2021 Midseason Awards: Manager and Rookie of the Year
Picking midseason NL, AL Manager and Rookie of the Year award winners.
Last July, MLB kicked off a pandemic-shortened season that lasted just 60 games. Almost a year later, most teams hover around the 81-game mark, and the All-Star break is right around the corner. So, we’re revealing our midseason MLB award winners.
Thankfully we’re working with a sample size of 21 games more than Baseball Writers’ Association of America members had to analyze last season. Our third installment focuses on the Manager and Rookie of the Year awards, following the Cy Young and MVP races.
Manager of the Year
This year, several managers have been getting the most out of their teams. So much so, that their teams are overperforming according to preseason projections.
Two, in particular, have their teams at the top of their respective divisions. They are Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora in the American League and San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler in the National League.
Prior to the start of the season, Baseball Prospectus puts out their PECOTA projected standings. In the AL East, they had the Red Sox sitting in fourth place with an 80-82 (.494) record. The projections also had them with a -7 run differential.
Well, with more than half of the season gone, the Red Sox currently have a 54-32 (.628) record and have sole possession of first place in the AL East. Their +64 run differential is top five in the American League.
Verdict: Alex Cora is the AL Manager of the Year
In the National League, the San Francisco Giants are exceeding expectations at an even more impressive level than the Red Sox. In fact, PECOTA Projected them to finish the year fourth in the National League West with a 75-87 (.465) record and a -34 run differential.
With a reinvented Cy Young candidate in Kevin Gausman and a resurgent Buster Posey, the Giants have blown those projections out of the water. 84 games into the 2021 season, San Francisco is in first place in the NL West with a 53-31 (.631) record and a +104 run differential.
Verdict: Gabe Kapler is the NL Manager of the Year
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