The Houston Astros won their first World Series title a week ago, and while that triumph still reverberates throughout Major League Baseball, the sport’s calendar marches on.
The Most Valuable Player Awards will be handed out for both the American and National Leagues on November 16 at 6 p.m. ET. The leagues have three nominees each.
Jose Altuve of the Astros, rookie Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians are up for the award in the American League. Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins, Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds are the NL candidates.
Nolan Arenado had a brilliant year for the Colorado Rockies but didn’t receive a nomination. The third baseman belted 37 home runs, drove in 130 and had a .309 batting average.
Altuve is a huge favorite in the American League. He led all of baseball with a .346 average and hammered 24 home runs and 81 RBI. He also stole 32 bases. The second baseman is listed at 1-9, according to Oddschecker, while the home run-hitting Judge is the next choice at 9-2. Ramirez, who had a brilliant year for the Cleveland Indians, is a distant option at 33-1.
Stanton, who hammered 59 home runs, including 33 in the second half of the year, is the NL favorite at 11-10, per Oddschecker. Goldschmidt and Votto are close behind at 2-1.
In addition to the numbers mentioned above, Altuve had a .410 on-base percentage, a .547 slugging percentage and a .957 OPS.
Altuve refuses to make a claim on the award, and he told the Associated Press (via USA Today) he would support Judge if he had a vote for the award.
However, Houston manager A.J. Hinch disagreed. “Yet another reason why Jose Altuve is a perfect player,” Hinch told the AP during a mid-October interview. “He’s humble in his own accomplishments and very complimentary of others. … I will always back Jose Altuve (but) I think in this regard I’ve got to tell him he’s wrong; Jose Altuve’s the MVP.”
Judge hit 52 home runs, drove in 114 and hit .284. However, he lacked Altuve’s consistency as he went through a long slump in the second half of the season. He also struck out 208 times.
Ramirez hit .318 with 29 home runs and 83 RBI. He also stole 17 bases.
Stanton hit .281 and drove in 132 runs. He had a .376 on-base percentage, .631 slugging percentage and a 1.007 OPS.
Goldschmidt has been the key to the Arizona offense for years, and he hit .297 with 36 home runs and 120 RBI, while Votto had another brilliant offensive season with a .320 batting average, 36 home runs and 100 RBI.
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo has thrown his support behind Goldschmidt. “Nothing against Giancarlo, but I’m biased to one guy,” Lovullo said in late September, per Fox Sports. “I think Giancarlo is a fantastic player, and he is a very worthy MVP candidate. But I am a firm believe[r] in Paul Goldschmidt.”
Altuve is a heavy favorite, and he should get his first AL MVP award. He was far more consistent than either of his rivals, despite Judge’s late charge.
Goldschmidt has finished second twice in NL MVP voting, and he deserves the honor. The Diamondbacks made the postseason, and the 30-year-old first baseman played a huge role.
While it’s hard to find fault with the way Stanton played this year, his team finished 77-85.
Goldschmidt was playing under the pressure of trying to earn a playoff spot, and he produced brilliantly. He deserves to win his first MVP Award.
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