Major League Baseball
Scherzer, Ohtani, Harper and more: FOX Sports hands out MVP and Cy Young awards
Major League Baseball

Scherzer, Ohtani, Harper and more: FOX Sports hands out MVP and Cy Young awards

Published Sep. 28, 2021 6:04 p.m. ET

Wild cards. Divisional crowns. Clinching. Elimination. Home-field advantage. 

The last week of the MLB regular season brings about a lot of drama. Not to be forgotten in all of that is the conclusion of the sport's major awards races.

With just a few games remaining in the regular season, FOX Sports' MLB writers — Pedro Moura, Jake Mintz, Jordan Shusterman and Ben Verlander — filled out their MVP and Cy Young awards ballots. Following MLB tradition, they ranked 10 players for MVP and five for Cy Young. 

We then compiled the ballots by awarding 10 points for each first-place MVP vote, nine points for second place and so on, and five points for each first-place Cy Young vote, four points for second, etc.

Let's get to the results.

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Max Scherzer, Dodgers: 17 points

Save for a small altitude-aided misstep last week in Colorado, Scherzer has dominated since he became a Dodger. At 37, he is showing no signs of aging. Plenty of his younger peers are challenging him, but Scherzer reigns supreme. – PM (voted Scherzer first)

Corbin Burnes, Brewers: 17

The thing I appreciate most about Burnes’ season is that his eye-popping stats somehow manage to match the eye test. All the pitchers near the top of this ballot have nasty stuff, but watching Burnes masterfully carve lineups with his otherworldly cutter has been especially delightful. I appreciate Zack Wheeler’s workload and Scherzer's Dodgers run, but Burnes just looked like the best (non-Jacob deGrom) pitcher in the world whenever I tuned in to his starts this season, and he has the numbers to back it up. – JS (voted Burnes first)

Zack Wheeler, Phillies: 11

The best ability is availability, baby. Wheeler is set to be the only pitcher this year to reach the 210-inning plateau, and he did that with an ERA under 2.80 while keeping the mediocre Phillies in the playoff hunt. Starters don’t go as long or as often as they once did, and I’m not here to shake my fist at our new reality, but in a world that revolves around bullpens, Wheeler and his seven strong innings become even more indispensable. The Brewers and their juggernaut relief corps could afford to yank the incredible Burnes early, but when the choice in the eighth is Wheeler or Random Phillies Reliever A? You get my point. – JM (voted Wheeler first)

Walker Buehler, Dodgers: 6

Through the first five months of the season, it seemed that Buehler had this award all wrapped up. Then he scuffled down the stretch while his now-teammate, Scherzer, came to the Dodgers and had one of the most impressive finishes to a season in the history of the game. It was still a fantastic season from Buehler, but with some of the other numbers that were put up, this was a highly competitive race in the NL. – BV (voted Buehler third)

Others receiving votes: Brandon Woodruff 5, Kevin Gausman 3


Gerrit Cole, Yankees: 18 points

Many in the industry questioned how much Cole would regress once the league’s foreign substance ban went into effect in June. He has regressed a little bit — but certainly not a lot. He is piling up the innings and the strikeouts. – PM (voted Cole second)

Robbie Ray, Blue Jays: 18

Ray has by far the best ERA among qualified starters in the American League and more strikeouts than anyone else as well. He had the most dominant year in the AL and separated himself from the pack down the stretch. – BV (voted Ray first)

Lance Lynn, White Sox: 8

You could argue that Lynn was actually better in his previous two seasons, when he finished fifth and sixth in AL Cy Young voting, respectively, but the field is much weaker this year, and I feel comfortable putting him in my top three. He also led the league in Belts Thrown During Foreign Substance Checks, a category I value highly when comparing Cy Young candidates. – JS (voted Lynn third)

Carlos Rodón, White Sox: 7

Second-half injuries curtailed his full-season numbers, but Rodón’s bounce-back year was downright remarkable. I’m admittedly voting somewhat off narrative here with the comeback story and the no-hitter back in April, but this dude still had a full-season ERA under 2.50 with 12.8 strikeouts per nine. What a year. – JM (voted Rodón third)

Others receiving votes: Nathan Eovaldi 4, José Berríos 3, Chris Bassitt 1, Lance McCullers Jr. 1


Bryce Harper, Phillies: 39 points

Harper has been almost single-handedly keeping the Phillies afloat in their wild-card hunt while fulfilling the franchise’s hopes when Philadelphia signed him to his blockbuster contract. We’ve seen him at this level before, but some in the sport wondered whether he’d return to these heights as he approaches his 29th birthday. – PM (voted Harper first)

Juan Soto, Nationals: 36

I remember watching Soto take over the World Series as a teenager and marveling at the fact that that was only the beginning. If he could dominate and intimidate like that on the game’s biggest stage, why would we be surprised that he could bless us with a Ted Williams/Barry Bonds-esque OBP masterclass against random teams in the regular season? His team is no longer in the spotlight after trading away its two other biggest stars, but that doesn’t mean Soto can’t still be the center of attention. 

