3 San Diego Padres stars earning award buzz

Jun 3, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove (44) reacts after striking out Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Jace Peterson (not pictured) in the seventh inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 3, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove (44) reacts after striking out Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Jace Peterson (not pictured) in the seventh inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Several Padres stars are making the case to take home big awards in 2022

Awards buzz starts before the season.

As soon as the previous season’s awards have been handed out, it’s time to look forward and pass the slow offseason making predictions for the next Rookie of the Year, MVP, Cy Young, et al., and then wait to see if picks pan out. Often, they don’t, but it only makes the season even better, because one of the best things about baseball is the unexpectedness. Give me a dazzling dark horse any day.

So far, several San Diego Padres players have played themselves into awards contention. It’s easy to call someone an MVP contender after a month, these Padres are stretching hot streaks into legitimate performances, making the awards buzz more legitimate with each game.

Here’s how Manny Machado, Joe Musgrove, and MacKenzie Gore are each making their case to take home some hardware in the fall:

MVP: Manny Machado

Manny Machado’s name has been at the forefront of NL MVP award chatter for most of the season, and it’s not hard to see why.

Over 63 games, he’s hitting .328/.400/.537 with a .937 OPS, 80 hits, 16 doubles, 11 home runs, 46 runs scored, and 43 driven in. He ranks second in the NL in offensive WAR and WAR for position players, hits, batting average, on-base percentage, third in OPS, and fourth in slugging.

Cy Young: Joe Musgrove

Joe Musgrove his having the best season of his career, by far. Over 12 starts, he has a 1.59 ERA, 2.67 FIP, and .0924 WHIP. Pitcher wins might be slightly outdated for today’s bullpen-heavy game, but he does lead MLB with eight wins and a flawless win-loss record record.

Among his fellow NL pitchers and Cy Young-hopefuls, Musgrove ranks second in ERA, and top-five in pitcher WAR, WHIP, hits per nine, innings pitched, adjusted ERA+, FIP, and WPA (Win Probability Added), to name just a few metrics.

Rookie of the Year: MacKenzie Gore

MacKenzie Gore’s name should be at the top of your NL ROY rankings. He’s started his career with a 2.50 ERA over 10 games (9 starts), only one home run allowed, and 60 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings. Opposing batters can barely get going against him, with a combined .214/.300/.258 line and .558 OPS, striking out 29% of the time.

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