American League Value

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

by: Eric Boston @EricBoston3

The American League Most Valuable Player race is essentially of the two-horse variety.

Earlier in the year, it appeared like one player had the inside edge. Now, what we are witnessing is epic.

Let’s pretend like you do not know which to players I am going to oh so creatively disguise as players A and B in order to “blindly” compare their statistics up to this point in the season.

  • Player A: .309/.459/.624 | 30 HRs | 60 RBIs | 21 SB | 7.8 bWAR
  • Player B: .351/.439/.669 | 27 HRs | 62 RBIs | 23 SB | 8.0 bWAR

Player A is Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout who has been on pace for one of the best seasons in baseball history. The two-time MVP and seven-time All-Star continues to get better. The scary thing is that, at 27 years old, he is realistically now hitting his prime.

You have to feel sorry for the other 14 teams in the AL.

Trout has long been described as the best all-around player in baseball. Now he has company in that hallowed discussion.

Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox is Player B and you have every right to crown him the MVP at this point.

At 25 years old Betts does not boast the resume of Trout, he does have two Gold Gloves to his name – hardware that has eluded Trout to this point, but you cannot deny the leap that the outfielder has made this season.

Add in the fact that the Red Sox have a 9.5 game lead in the AL East as well as the best record in baseball and you can understand that Trout has a real reason to sweat at this point.

While we would like to believe that the MVP award is solely about individual performance, we all know that how a player’s team finishes weighs in on the decision, at least subconsciously.

The Angels are sitting in fourth place in the AL West, a game below .500, and not likely to make the postseason.

Regardless, the AL MVP race is simply fantastic.

We are seeing two players performing at levels that have not been witnessed very often in America’s pastime. In fact, baseball desperately needs this competition between Trout and Betts, whether the MLB wants to admit it or not.

It is the best individual rivalry that the game has seen since Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa squared off for home run supremacy. With their age, Betts and Trout could give us several seasons of this pageantry as well. Rob Manfred would be wise to soak every bit of marketing that he can out of it.

Who is your AL MVP? Do you think these two can keep up their pace of play as we enter the stretch run of the season? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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