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2017 ESPY Awards Predictions, Picks and Preview

2017 ESPY Awards Predictions, Picks and Preview

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This coming Wednesday, the best athletes from across almost every sport disciplines will be exchanging jerseys and team uniforms for suits and dresses as the 2017 edition of the ESPY Awards happens at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Get ready as the top performers of recent memory will be feted while memorable moments will be recognized in Tinseltown.


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2017 ESPY Awards Predictions, Picks and Preview

Best Male Athlete

We have a strong group here that includes some record-breakers. Kris Bryant didn’t set any significant milestones save for his new deal with the Chicago Cubs, but the reigning MLB National League MVP was a big reason why the Cubs broke the franchise’s 108-year World Series drought in 2016.

Sidney Crosby won his third and second-straight Stanley Cup this past June, while Russell Westbrook threatened to damage the fabric of the NBA universe on a nightly basis with a season-long statistical assault, concluding in him averaging a triple-double on the season and at the same time breaking Oscar Robertson’s record for most trip-dubs in a season.

Michael Phelps, meanwhile, had a bigger stage to showcase his dominance in his sport, as the American swimmer won five more Olympic gold medals in Rio to add to his collection. He ended his Olympic career with 23 gold medals overall, the most ever by an athlete in any sport.

Prediction: Russell Westbrook

Best Female Athlete

Olympians are well represented in this category with gymnast Simon Biles, swimmer Katie Ledecky, and tennis star Serena Williams all nominated along with Candace Parker of the WNBA. Williams has won the award twice before (2003, 2013) but Biles and Ledecky’s respective four-gold medal performances in Rio are going to be tough to ignore for voters. Parker earns a nod to be part of the nominees after leading the Los Angeles Sparks to a title.

Prediction: Serena Williams

Best Championship Performance

Tom Brady and Kevin Durant lend their star power to this category with both having preternatural performances in Super Bowl LI and in the 2016 NBA Finals respectively. Brady won his fifth Super Bowl ring last February after helping the New England Patriots overcome a massive 25-point deficit against the Atlanta Falcons.

Durant, who was signed by the Golden State Warriors last year, earned his first NBA title and did it in astounding fashion, putting up 35.2 points in five games versus LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Oklahoma Sooner Shay Knighten, meanwhile, is vying for the recognition on the strength of her amazing Women’s College World Series play, hitting .350 in the WCWS to lead his team to a finals win over the Florida Gators.

DeShaun Watson, now with the Houston Texans, gets nominated for his clutch play in the National College Football Championship that helped the Clemson Tigers upend the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Prediction: Tom Brady

