Executive of the Year in this piece, but I have to imagine Alex Anthopoulos should be at the top of the list. He’s the best executive in baseball and his moves in the offseason and at the trade deadline have worked to perfection. Sean Murphy has been a terrific addition behind the plate. Orlando Arcia has turned into one of the best bargains in baseball, and the acquisitions of lesser known players like Joe Jimenez, Pierce Johnson, Michael Tonkin, and Nicky Lopez were brilliant. There are a lot of deserving candidates, but none more so than Alex Anthopoulos.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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