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Sunday, March 31, 2013
SweetSpot awards: Joey Votto for MVP

By David Schoenfield

Joey Votto
Does Joey Votto see his second NL MVP Award in his future?
Earlier, the SweetSpot bloggers overwhelmingly supported Mike Trout for AL MVP and Justin Verlander for the AL Cy Young Award. Let's see how the predictions line up in the NL.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
For the second straight, the SweetSpot bloggers select Reds first baseman Joey Votto as their MVP favorite. Votto won pretty easily, collecting 24 of the 47 first-place votes, with the other 23 distributed among nine different players. Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has big expectations in his sophomore season and he finished second in the balloting, ahead of Ryan Braun and Buster Posey, the past two MVPs. Will the Pirates make the playoffs? Andrew McCutchen actually received the second-most first-place votes but finished fifth in the vote.

Points on a 14-9-8-7-6 basis.

1. Joey Votto, 524 points (24 first-place votes)
2. Bryce Harper, 271 points (3)
3. Ryan Braun, 238 points (2)
4. Buster Posey, 212 points (3)
5. Andrew McCutchen, 196 points (6)
6. Jason Heyward, 148 points (2)
7. Matt Kemp, 139 points (4)
8. Justin Upton, 120 points (1)
9. Giancarlo Stanton, 65 points (1)
10. Adrian Gonzalez, 36 points (1)

Others -- Troy Tulowitzki (34 points), Paul Goldschmidt (24), David Wright (24), Allen Craig (19), Ryan Zimmerman (14), Matt Holliday (7), Jay Bruce (6), Brandon Belt (6), Carlos Gonzalez (6).

CY YOUNG
The bloggers predict a two-way Cy Young race between Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw -- who won the award in 2011 and finished second last year -- and Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, coming off a 15-6, 3.16 season in 28 starts. He received one more first-place vote than Kershaw, but Kershaw had more down-the ballot support to edge ahead. Six other pitchers received first-place votes, showing the depth of great starters in the NL.

Points on a 7-4-3 basis.

1. Clayton Kershaw, 229 points (18 first-place votes)
2. Stephen Strasburg, 214 points (19)
3. Cole Hamels, 56 points (4)
4. Matt Cain, 45 points (1)
5. Adam Wainwright, 30 points (2)
6. Cliff Lee, 17 points (1)
7. Gio Gonzalez, 14 points (0)
8. Mat Latos, 13 points (1)

Others -- Madison Bumgarner (12 points), Johnny Cueto (9), Jordan Zimmermann (7, one first-place vote), Yovani Gallardo (6), Jeff Samardzija (3), Roy Halladay (3).

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Twelve different players received first-place votes, so this race looks wide open. Obviously, playing time weighs heavily, so Shelby Miller of the Cardinals and Julio Teheran of the Braves, who won rotation jobs out of spring training, rank 1-2 in the balloting. The Cardinals have the potential for a great rookie class as Oscar Taveras, Trevor Rosenthal and Kolten Wong also received votes.

Points on a 5-3-1 basis.

1. Shelby Miller, 93 points (14 first-place votes)
2. Julio Teheran, 92 points (8)
3. Jedd Gyorko, 57 points (6)
4. Oscar Taveras, 39 points (5)
5. Adam Eaton, 36 points (4)
6. Travis d'Arnaud, 21 points (2)
7. Gerrit Cole, 15 points (2)

Others -- Yasiel Puig (10 points), Zack Wheeler (10), Billy Hamilton (9, one first-place vote), Tyler Skaggs (8, one first place), Trevor Rosenthal (7), Kyuji Fujikawa (6 points, one first place), Christian Yelich (5 points, one first place), Nolan Arenado (5 points, one first place), Hyun-Jin Ryu (3), Rob Brantly (2), Kolten Wong (1).