The rest of award categories and nominees

Category Nominees
Best Team
  • Chicago Cubs, MLB
  • Clemson Tigers, CFB
  • Golden State Warriors, NBA
  • Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL
  • New England Patriots, NFL
  • South Carolina Gamecocks, Women’s NCAA Basketball
  • US Women’s Gymnastics
Best Game
  • Cubs vs. Indians, World Series Game 7
  • Patriots vs. Falcons, Super Bowl
  • Federer vs. Nadal, Australian Open Final
Best NFL Player
  • Tom Brady, New England Patriots
  • Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
  • Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders
  • Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
  • Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Best MLB Player
  • Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
  • David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
  • Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox
  • Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
  • Mike Trout, LA Angels
Best NHL Player
  • Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
  • Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Best NBA Player
  • Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
  • James Harden, Houston Rockets
  • LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
  • Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Best Play
  • Julian Edelman Super Bowl catch vs. 16. Noah Brown TD catch around defender
  • Morgan Williams buzzer beater vs. UConn vs.15. Larry Nance dunk
  • Aaron Rodgers to Jared Cook vs. 14. Lamar Jackson hurdles defender
  • Northwestern buzzer beater vs. 13. Edwin Encarnacion walk off HR
  • Russell Westbrook buzzer beater vs. 12. LeBron James dunk off the backboard
  • Chris Coghlan leaps over catcher vs. 11. Sidney Crosby one-handed goal
  • Olivier Giroud scorpion kick goal vs. 10. Warriors jump ball transition dunk
  • Mario Mandzukic goal in UEFA Final vs. 9. Jarrod Dyson catch
Best Breakthrough Athlete
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, NBA
  • Laurie Hernandez, Gymnastics
  • Aaron Judge, MLB
  • Dak Prescott, NFL
  • Christian Pulisic, Soccer
Best Record-Breaking Performance
  • Bill Belichick most Super Bowl wins by a head coach
  • Michael Phelps extends his own record of most gold medals/most Olympic medals
  • Diana Taurasi breaks WNBA career scoring record
  • Russell Westbrook most triple doubles in a season
Best Upset
  • Clemson defeats Alabama, CFB National Championship
  • Denis Istomin over Novak Djokovic, Australian Open 2nd Round
  • Mississippi State defeats Connecticut, Women’s NCAA Basketball Final
Best Comeback Athlete
  • Matt Bush, MLB
  • Roger Federer, Tennis
  • Jordy Nelson, NFL
  • Candace Parker, WNBA
Best International Athlete
  • Canelo Alvarez, Boxing
  • Usain Bolt, Track and Field
  • Katinka Hosszu, Swimming
  • Conor McGregor, MMA
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Soccer
Best Driver
  • Ron Capps, NHRA
  • Lewis Hamilton, Formula One
  • Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR
  • Simon Pagenaud, IndyCar
  • Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR
Best WNBA Player
  • Tina Charles, New York Liberty
  • Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics
  • Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx
  • Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks
  • Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks
Best Fighter
  • Terence Crawford, Boxing
  • Gennady Golovkin, Boxing
  • Demetrious Johnson, MMA
  • Conor McGregor, MMA
  • Andre Ward, Boxing
Best Male Golfer
  • Brooks Koepka
  • Sergio Garcia
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Rory McIlroy
  • Henrik Stenson
Best Female Golfer
  • In Gee Chun
  • Ariya Jutanugarn
  • Lydia Ko
  • So Yeon Ryu
  • Lexi Thompson
Best Male Tennis Player
  • Roger Federer
    Andy Murray
    Rafael Nadal
    Stan Wawrinka
Best Female Tennis Player
  • Angelique Kerber
  • Jelena Ostapenko
  • Monica Puig
  • Serena Williams
Best Male College Athlete
  • Ian Harkes, Wake Forest soccer
  • Frank Mason, Kansas basketball
  • Matt Rambo, Maryland lacrosse
  • Zain Retherford, Penn State wrestling
  • DeShaun Watson, Clemson football
Best Female College Athlete
  • Inky Ajanaku, Stanford volleyball
  • Kelly Barnhill, Florida softball
  • Kadeisha Buchanan, West Virginia soccer
  • Kelsey Plum, Washington basketball
  • Zoe Stukenberg, Maryland lacrosse
Best Male Action Sports Athlete
  • Oystein Braaten (NOR), Ski
  • John John Florence, Surf
  • Nyjah Huston, Skateboard
  • Mark McMorris, Snowboard
Best Female Action Sports Athlete
  • Lacey Baker, Skateboard
  • Anna Gasser, Snowboard
  • Kelly Sildaru, Ski
  • Tyler Wright, Surf
Best Jockey
  • Javier Castellano
  • Mike E. Smith
  • John Velasquez
Best Male Athlete With a Disability
  • Will Groulx, Cycling
  • Mike Minor, Snowboarding
  • Steve Serio, Wheelchair Basketball
  • Brad Snyder, Swimming
  • Roderick Townsend, Track and Field
Best Female Athlete With a Disability
  • Oksana Masters, Nordic Skiing
  • Tatyana McFadden, Track and Field
  • Becca Meyers, Swimming
  • Shawn Morelli, Cycling
  • Grace Norman, Triathlon
Best Bowler
  • Jason Belmonte
  • Francois Lavoie
  • EJ Tackett
Best MLS Player
  • Andre Blake, Philadelphia Union
  • Stefan Frei, Seattle Sounders FC
  • Matt Hedges, FC Dallas
  • David Villa, New York City FC
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
Best Male US Olympic Athlete
  • Ashton Eaton, Decathlon
  • Ryan Murphy, Swimming
  • Michael Phelps, Swimming
  • Kyle Snyder, Wrestling
Best Female US Olympic Athlete
  • Simone Biles, Gymnastics
  • Allyson Felix, Track & Field
  • Katie Ledecky, Swimming
  • Simone Manuel, Swimming

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Rex
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