I covered the MVP race a few times over the past couple of months, and much has changed, at least in the National League. On the American League side, the race has remained pretty consistent. So, with that being said, let’s check out the updated NL and AL MVP races.
AL MVP Front Runner
Shohei Ohtani— I think at this point in the season, there should be absolutely ZERO doubt that Ohtani is the front-runner for the AL MVP. Ohtani has a solid MVP case even without including his pitching numbers this season. He currently leads the league in home runs (37) and is in the top five in multiple other categories. Then, as if his batting wasn’t enough, Ohtani is sporting a 2.93 ERA and over 100 strikeouts. I said it once before, Ohtani is the modern-day Babe Ruth and I stand by that comparison until further notice. Ohtani is having a legendary season and will go down as one of the best in the game.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr– There is a reason the title over this says “challenger” and not the plural. Vlad Jr is having a career year at the plate and is in the top five in multiple categories. So far, Vlad Jr is on pace to hit 50 homers and lead the MLB in OPS, which his hall-of-fame father never did. Not only are his numbers good enough to beat out his father’s but he is on pace to possibly win a triple crown. However, despite all of these numbers, I still do not think it will be enough to beat out Ohtani. Keep a close eye on Vlad Jr in the last few weeks.
Rafael Devers– Devers is having a stellar year with Boston as he ranks second behind only Ohtani in extra-base hits. Devers has been a key contributor at the plate for the Red Sox.
Matt Olson– Olson has turned around this year going from strikeout guy to home-run hitter. Olson is easily one of the key reasons Oakland is in the hunt for a division title.
NL MVP Front Runner
Here is where major changes have happened. There have been injuries to all three of the guys that were in the running two months ago. So who is the front runner now?
Fernando Tatis Jr– Tatis has emerged as the front runner thanks to injuries to Acuna Jr and deGrom. With Acuna out for the year and deGrom on his way to being out for the year, Tatis needs to stay healthy. Oh but wait, Tatis was put on the 10-day IL after reinjuring his shoulder. If Tatis has any shot of holding his lead in the MVP race, his recovery better be immensely fast. If Tatis manages a quick recovery and holds his lead, he would finish as the league leader in homers and steals. That would make Tatis only the fourth player since 1900 to accomplish that feat. All the pressure is on Tatis to recover and finish strong. Can he do it?
Freddie Freeman– The reigning NL MVP is having another worthy season. With Acuna Jr gone, if Freeman can manage to get the Braves into the playoffs, the award could be his. Freeman is batting .294 with 24 homers and 63 RBI’s. All that holds him back now would be his team needing more wins.
Trea Turner– Turner is on pace to win an NL batting title and is definitely loving his change of scenery. The former Nationals shortstop has been unreal at the plate this year batting .321 with 49 RBI’s and a .887 OPS. Unfortunately for Turner, no player in MLB history has won an MVP after switching teams that same year. Keep your eyes on Turner and if his Dodgers campaign continues to pan out.
Max Muncy– Muncy is quietly one of the best hitters in the star-studded Dodger lineup. Muncy has an outstanding OPS of .971 and can play at multiple positions in the field. Another star making his name worthwhile in LA.
Manny Machado– Machado has taken a back seat, sort of, to his teammate Tatis; but don’t sleep on Manny. Machado hit eight homers and 25 RBI’s in 25 games in July keeping the Padres in the playoff hunt.
For more MLB content, make sure to check out the MLB section of the website!