The Major League Baseball season is two months old, with players starting to separate themselves from the rest of the pack for seasonal awards.
Although All-Star voting is set to begin in the next couple of weeks, it’s never too early to look at candidates for the end-of-season awards.

Let’s look at the top candidates for the American League and National League Most Valuable Player.

American League

Juan Soto, New York Yankees

Soto has transformed the Yankees lineup, helping lead them to a 38-19 record that leads the American League East so far this season. Soto has accumulated 3 WAR, hitting .312, with a .412 OBP, .578 SLG, .990 OPS, and 178 OPS+.

He has also hit 15 homers and driven in 46 runs. He is far and away the leading candidate for American League MVP.

Bobby Witt Jr, Kansas City Royals

Witt Jr is proving to be the franchise player that Kansas City envisioned him to be when they drafted him with the second overall pick in 2019. His play has the Royals in second place in the American League Central, with a 35-23 record.

Witt is hitting .307 with a .363 OBP, .547 SLG, .909 OPS, and 153 OPS +. He has hammered nine homers and driven 37 runs in the early year.

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

After the slow start to the season, Judge has firmly planted himself amongst the top American League MVP candidates.

Despite a sub-par first two weeks, Judge still is hitting .275, with a .407 OBP, .613 SLG, 1.020 OPS, and 185 OPS+. He also has 17 homers and 39 RBIs on the year. Judge leads the league in doubles, walks, slugging, OPS, and OPS+.

National League

Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers

Betts came into this year with the responsibility of taking on the shortstop mantle for the Dodgers, and all he’s done is put up an MVP-caliber season so far. In leading the first place, 36-22 Dodgers, Betts has hit .332, with a .426 OBP, .527 SLG, .952 OPS, and 171 OPS+. He also has eight homers and 31 RBI.

Shohei Ohtani, Dodgers

Ohtani is right there with Betts leading the way for the Dodgers as he continues to prove himself as one of the best players in baseball (as has been the case for years now).

Despite only being able to hit this year, Ohtani is still a historically good player, hitting .33o with a .395 OBP, .615 SLG, 1.011 OPS, and 184 OPS+. He’s also hit 14 homers and driven in 38 runs.

William Contreras, Milwaukee Brewers

Contreras has been a rising young star for a couple of seasons now, honestly, since he was in Atlanta, and he is finally starting to receive real recognition for his play. It’s unavoidable now, as his MVP-caliber season is officially on notice, with his 33-23 Brewers also in first place in the National League Central.

Contreras is hitting .323, with a .394 OBP, .509 SLG, .903 OPS, and 156 OPS+. He also has eight homers and 43 RBIs on the year.

PHOTO: New York Yankees/X

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