Most Valuable Player
Thursday, November 15
The MVP, awarded to the best all-around performer in each league, will be announced at 6:00 p.m. on MLB Network.
Mookie Betts is the front-runner for the AL MVP. His accomplishments at the plate mentioned in the section on why he should win a Silver Slugger are only the tip of the iceberg. He was one of only two players to join the 30/30 club this season, blasting 32 home runs and swiping 30 bases. As we’ve discussed, he’s also a shoe-in for another Gold Glove. Betts is a five-tool player who contributes in every facet a position player can. He led the majors with a 10.9 WAR, producing one of the best all-around seasons we’ve ever seen by a Red Sox player who isn’t named Yaz or Teddy Ballgame.
J.D. Martinez will also get his fair share of votes after making a run at the Triple Crown. His 130 RBI gave him his only win among the three categories but he finished second in batting average and home runs. More importantly, his presence transformed a Red Sox lineup that underwhelmed the previous season without a true power threat.
Some may still point to Mike Trout as the best player in baseball. Trout could win this award any year but Betts has a solid case for surpassing him. We also have to downgrade Trout to some extent given that his team never sniffed the playoff race down the stretch.
Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor should be in the mix but both faded down the stretch and the voters favor a strong finish.
The AL MVP will almost certainly come from Boston this year. Martinez is the better hitter, arguably the best hitter in baseball, yet Betts is the better all-around player and therefore worthy of being crowned MVP.