Shohei Ohtani- American League MVP race
Sean M. Haffey – Getty Images

Amidst an unpredictable Wild Card race, there is also a highly anticipated finish for the American League MVP. Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Shohei Ohtani have separated themselves as the two favorites, though Salvador Perez should pick up a few votes as well. Ohtani has been the face of baseball throughout the year but with good reason. We have not seen a two-way player like him this century giving him the upper hand. However, Guerrero Jr. is also on pace for a historic year leaving us with the question of who the real MVP is. With Ohtani being so versatile it brings more factors into question leaving voters with a lot to consider.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Looking to become the first Blue Jay to win the award since Josh Donaldson in 2015, Vlad continues to cement his place in the league. At 22 year old, Guerrero Jr. brings an energy and experience to a Toronto clubhouse that is in the hunt for a playoff spot. With one of the most violent swings and best eyes in baseball, it was just a matter of time before Vlad became a superstar. Currently hitting .383 in September, he looks to continue to make a case for MVP while hoping to carry Toronto into the postseason.

Guerrero leads baseball in average and trails only Salvador Perez by one home run for the league lead. With just a few weeks left in the season it will be hard to overcome a 10 RBI difference between him and the leader (Perez) but could still be done. In 2012, Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown and by nature also took home the American League MVP. However, a Triple Crown might not solidify an MVP trophy for Guerrero this year. Between the hype and uniqueness behind Ohtani’s game it would be hard not to vote for the 27 year old.

Shohei Ohtani

Abbie Parr | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

Ohtani came into the season as one of the most anticipated players of 2021. After recovering from Tommy John surgery through 2019 and a short season last year, he looked to finally establish himself in the league. For a good majority of the year Ohtani has been at the forefront of baseball. Between towering home runs and playing right field after he pitches, Ohtani has set the baseball world ablaze. Though, arguably, neither his offensive or pitching numbers alone are MVP worthy, the fact that he can do both at an above average level is impressive.

With a total WAR of 7.9 it is hard to ignore the value he bring to the Angels. Ohtani was the starter for the American League in the All Star game and led baseball in home runs for most of the year. Not only is he a marvel in the baseball world but he’s brought more recognizance to the game. This year Shohei became only the second baseball player all-time to be named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people.

Salvador Perez

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

If it were not for Ohtani being suprehuman and Vlad putting together one of the best seasons by a 22 year old- Salvy would be in line to win the American League MVP. As of Monday, Perez has hit the most home runs in a season by a catcher…ever (46). The previous mark, held by Johnny Bench, has stood since 1970. In addition to leading the league in home runs, he also leads all of baseball with 115 RBI. Though not in the hunt for the triple crown, Perez is still putting together a career year.

As we reach the final stretch of the season it will fun to see how this race plays out. Even with Vlad pacing the triple crown and Salvy making history, it could still not be enough to surpass Ohtani. After having your name appear on a list next to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex how could not be the MVP?

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American League MVP Race
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  1. Pingback: Bright Future For Mariners Is Around The Corner - Championship Sports Media

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