Roundtable: Picking the MVP of the First Two Months

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The MVP race is starting to take shape as we enter the final weekend of May. Mike Trout was having his best season yet before a calf strain landed him on the injured list, likely until mid-July or August. In his absence, another Angel has taken over as the AL MVP favorite. Meanwhile, the NL race has more contenders.

Sports Illustrated‘s baseball writers took a look at each league’s MVP after the first two months of the season.

Tom Verducci

American League: Shohei Ohtani

The AL two-month MVP is Shohei Ohtani of the Angels. Don’t bother telling me that the Angels don’t pitch well and their defense is terrible. What Ohtani is doing is somehow underrated. His achievements as a hitter and pitcher are so extraordinary the competitiveness of his team is not relevant.

National League: Ronald Acuña Jr.

In the NL, I give an edge to Ronald Acuña Jr. over Fernando Tatis Jr., if only because of volume. Acuña, the home run leader, has played in 12 more games, which is more than a 25% gap this time of year.

Emma Baccellieri

American League: Shohei Ohtani

While I do think there are some interesting other candidates here—Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Byron Buxton particularly stand out—I don’t see how you can go with anyone other than the guy doing something that hasn’t been seen in a century. That might change if he can’t stay healthy, or if the team decides to be more cautious with how he’s used, but for now, I can’t pass up an OPS+ over 150 and a ERA+ over 180.

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