The MVP race is as competitive as we have seen in years. It has a crop of new faces and established stars. Just to get it out of the way, this is who I believe should be named MVP and who should be involved in the discussion. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Lets get started.
AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani
It is going to be impossible to say anything here that hasn’t been said before about Ohtani. Last season he was the best hitter in baseball, over that past month and a half he has been the best pitcher in baseball. It was a debate early in his career if he should give up one side and focusing on developing one skill, even before this season started his pitching numbers were good but they weren’t CY Young good. Now they are though. Over the past 34 days he is slashing .287/.393/.604 with 8 HR and on the mound he is sitting at 0.45 ERA, 58 SO, 11 BB, 39 2/3 IP. The season isn’t 34 games long but this is just a microcosm of the value Ohtani adds. He can overcome his crappy team to win another MVP.
AL MVP Runner Up: Aaron Judge
The best player on the best team in baseball is always going to be in the conversation. Especially when you combine the narrative of him betting on himself before the season. It doesn’t hurt that he is also leading the league in home runs and has a shot at breaking Roger Marris’ record. He has cooled down as he has been dealing with some lower body soreness. If he can recover over the break and start mashing again he will be neck and neck with Ohtani.
Honorable Mentions: Yordan Alvarez, Julio Rodriguez, Rafael Devers, Jose Ramirez
NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt
Goldy has been unreal this season. Just look at this slash line .332 BA/.415 OBP/1.006 OPS. He also leads the entire league in OWAR. After flying under the radar while in Arizona, he has seized the spotlight in St.Louis and won’t stop hitting. The race in the NL is a little deeper than the AL so it it will be a little harder for Goldy to stay alive in this one. But if he keeps raking and the Cardinals keep winning then he will be in a good spot.
NL MVP Runner Up: Austin Riley
I feel like the baseball world is sleeping on Austin Riley. He is tied for second for NL third basemen with a .285 batting average. He slugging percentage only sits behind Goldschimdt and he is second in the NL with 25 home runs. With the departure of Freddie Freeman and Acuña coming back slowly, Riley has stepped up to the plate and led the defending champs without a hitch. If the Braves keep streaking it will be behind Riley’s bat.
Honorable Mentions: Mookie Betts, Bryce Harper, Pete Alonso