There are many premiere players in the MLB and every year there are five to ten who have a legit shot to win the MVP award. Today I will be going over the two players I believe will win the award, along with two players who I think are dark horses to win it.
American League: Mike Trout, Los Angelas Angels. Over the last six seasons, Mike Trout has finished in the top two for MVP voting five times. The other time he finished fourth but only played in 114 games. The man is a straight stud. He has led the league in OPS 3 times and been over 1.000 twice.
He’s the best player in the game today and one of the best to ever play the game. He’s a solid bet to win the award every year and I definitely believe he will win his third MVP this season.
Dark Horse AL MVP: Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics. The now 26 year old third baseman is coming off his first full season and he finished seventh in MVP voting. He ranked third in WAR with a total of 8.2 with 3.5 of it being fielding WAR. He is a premiere defender in the majors and if he can raise his .864 OPS then he could reach 10 WAR in a season.
If he reaches a .900 OPS and keeps his insane fielding going (29 runs saved above average) then he could be competing with players like Mike Trout for the hardware. He has the capability to single handedly play a large role in leading a team to the playoffs.
National League: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies. The six time gold glove award winner (all six season of career) has finished 8th, 5th, 4th and 3rd for MVP over the last four seasons. He has hit at least 37 homers and 110 RBIs in the last four seasons as well. He has averaged 21 runs saved above average in 5 of his 6 seasons and has been an absolute monster on a Rockies playoff team.
Nolan Arenado is set to be a free agent next season after signing a record $26 million arbitration deal. He will likely have a larger market than Harper or Machado because he has been consistently better. I believe this is the year that the 29 year old wins the elusive MVP award to prove his case for free agency.
Dark Horse NL MVP: Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers. The 28 year old infielder was one of the biggest surprises not many people know about in 2018. He finished third in the NL in OPS (.973) along with 35 homers and a 4.8 offensive WAR. He finished 15th in MVP voting and can definitely make an impact again. For Muncy to improve to top five he has to raise his .263 AVG and improve defensively (-1.0 dWAR).
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