Sean Pendergast

POLL: Which Astro Do Fans Most Want To Win a 2022 MLB Award?

Make no mistake, the main reason we love working through the spectator-grind of a 162-game Major League Baseball season is because, here in Houston, we've become accustomed to realistic World Series dreams. However, we love the subplots, too, and we are very fortunate here, year in and year out, to have individual Astro players in the running for major awards.

This season might be one of the most fun seasons in recent memory, because the Astros have legitimate contenders for all three of the major American League player awards — MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year — as well as Dusty Baker emerging as a viable candidate to win AL Manager of the Year at the age of 73. So I posed the question recently to Astro fans, which of these entities are you most pulling for to take home their respective piece of hardware.

Here were the poll results:
So in overwhelming fashion, to where his amount of support exceeds the other three poll entrants combined, Yordan Alvarez is the player fans most want to see recognized for his greatness. And when healthy, he has been astoundingly GREAT. Here are the current odds, as of Saturday for the American League MVP award:

Shohei Ohtani, LAA +110
Aaron Judge, NYY +165
Yordan Alvarez, HOU +1100
Mike Trout, LAA +1200
Rafael Devers, BOS +1500
Jose Ramirez, CLV +2500
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR +6600
Byron Buxton, MIN +8000
Giancarlo Stanton, NYY +10000

Judge had been the favorite for most of the season until the multifaceted Ohtani went on a recent hot stretch, including a six-inning, 12-strikeout performance against the Astros last week. Alvarez has spent the last week or so on the Injured List with inflammation in his right hand. The team is not overly concerned about it, in the big picture, but Alvarez will, no doubt, need a fully healthy second half of the season to stay in contention for this award.

As for the other awards, here are the odds leaderboards for those:

AL CY YOUNG AWARD

Shane McClanahan, TB +250
Justin Verlander, HOU +270
Gerrit Cole, NYY +850
Shohei Ohtani, LAA +950
Dylan Cease, CHW +1,700
Kevin Gausman, TOR +1,700
Alek Manoah, TOR +1,900
Nestor Cortes, NYY +2,500
Logan Gilbert, SEA +2,500
Shane Bieber, CLV +4,000
Framber Valdez, HOU +5,000
Martin Perez, TEX +6,000
Cristian Javier, HOU +6,000

Verlander's comeback from Tommy John surgery has been nothing short of sensational, and it's reflected in these odds for the Cy Young Award. It's tough to quibble with McClanahan as the slight favorite, as he leads the AL in several statistical categories, but Verlander may garner some sentimental favoritism, if the race is close, given his return from a two-year absence at age 39. The Astros also have Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier in the ring of the AL Cy Young race, as well.

AL ROOKIE of the YEAR

Julio Rodriguez, SEA -225
Jeremy Pena, HOU +600
Bobby Witt Jr., KC +600
Adley Rutschman, BAL +1800
Joe Ryan, MIN +3000
Riley Greene, DET +3500
Spencer Torkelson, DET +4000
Vinnie Pasquantino, KC +5000
MJ Melendez, KC +5000
Jake Burger, CHW +5000

These odds highlight what a solid decision, albeit not an easy one, for GM James Click to allow Carlos Correa to walk in free agency, and hand the keys to the starting shortstop role to Pena, who's played at a  near All Star level, and more importantly, has shown flashes of the same clutch gene (two walk off home runs, so far) that was Correa's calling card in the postseason.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.