Unlike the American League (AL), which is led by Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, the National League MVP race is a close one.
It’s a two-horse race between Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves and Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Adding to the mix is Aquino’s teammate, Matt Olson.
Olson started at first base for the Dodgers in their home game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Aug. 8, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, one RBI, and two runs scored in an 8-5 win over the Cardinals at Truiste Park.
With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Olson hit a mid-month solo shot. On a 2B1S count, he took a four-pitch, 85.5-mph sinker from St. Louis veteran starter Adam Wainwright over the center field fence. It was his fourth home run in his last four games and gave him 47 on the season, tying him for the league lead in that category.
He extended his lead to three over Ohtani (44), who is resting with a sore side, and five over New York Mets’ Pete Alonso (42), who is second in the NL in home runs.
For the season, Olson is batting .272 (143-for-526) with 47 home runs, 116 RBIs, 109 runs scored and a .977 OPS. He also leads both leagues in RBIs. With 14 RBIs ahead of second-place Alonso (102), it’s safe to say he’s a lock for the batting title.
If that’s the case, Olson should be in the running for NL MVP.
Atlanta right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. misses a hit by Jordan Walker in the second inning against St. Louis on June 6. EPAYouth Korea
But local reporters, who get to vote, have a different opinion. MLB.com conducted a mock MVP voting poll of 54 reporters and commentators and found that Aquino and Betts split the first-place vote.
Acuña received 28 first-place votes and Betts 26. A mere two votes separated them. In the standings, Aquino is first and Betts is second. In third place is Freddie Freeman of the Dodgers, with Olson rounding out the top four. Neither Freeman nor Olson received a single first-place vote.
In fifth place is Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll, followed by Cody Bellinger, Francisco Lindor, Luis Arajuez, Ha Sung Kim, Juan Soto, Zack Wheeler, Justin Steele, Pete Alonso, and Bryce Harper. It’s notable that Ha Sung Kim received his second consecutive vote after receiving one last month.
As of today, Acuña Jr. is batting .331 (187-for-565) with 34 home runs, 88 RBI, 125 runs scored, 63 doubles, and a .990 OPS. He’s the first player in history to break 30 HRs and 60 RBIs, and 40 HRs and 70 RBIs are within reach. This is why he should be the MVP.
Betts is batting .314 (162-for-516) with 38 home runs, 99 RBI, 118 runs scored, and a 1.020 OPS. He leads Acuña in home runs, RBIs, and OPS. It’s a close call.
The AL, on the other hand, has been dominated by Ohtani. All 54 players voted for Ohtani. Ohtani also received unanimous first-place votes in July and August.
“Ohtani, whose season is over as a pitcher after suffering a torn elbow ligament, has already accomplished so much this season that he is the overwhelming MVP candidate,” MLB.com wrote. “He leads the AL with 44 home runs and both leagues with a combined 1.066 OPS, while going 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts.
Ohtani also leads the league in bWAR with 9.9 on the day. Betts (8.0) and Acuña (6.9) are second and third, and in the AL, Texas Rangers’ Marcus Simien is second behind Ohtani at 6.1. In fWAR, Ohtani is also first with 8.9. Betts (7.7), Freeman (6.8), and Acuña (6.6) follow, and in the AL, Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners is second at 5.5.먹튀검증
In other words, the record shows that Ohtani has no problem winning the AL MVP, even a unanimous one. Contrast that with Olson, who is leading the home run and RBI races and hasn’t received a single first-place vote.