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Angels star outfield Mike Trout suffered a calf strain that’s estimated to keep him sidelined for 6-8 weeks. That means that the AL MVP race is wide open, and that’s what we need to discuss:
Who is the favorite now? Is it his two-way teammate, Shohei Ohtani? Of course it is.
Angels announce OF Mike Trout has been placed on the 10-day IL with a calf strain. Estimated return to play is 6-8 weeks. pic.twitter.com/Zzrjz6gbB8— MLB (@MLB) May 18, 2021
Remember when Yankees talk shows were saying how lucky Anaheim got with Ohtani? That ended up being laughable, but not only that — we’re potentially looking at one of the best players ever.
Look at these numbers that should only be possible in a video game. Maybe the aliens dropped this guy off?
Shohei Ohtani’s numbers are BANANAS.— MLB (@MLB) May 19, 2021
Is he your early choice for MVP? pic.twitter.com/x2m262PGeZ
Shohei Ohtani (+125)
Leading the league with 14 home runs, and somehow hopping on the mound with the same ERA as Max Scherzer? If healthy, there’s no way Ohtani lets the MVP race slip away. No matter what another player does at the plate, the combination of an elite offense and an even SERVICEABLE job on the bump should get it done.
Let alone being elite on both ends…
Shohei Ohtani tossed 7 innings with 10 Ks and now he’s out playing right field so they can keep his bat in the lineup.— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) May 12, 2021
Dude really is unlike anybody else of this time era or any recent era. pic.twitter.com/WPyI4eOWOt
But who else can challenge him? There are actually a few names I can think of.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+700)
Guerrero Jr. is piling up numbers in Toronto, and what’s helping him is that bam box of a park they’ve been playing in. Don’t expect that to change much as the stadium in Buffalo they’re moving back into plays just as small. And that roster is getting healthy around him too.
Helps to have healthy reinforcements around the lineup to ensure your AL MVP pick gets some pitches to hit. He is a tad young and inexperienced to maintain focus all season long, though.
Vlad Guerrero Jr. homers in 3 straight games for the first time in his career. pic.twitter.com/4z7119s9uA— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 16, 2021
Aaron Judge (+1700)
Again, another player who could easily win an MVP, if he could stay on the freakin’ field. That’s been the story of Aaron Judge (and Giancarlo Stanton, really) — they can’t play enough to stay eligible for MVP. As they always say: the best ability is a availability. I’d stay away from Judge at all costs. He’ll let you down, as much as it pains me to say it.
Just trying to save you money.
My last selection will be what I perceive as the greatest value for your buck.
Jose Ramirez (+2500)
This guy has been incredible in Cleveland, even though no one expected him to be. We can play on that story a bit, but you’re taking a gamble that Cleveland at least stays in the race for the AL Central. Baseball writers have shown they lean towards division winners a tad. Unless, of course, you’re Mike Trout and you blow the rest of the field out the water with your numbers.
I don’t expect Ramirez to do that.
The Indians third baseman is hitting .264 with an eye-popping 12 homers, which is largely why he’s in this race. Again, Ramirez is a long shot. Can’t expect a layup selection with these odds. God forbid the Indians get hot and decide they’re buyers at the deadline — Jose Ramirez might land you an October payday. Fingers crossed!
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