2018 Emmy predictions slugfest: Can Alex Borstein or Megan Mullally take down reigning champ Kate McKinnon?

“It’s such a wonderfully original character that she creates: this sexually androgynous, tough as nails, ball-busting comedy manager,” Zach Laws says about Alex Borstein in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” But can she win the Emmy for Best Comedy Supporting Actress? According to Gold Derby’s latest predictions, she’s a slight underdog, ranked second with odds of 14/5. Laws joined me and our fellow Gold Derby contributors Riley Chow, Tony Ruiz and Tom O’Brien for an Emmy predictions slugfest to debate the race (watch above).

“Alex Borstein got two nominations, and she’s not one of those people who’s nominated every single year for voice-over. So the fact that they put her back in the category speaks volume for her,” I point out. Borstein was last nominated for Best Character Voice-Over Performance for her work in”Family Guy” in 2013, but she’s back in that race this year, and it could be thanks in part to the extra notoriety she got from “Maisel.” Chow even thinks “she was just as good as Rachel Brosnahan on ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,'” and Brosnahan is the overwhelming front-runner to win Best Comedy Actress.

But the expected winner for Comedy Supporting Actress is Kate McKinnon, the two-time reigning champion for “Saturday Night Live” (2016-2017). She gets leading odds of 6/5. But we have doubts about her three-peating. “I don’t think McKinnon had a strong year without the Hillary Clinton character,” O’Brien argues. Laws agrees that she might be “crippled by the loss” of that signature political role. I’m ambivalent too, since McKinnon also doesn’t fit quite the same mold as past triple-winners like Laurie Metcalf for “Roseanne” (1992-1994) or Doris Roberts for “Everybody Loves Raymond” (2001-2003 and 2005).

Megan Mullaly (“Will and Grace”) does fit that mold of sitcom scene-stealers, and she already won twice during the show’s original run (2000 and 2006). But Mullaly trails in fourth place with odds of 28/1, and she was the only member of the regular cast to receive an Emmy nomination for the revival. Nevertheless, O’Brien makes her case: “Don’t discount her. [Her episode submission, ‘Rosario’s Quinceanera,’] is dynamite. It’s one of the best episodes she’s had in the entire run of the series because it does allow her a range of emotions.” And Ruiz notes about that episode, “She is almost in all of it. And it ends with such a gut-punch with this monologue.”

Like Mullally, Metcalf is nominated for the revival of her show, and she’s coming off a great year during which she received her first Oscar nomination (Best Supporting Actress for “Lady Bird”) and won her second Tony in as many years (Best Featured Actress in a Play for “Three Tall Women”). But she’s in third place with odds of 11/2. “I think there is a great deal of feeling by some people that Laurie Metcalf should have won the Oscar,” O’Brien says, so Emmy voters might want to make it up to her.

But we couldn’t end our conversation without considering a possible upset. There are eight nominees in this category, and the last time that happened was 2013, when Merritt Wever (“Nurse Jackie”) shocked almost everybody by winning. Laws wonders if Zazie Beetz (“Atlanta”) is a threat: “I think the fact that she got in speaks to how much they like ‘Atlanta’ and how much they like her.” Chow thinks we should watch out for Betty Gilpin “just because the second season of ‘GLOW’ came out after voting for the nominations, and she has a much bigger role in that one.” Gilpin ranks fifth in our predictions with odds of 33/1, while Beetz is seventh with odds of 66/1.

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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