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2018 Manager of the Year Predictions

 

Manager of the Year often gets the least praise out of all of the major awards, but a bad managerial decision really can break a team in crunch time. (Orioles not putting Britton in during the WC game in 2016 for example). These are my predictions for the 2018 Manager of the Year award. Check back tomorrow for the Rookie of the Year predictions!

National League Honorable Mentions:

Joe Maddon (Cubs) / Dave Martinez (Nationals) / Dave Roberts (Dodgers) –

Why they will win –

After signing Yu Darvish, the Cubs have cemented their place as favorites of the NL Central for the third year in row for 2018. Come August and September, expect them to have the division wrapped up once again. Very similar to the Cubs, the Nationals have little to no competition in the NL East, so they will most likely have the division under control by August, if not earlier. The Dodgers aren’t as clear cut favorites as the other 2, but they still are the leaders of the division until one of the NL West’s lower teams dethrones them. It would take a season where any of these teams put up a crooked number in the win column, somewhere in the neighborhood of 105+ wins to really gather some attention for the award.

Why they won’t win –

Manager of the Year often goes to a team that is up and coming, or had surprising success, so this hurts Maddon’s chances for his 4th time winning the award, or Martinez and Roberts winning their first.

National League Darkhorse:

Gabe Kapler (Phillies) –

Why he will win –

The Phillies still look to be a year away from really competing. If Kapler can spring their team to push for a playoff berth, that would get him some consideration, similar to the Diamondbacks and Twins last season. If the Phillies could sneak into a wild card spot this season, that would all but wrap up the award for him. Anything short of the playoffs drastically reduces his chances of taking home some hardware.

Why he won’t win –

His reason for winning, could also be his downfall. The Phillies roster looks substantially better than last season, but still doesn’t look talented enough to make it to the playoffs this year. Without a playoff berth, his chances go out the window.

( Google Images | via SI.com )

National League Pick:

Craig Counsell (Brewers) –

Why he will win –

The Brewers restocked this off-season for a playoff run. They led the division for the majority of the season last year, but faded off towards the end. Especially if the Brewers somehow manage to win the division, Counsell would have the award locked up, but a wild card seems more realistic, that would put him at the top of the list.

Why he won’t win –

If the Brewers underperform this season. They traded away some prestigious prospects to get Christian Yelich and spent uncharacteristically to get Lorenzo Cain. If they don’t contend for a playoff spot, Counsell has no chance.

American League Honorable Mentions:

Aaron Boone (Yankees) / Terry Francona (Indians) / A.J. Hinch (Astros) –

Why they will win –

The Indians and Astros will likely have their divisions wrapped up by late summer, their managers have incredibly talented rosters, leading to great success. The Yankees still have the Red Sox to compete with, but they still should come out on top of the division in the end.

Why they won’t win –

For all of the exact same reasons as the NL’s elite ball clubs, it is hard to get this award if your team has already proven to be at the top. Even if Aaron Boone is a rookie manager, he still inherited one of the most talented rosters in baseball. It would take an unusually large number of wins for these managers to get the attention for this award.

Paul Molitor (Twins) –

Why he will win –

The Twins have an encore that is even better than their 85 win season last year, flying past all expectations. They could surprise a lot of people with the talent they actually have on their roster.

Why he won’t win –

Only one time since the Manager of the Year was started, has a manager won back-to-back times. Another 85–90 win season won’t cut it for Molitor, he will probably need a season surpassing 90 wins, and that may be a stretch for a team like the Twins.

American League Darkhorse:

Scott Servais (Mariners) –

Why he will win –

I know, it feels like people have been projecting the Mariners to finally breakout for years. Their roster has the pieces, they just have one flaw that sinks them every year. If Servais can get them to their first playoff appearance since 2001, he could likely bring in some hardware.

Why he won’t win –

It is easier said than done to lead the Mariners to the playoffs. They keep missing the playoffs for a reason, and their roster isn’t as talented as years past. This will probably be their final year in this “breakout” category with Cruz, Cano, Iwakuma, and King Felix all declining with their advancing ages.

( Luis Sinco | Getty Images | Los Angeles Times )

American League Pick:

Mike Scioscia (Angels) –

Why he will win –

The Angels went into win now mode this offseason. With the signings of Shohei Ohtani, and Zack Cozart, along with trading for Ian Kinsler. They recognize they can’t keep wasting Mike Trout’s career. They have a talented roster and figure to be a strong contender for a Wild Card spot after missing the playoffs in 3 straight seasons

Why he won’t win –

If Ohtani’s skills don’t translate on the mound, Cozart regresses to his league average form after breaking out last year, and Kinsler’s decline as he gets older continues, they have the same roster as last year, essentially. They need their new acquisitions to perform like they did this past season and their current core players like Richards, Trout etc… to stay healthy, which may be a tall order for a few of those players.


Featured Photo: Getty Images | via Pinterest

Reed Zahradnik

University of Iowa '22. St. Louis Cardinals, 50 feet of crap, everyone else. Follow me on Twitter: @reed_zahradnik5

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