Los Angeles Dodgers Shohei Ohtani (30) and Atlanta Braves Ronald Acuña Jr. (27) will clash for the National League MVP.꽁머니환전
Major League Baseball’s official media MLB.com said on the 8th (Korea time), “Two monsters swept the MVP in the 2023 season. Shohei Ohtani became a sensation in both pitching and hitting, widening the limits of what humans can show at the ballpark. Ronald Acuña Jr. showed a predicted performance when he appeared in the Major League at the age of 20 in 2018, setting a record that requires both power-speed.”
Last season’s MVP race in the two major leagues ended somewhat flatly. The race was overwhelming both in the American League and the National League. In the American League, Ohtani received the second unanimous MVP award since 2021, with a batting average of .344 in 135 games (151 hits in 497 at-bats) with 44 homers and 95 RBIs with an OPS of 1.066 and a pitcher with a 10-5 record and an ERA of 3.14 in 23 games (132 innings). Ohtani is the first player in the Major League to receive the MVP award twice. In the National League, Acuña Jr. recorded a batting average of .337 in 159 games (217 hits in 643 at-bats) with 41 homers, .16 RBIs and 1.102 stolen bases, making him the first player to achieve 40 homers and 70 steals with an OPS of 1.102. Just like Ohtani, Acuña Jr. also unanimously raised the MVP of the National League.
Otani and Acuña Jr., who won the two MVP awards last year, will face off in the National League this year. They changed their league by signing a 10-year, 700-million-dollar contract with the Ohtani and Dodgers. MLB.com said, “Otani and Acuña Jr. appear to be strong contenders to win the MVP title for the second consecutive year for the first time since Miguel Cabrera in 2013. However, Otani will only play as designated hitter in the first season of the National League. There are many other talented candidates, so we cannot guarantee that they will win the MVP title.”
MLB.com picked Mookie Betts of the Dodgers as the MVP candidate of the National League. Betts, who won the MVP award in 2018, ranked second in the MVP voting last year with a batting average of .377 with 39 homers, 107 RBIs, 126 runs scored and 14 steals with an OPS of .987 in 152 games.
MLB.com explained why Betts beat Acuña when he said, “Acuña could be better? Obviously, that’s a risky prediction. However, the 2024 season feels completely new, given that “MVP repeats itself” and Betts will be at second base full time. If he adapts successfully, he will get better reviews because his outstanding batting ability is worth more at second base than at corner outfield.”
Naturally, however, he is still the favorite. “We haven’t seen an MVP in two consecutive years since Miguel Cabrera in 2012 and 2013, but why not MLB.com ? He had a historic season with 41 homers and 73 steals last year, and the performance forecasting program calculated that he would record 38 homers and 56 steals this year. Of course, with Ohtani joining, it has become more difficult to win the MVP award in the National League, but there is no reason why Acuña isn’t as good as last year,” said MLB.com .
Ohtani’s inability to play as a pitcher this year is one of his major weaknesses. “There have been no cases in history where a full-time designated hitter has won an MVP award. Paul Molitor in 1993, Frank Thomas in 2000, and David Otis in 2005 all finished second in MVP voting,” MLB.com said. However, he continued, “But if there is a player who can break that door, it’s Ohtani. As soon as Ohtani announced in September last year that he could not take the mound this year due to elbow surgery, many people thought his chance of winning a third MVP award was reduced. But now, Ohtani will focus on batting and don’t forget that he may have a batting performance that exceeds his previous two wins.”
In addition to Betts, Acuña Jr., and Ohtani, Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres and Corbin Carroll of the Arizona Diamondbacks were mentioned as candidates for the National League MVP. Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners, Juan Soto of the Yankees, Corey Seager of the Texas Rangers, Aaron Judge of the Yankees, and Adley Rutchman of the Baltimore Orioles were also considered as dark horses for the MVP