Where has all the drama gone in the eight major awards as voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America? Over the past four years, the 32 winners grabbed an average of 81% of the first-place votes, with an increased share three consecutive years, even with the narrow AL Cy Young Award win by Rick Porcello last year.
Landslides rule. Is the electorate more enlightened? Is it groupthink? Is it more transparency? Is it confirmation bias (favorites get broadly identified, like the “popularity” bar on iTunes that sells more of what’s popular because it’s been branded as such)?
Maybe this year will be different. With only five days left in a 183-day season, we have the potential for two or more cliffhangers this year. No race is more crowded than the one for National League Most Valuable Player. So as I give you my ballots—subject to change, and one of which will be an official BBWAA award ballot to be identified later—I must start with most unpredictable one of all. (Statistics entering Monday.)