EACH team has about 20 games left in their season and we have a clear idea of the MVP front runners. However, I’m not ready to hand out any hardware just yet. A late flurry could see some change atop the food chain, or a contender could distance himself from the field with a strong showing. Which three are realistic chances to claim NL and AL honours?

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National League

Rest of the field: Charlie Blackmon (Rockies), Nolan Arenado (Rockies), Joey Votto (Reds)

3. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
IF healthy there is a high chance that Bryce Harper could have gone on to win the award outright. He has been sidelined for the past month after what looked like a gruesome knee injury, but he still owns the highest OPS in the league while ranking high up in NL batting stats. The star of the nationals high powered offense is destined to win a few more MVP’s before his time is done. Harper won’t add to his trophy cabinet this year though.

*If you have a weak stomach for injuries, you may want to avoid this video.

2. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
I have faith that Goldy can close out the season strong and claim his first MVP after twice being a runner up (2013 & 2015). Partially because of his stellar play the Diamondbacks are close to the top of the National League and are poised to break their five-year playoff drought with Goldschmidt inside the top five for home runs (tie-3rd), RBI’s (3rd), walks (3rd), OBP (3rd), SLG% (tie-5th), OPS (5th) and WAR (4th) out of all the players in his league. Dare to dream Arizona fans.

1. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
THE second half stats for Giancarlo Stanton are quite ridiculous, with the Marlins outfielder clearing the fence in almost every seven at bats or one every second game. That is flat out rude. Stanton’s second half slugging percentage of .761 would give him the 9th highest percentage in a single season had he maintained it for the whole season and he remains a real chance of becoming the first person to mash 60 homers in over 16 years. While it’s unrealistic to expect Stanton to put these numbers up for the whole length of the season, his play in Miami’s last 55 games is quite remarkable and as a result, Stanton will probably take home a nice shiny trophy at the end of the year.

American League

Rest of the field: Francisco Lindor (Indians), Carlos Correa (Astros), Jonathan Schoop (Orioles)

4th MLB MVP Watch 1Image from si.com

3. Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
AARON Judge’s line pre and post All-Star break tells you all you need to know about the Yankees rooks season. Before the Mid-Summer classic, Judge had a line of .329/.448/.691 while leading the entire league in most batting statistics. What followed though was a .191/.353/.404 line with 79 strikeouts from 183 at bats. He is still young and should find his groove with more at bats in the majors, but the MVP is out of reach now for New York’s slugger.

2. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
MUCH like Bryce Harper if he wasn’t injured, Trout would have likely been a shoe in for every eligible award at his position. Still, a thumb ligament setback hasn’t stopped Trout from putting up the highest slugging percentage of his career, which is saying something considering Trout has finished either first or second in AL MVP voting in every one of his seasons, except for his 40 season rookie campaign. Nothing is impossible for Trout and if he leads the Angels to the playoffs with a late flurry he could win the award with just 110 games to his name. He’s that good.

1. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
NO surprises at the top of the AL race, with Astros second baseman Jose Altuve pacing the pack. Leading the league in hits (189) and WAR (7.7), the 5’6 maestro has put together a career year in his sixth season and finds himself in the driver’s seat to take home the coveted individual award. Altuve is the shortest listed player on an MLB roster, but that hasn’t slowed him down from posting a .351/.411/.565 batting line (all career highs) and steering the Astros to their first division banner since switching leagues in 2013. Barring any catastrophes, Altuve should claim the American League crown.

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