MLB MVP races: Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in two-man race; Fernando Tatis Jr. leads pack in NL

We now have lower than a month till the 2021 MLB playoffs start. There’s nonetheless loads of jockeying to be executed within the standings and we monitor that on a daily basis with the playoff picture.

We’ll proceed to verify in weekly on MVP, although, so let’s achieve this proper right here. 

This evaluation is not going to be essentially how I’d vote proper now, however as an alternative the place I consider the vote would fall if it occurred proper now, primarily based upon years of learning BBWAA voting tendencies and monitoring closely late in every season for the previous decade-plus. And let me let you know, even with all that, the state of affairs could be very cloudy on the subject of stuff previous the very high of the poll. 

American League

As issues stand, this can be a two-man race with everybody else left within the mud. 

1. Shohei Ohtani, Angels

We have got the chief in house runs and slugging proportion who has additionally pitched properly above common in 20 begins (2.97 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 135 strikeouts in 112 innings). He additionally has 23 stolen bases. The one factor going towards Ohtani is his workforce being simply 69-70, however let’s level out two elements: 

1. That is not a horrible document. They’re mediocre, not dangerous. To these asking how beneficial he may very well be, ask your self what the Angels’ document could be this season if he suffered a season-ending harm in spring coaching. I’ve a touch for you, it would not be near 69-70. 

2. As evidenced by what he is executed on the mound and on the plate, there’s solely a lot Ohtani can do to make his workforce win. He cannot bat or pitch any extra ceaselessly. It’s a workforce sport, sure, nevertheless it’s a sequence of particular person matchups and Ohtani ceaselessly wins them each on the mound and on the plate. 

2. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Blue Jays

I nonetheless assume, for now, that the two-way stardom of Ohtani goes to tip the scales, however Guerrero is making a livid cost. He leads the AL in batting common, on-base proportion, OPS, runs, hits, complete bases, OPS+ and occasions on base. He is second in slugging, third in house runs and fourth in RBI. With the Blue Jays surging towards a playoff spot, there is a respectable likelihood he can overcome the two-way prowess of Ohtani, although I really feel he isn’t there but. I may very well be incorrect, although. This feels razor skinny proper now.  

As famous earlier, there actually is not anybody else within the ballpark right here. It is two gamers having other-worldly seasons. If both one was within the NL, we would not actually have any MVP races. 

These competing for third place most likely embrace, in no explicit order: Marcus Semien, Carlos Correa, Cedric Mullins, Salvador Perez, Matt Olson, Aaron Judge, Rafael Devers, Brandon Lowe, José Ramirez and José Abreu. 

If issues proceed on this path, we’ll hone in additional on the race for third place within the coming weeks. 

Nationwide League

Now we’re talkin’ … 

The Frontrunner: Fernando Tatis, Jr., Padres

Because the Padres cling to playoff place, I consider Tatis is clinging to the highest spot right here. He holds the lead on the position-player WAR leaderboard, nevertheless it’s solely by 0.1 and there are six others inside 0.6. Tatis leads the league in slugging proportion by an enormous margin, which helps him to sit down second in OPS — and lead in OPS+ — regardless of being exterior the highest 10 in on-base proportion. He is additionally not within the high 10 in batting common. He is obtained a giant lead with 37 homers (Pete Alonso and Adam Duvall are tied for second with 32). 

Tatis can be third in runs, tied for seventh in RBI, is second in stolen bases and tied for second in extra-base hits.

Will the shoulder find yourself costing him? He is performed in 106 video games and missed 32. 

Proper on his heels

[Note: These are not ranked]

Max Muncy, Dodgers

One of many gamers trailing Tatis by simply 0.1 WAR, Muncy has been a steadying presence within the Dodgers’ lineup this season whereas it has handled a number of key accidents and no matter has occurred with Cody Bellinger. Muncy sits seventh within the league in OPS (sixth in OBP, eighth in SLG) and has 30 homers. He trails solely Tatis, Harper and Soto in OPS+. 

Trea Turner, Dodgers

Turner is barely 0.4 off the WAR lead whereas sitting in a digital tie for the batting title proper now. He leads the league in hits by 11 whereas additionally main in steals. He is fourth in complete bases, sixth in runs, and is tied for seventh in homers. That is some good energy for a table-setter. Turner took over as Dodgers’ leadoff man when Mookie Betts was on the injured record and the Dodgers have gone 22-6 with Turner hitting leadoff. 

Bryce Harper, Phillies

Prepared for some fee stats? Harper is sixth in common, second in OBP, second in SLG, first in OPS and second in OPS+. He is doing a heck of a job attempting to hold that contending offense, as he has 28 homers (tied for seventh), 32 doubles (tied for fourth) however simply 66 RBI. A part of that’s being tied for second in walks. A part of it’s that he is not getting a lot assist. Per baseball-reference, the typical hitter with Harper’s 497 plate appearances has come to bat with 299 runners on base this yr. Harper has provide you with simply 264. He is hit .301/.449/.452 with runners in scoring place and .327/.451/.556 with runners on base. At some, there’s solely a lot he can do. That is to say, ignore the RBI complete and this case actually comes into focus. 

Juan Soto, Nationals

The favored disqualifier on Soto can be that the Nationals are 57-81 and have not contended for some time. He is additionally second in WAR, seventh in common, leads in OBP, is third in OPS, second in runs, third in OPS+ and — get this — leads the league in walks by 39(!). Could not you argue a man who pitched to so much less usually by opponents is essentially the most beneficial player, by advantage of everybody being too scared to face him? 

Nonetheless within the combine

Nick Castellanos, Joey Votto, Jesse Winker, Reds: Doubles-machine Castellanos is in a digital tie for the batting title and can be third in slugging. Votto has been nuts since he got here again from harm. Winker is fourth in OPS behind the monsters Harper, Tatis and Soto. Castellanos most likely has the higher leg right here, however all three are in comparable territory. 

Austin Riley, Braves: What a breakout season. Riley is sixth in WAR, fourth in common, ninth in slugging, fourth in hits, tied for fifth in homers and sixth in RBI. Whereas we’re on the Braves, Duvall has a shot to guide in house runs and RBI whereas Freddie Freeman leads in runs scored. Ozzie Albies leads in complete bases and is tied for second in RBI. I believe Riley is the highest candidate proper now, although. 

Bryan Reynolds, Pirates: He is fifth in WAR, eighth in common, fifth in OBP, sixth in hits, tied for seventh in complete bases and seventh in OPS+

Manny Machado, Padres: Nonetheless an distinctive defender at third base, Machado is fifth in RBI and eighth in WAR. 

Nolan Arenado, Cardinals: In the event that they squeeze into the playoffs, he’ll get a glance. 

Brandon Crawford, Giants: The Giants are actually a sum of their components, as they’ve the very best document in baseball and barely present any place player anyplace on related top-10 leaderboards. Crawford most likely has the very best case since Buster Posey has solely performed in 93 video games. 

Pitchers? The NL chief in WAR is Phillies ace Zack Wheeler, because of main the majors in innings, strikeouts, full video games and shutouts along with his good run prevention. Imagine it or not Reds starter Wade Miley is second. Dodgers starter Walker Buehler and Brewers starters Corbin Burnes and/or Brandon Woodruff may make noise and do not forget in regards to the new Dodgers ace, Max Scherzer. Oh, and let’s throw Kevin Gausman on right here, given my observe above on Crawford/Giants. | MLB MVP races: Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in two-man race; Fernando Tatis Jr. leads pack in NL


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