His at-bats in the second half were about as "must-watch" as I can remember a hitter having in recent memory. I also want to give Soto bonus points for coming up with his trademark Soto Shuffle whenever he takes a ball, which has aged tremendously well as a way to entertain fans even as he gets fewer and fewer pitches to hit. It’s realistic that all three NL MVP finalists will be on non-playoff teams; Soto’s unbelievable offensive display down the stretch was enough for me to slot him in the top spot in a close call. – JS (voted Soto first)

Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres: 33

Look, I know things didn’t exactly end "well" for the Padres or whatever, but when Tatis was healthy, he was all you could ask him to be. El Niño hit 41 dingers, logged an OPS that tickled 1.000 and swiped 25 bags, despite missing more than 30 games due to various injuries. He slides in just behind Harper and Soto for me. I’ll admit that the San Diego implosion didn’t help, but in a full season of games, Tatis might have made things more difficult. Until next year. – JM (voted Tatis third)

Trea Turner, Dodgers: 26

Turner does everything: hits for power, gets on base, steals bases and plays competent defense. And he’s versatile. In fact, he’s the only MVP candidate to switch positions this season. – PM (voted Turner fourth)

Max Muncy, Dodgers: 22

There had to be a full-season Dodger around here somewhere, and while you could certainly argue Will Smith, Muncy and his hilariously impressive walk rate take the cake for me. – JM (voted Muncy fifth)

Brandon Crawford, Giants: 18

If you knew nothing about this candidate other than "the shortstop with plus defense and a .900 OPS on the team with the best record in baseball," you’d probably expect that guy to appear decently high on an MVP ballot, right? Crawford’s offensive resurgence is just as shocking to me as anyone. I don’t love over-rewarding team success on MVP ballots, but this dude has been amazing on both sides of the ball, and I’m comfortable putting him this high on my ballot. – JS (voted Crawford fifth)

Freddie Freeman, Braves: 11

Freeman quietly put together one of the best seasons in baseball. Ho hum, just another 30-plus-home-run year while hitting .300 and playing great defense for a first-place team. Also, Freeman plays every single day. That’s something we don’t see often in this game anymore. – BV (voted Freeman fourth)

Others receiving votes: Tyler O’Neill 10, Austin Riley 8, Paul Goldschmidt 6, Nick Castellanos 4, Joey Votto 3, JT Realmuto 2, Willy Adames 1, Will Smith 1


Shohei Ohtani, Angels: 40 points (the only unanimous winner!)

This is not a hard decision. Ohtani has been the most powerful hitter in the sport and an elite pitcher. I don’t expect another season like this from anyone else in my lifetime — and maybe not from Ohtani, either. This is a high bar. – PM (voted Ohtani first)

Vlad Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays: 36

It was a remarkable year on offense for the 22-year-old. If not for the unprecedented season by Ohtani, we’d be talking about Guerrero as the MVP. He put together the best offensive season in Major League Baseball. – BV (voted Guerrero second)

Marcus Semien, Blue Jays: 30

For all the attention Salvador Perez has gotten for breaking Johnny Bench’s record for homers in a single season as a catcher, Semien has quietly been chasing the same record for second base — a position he is playing this year for the first time! Vlad Jr. has deservedly received most of the headlines, but Semien has performed essentially just as well as he did in 2019, when he finished third in AL MVP, and I think he deserves to be a finalist again. His is also probably one of the better one-year free-agent contracts in MLB history. – JS (voted Semien third)

Cedric Mullins, Orioles: 24

Putting Mullins ahead of Ohtani or Guerrero would've been leaving-a-sandwich-inside-a-patient-during-surgery levels of malpractice, but when I compared him to everyone else in the AL, it was clear he deserved the No. 3 spot, just ahead of Marcus Semien. Mullins has a higher OPS than Semien, a higher batting average, a higher OBP and more steals. He plays a premium position very well and has the prestige of a 30-homer/30-steal season (the first in O's history). A light in the Baltimore baseball darkness, Ced has been the best of the mere mortals behind the Vlad/Ohtani supernovas. Chapeau, my dude. – JM (voted Mullins third)

Salvador Perez, Royals: 19

Hitting 45-plus dingers will usually put you in the MVP conversation no matter what position you play. If you do that while also squatting behind the plate for 120-plus games, you belong very high on my ballot. As far as fourth-place finishes go, it’s hard to imagine one much better for Royals fans than getting to watch the face of the franchise make home-run history. And before you yell at me about Perez's framing numbers or walk rate: I enjoy touting advanced metrics all day long, but let’s not overcomplicate this. Perez caught 1,000 innings and hit 46 home runs. That deserves a Presidential Medal of Freedom as much as it does down-ballot MVP votes. – JS (voted Perez fifth)

José Ramírez, Indians: 19

Since 2017, no one in baseball has more top-three MVP finishes than Ramírez, one of the most overlooked players in the game. Year in, year out, he smacks 35 homers and steals 25 bags and plays good defense and scowls at pitchers and has a splendid time along the way. – JM (voted Ramírez fifth)

Aaron Judge, Yankees: 19

Judge put together a full healthy season for the first time since 2017, and the Yankees' slugger did not disappoint. I have Judge slightly behind Perez simply because of the history-making season Perez had, breaking the single-season record for home runs by a catcher all while playing almost every game … which is wild! – BV (voted Judge fifth)

Carlos Correa, Astros: 15

What a bounce-back campaign for Correa, who was mediocre in 2020 and is now in line for hundreds of millions of dollars. Maybe most impressive is his defense. Scouts say he has been one of baseball’s best shortstops. – PM (voted Correa third)

Others receiving votes: Xander Bogaerts 9, Matt Olson 5, Rafael Devers 3, Kyle Tucker 2


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