With the MLB reaching the “halfway” point in the season, there have been plenty of top-tier performers so far. I already addressed who the front runners for MVP are in both the American and the National League. While there is no overall MVP, I felt there had to be a player who stood out in the entire league versus just their division. I would be all for an overall MVP for baseball, but that is a completely different conversation. With that being said, who would be the overall MLB MVP in the first half? Is there a clear favorite? Let’s check it out.
Front Runner: Shohei Ohtani
At the halfway point I honestly do not see any other player that would win an overall MVP award. Ohtani is on an absolute tear this season. The two-way superstar is sporting a league-leading 33 home runs and is top three in RBI’s. Ohtani is also having a solid year on the mound for someone hitting the ball as much as he does. Shohei has accumulated an impressive 3.49 ERA and 87 strikeouts as well. Ohtani is the modern-day Babe Ruth, and we are witnessing history folks.
While there is still the back half of the season left, if Ohtani can keep this up, he will cement himself as one of the best players in the league. If the season ended after the All-Star festivities, Ohtani would unanimously win an overall MVP. A two-way player that can play at a high level on both sides of the ball, should easily win this award.
Other Contenders: Jacob deGrom and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
I spoke highly of him when talking about the front runner for NL MVP and deGrom has that locked up. After seeing the injury to Ronald Acuna Jr, deGrom is now the heavy favorite. He is having one of the most historic pitching seasons of all time. In 92 innings, deGrom has a 1.08 ERA, 1.23 FIP, and 4.8 fWAR, all top of the league among starting pitchers in 2021. As if deGrom’s pitching wasn’t enough, he has also managed to hit .364 in the opportunities he has gotten at the plate. While the odds of a pitcher beating out some of the guys that hit more often, deGrom should be considered.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Vlad Jr. is also having an incredible season at the plate. This season, Guerrero is hitting .332/.430/.658 with 28 home runs, 73 RBIs, 52 walks, and a 1.089 OPS. Vlad Jr has started to look more and more like his hall of fame dad did back in the day. If he can keep up this high level of play in the second half, he can easily challenge Ohtani for AL MVP. In this sense, I do not think his play is enough to win an overall MVP but definitely enough to put him in the conversation.
I would love to see the MLB implement an overall MVP award for the league. Will it happen? Probably not, but it would make the competition better in my opinion. After the first half, I fully believe Ohtani would win the first half MVP of the MLB. Until the two-way phenom of Ohtani cools off, this would be his award unanimously. Hopefully, all of these players continue to perform at a high level in the second half and solidify their names for the end-of-season awards.
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