The finalists for Major League Baseball’s major awards were announced on Monday, with the candidates for the Most Valuable Player Award in the American & National League’s headlining the final reveal on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.
Los Angeles Angels two-way star, Shohei Ohtani, once again flexed his talent on the MLB world and posted a repeat season in which he left no doubt that he could perform at a high level while at the plate or toeing the rubber. But Aaron Judge wrote a new chapter in the history books with the New York Yankees and broke a record that hadn’t been sniffed since 1961.
The NL is more wide open, a pair of St. Louis Cardinals with Nolan Arendado & Paul Goldschmidt, and Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres making an incredibly strong case for himself, all are vying for their first MVP award.
The MVP winners will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 3:00 p.m. PT on MLB Network.
A full breakdown of AL & NL candidates:
Shohei Ohtani, Angels: Evaluating Ohtani’s value with his performance on the mound and at the plate is a difficult thing to fully quantify, but after slugging 34 home runs while driving in 95 runs, that coupled with a 15-9 record and a 2.33 ERA on the mound makes him as unique as any player the game has ever seen in the live-ball era.
Aaron Judge, Yankees: After breaking the single-season home run record in the AL with his 62 long balls, while posting a 207 wRC+ and a .686 slugging percentage were a part of one of the best offensive seasons in MLB history. Judge is the presumable favorite because there are some records in baseball that are special, home run records being one of them.
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros: Not to be overlooked, but the eventual World Series hero has his name in the running for the top player in the AL, mainly because of a 185 wRC+ and an on-base plus slugging north of 1.000 in 135 games. Alongside 37 homers and 97 runs batted in, Alvarez posted a 13.9% walk rate, second in MLB, behind Judge.
Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals: In year 12, the near-Triple Crown winner in the NL closed out the season with a .317 batting average, while hitting 35 home runs while leading the league in slugging (.578) and OPS(.981). Goldschmidt took home a Silver Slugger and made his best case for an MVP.
Manny Machado, Padres: The San Diego third baseman posted a 152 wRC+ and an fWAR of 7.4, the highest in MLB. Machado carried the Padres’ offense for a majority of the season, and in doing so he launched 32 home runs, scoring 100 while driving in 102. His stellar defensive play earned him high marks once again.
Nolan Arenado, Cardinals: The other St. Louis candidate just won himself a Platinum Glove, his sixth straight, but to battle it out with the two other finalists in what is one of Arenado’s premier seasons is rather unfortunate. But his play did all the talking, playing spectacular defense, while posting his seventh consecutive season of 30+ home runs and 100+ runs batted in. He did so with 30 homers and 103 RBI this season. Arenado’s 7.3 fWAR is second to Machado, but his defensive value will likely push him over the top to capture his first career MVP.
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