1 bold prediction for each MLB team in 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 1: Carlos Correa /
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Cincinnati Reds – Joey Votto wins N.L. MVP

Much like Noah Syndergaard for the N.L. Cy Young, Joey Votto will face some stiff competition for winning the coveted MVP award. Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Kris Bryant could all be in the running. All of those players will likely play for teams with better records than the Reds, who may top out at 75-80 wins if everything goes right. It won’t matter as Votto follows his second-place finish in 2017 with winning this year.

Last season was arguably Votto’s best season he’s ever put forward. He batted .324, played in every single game, had an OPS of 1.032(career high), hit 36 home runs and had an insane 134/83 walk to strikeout ratio. Those numbers are hard to pull off in a video game, much less in the big leagues when a player is 33 years old. 2018 will see Votto perform slightly better across the board as the Reds are a better team than last year on paper. Maybe one day Votto will start to hit the wall and see his game slip. It won’t be in 2018 as his style of play will continue to translate as he gets a little older.

Keep in mind, Votto finished second in voting last year even though the Reds lost 94 games. Any team improvement will give him an even better shot. It’s possible Cincinnati could contend for a Wild Card spot, although that’s a bit of a long shot. Votto is the engine that drives this squad and he’ll be at his best this year. One of the most under-appreciated hitting machines of the best 25 years will capture his second, and well-deserved, MVP.