Manager of the Year Predictions
1st place: Joe Maddon – Los Angeles Angels
2nd place: Kevin Cash – Tampa Bay Rays; 3rd place: Dusty Baker – Houston Astros
First off, there is no universe where I think that Dusty Baker can win this award. I like to get crazy with my predictions, but not entirely off the rails. However, there could be a swell of support for him navigating the Houston Astros turbulent season as they stroll towards a fourth-straight division title. He won’t win, but don’t be surprised if he ends up this high with the voters.
With the Boston Red Sox floundering, the Tampa Bay Rays are the last team standing against the New York Yankees. If Kevin Cash can snatch the AL East crown from under New York’s nose and guide the Rays to back-to-back playoff appearances, he will garner a lot of credit and attention when the votes come in.
It seems like the other 14 managers will be battling for second place this season. Joe Maddon has to be the favorite this year if things go his way out West. He’s got a roster that boasts the best player in baseball (Mike Trout), a World Series-winning free-agent acquisition (Anthony Rendon), and a must-watch two-way player (Shohei Ohtani), in one of baseball’s most important markets.
If he can come in and take the Angels to the playoffs for only the second time in Mike Trout’s career, he could be a unanimous choice. Trout turns 29 this season, and baseball fans and writers will be giddy to see the best player in the game competing in the postseason and happily give credit to the new manager in the Angels’ dugout.