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MLB: Most Valuable Player Contenders

The finalists for the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young Award, Manager of the Year and Most Valuable Player were revealed earlier this week by the 2022 Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA).

Here we look at who are the candidates for the Most Valuable Player award in both the American League and National League.

American League

Yordan Alvarez (Houston Astros)

Yordan Alvarez was one the most elite hitters in the American League in the past season. The 25-year-old batted .306 with 37 home runs and 97 RBI's. Alvarez and Aaron Judge were the only two batters to post an OPS over 1,000. 

Alvarez was the best offensive player in the best team in the American League. It's such a shame that he came up against two elite players this year alone or he would be the standout candidate for the Most Valuable Player Award. He added some valuable postseason runs for the World Series champions also. 

If Alvarez doesn't win the MVP award this year, he'll get other chances, he's that good - and the Houston Astros are 11/2 to repeat their World Series crown next time. 

Aaron Judge (New York Yankees)

What a season for the Yankees outfielder. Judge's historic season makes him the outstanding candidate ahead of Shohei Ohtani. 

The 30-year-old hit 62 home runs to surpass Roger Maris' record of 61 and set a new American League home run record. Judge also nearly won the triple crown. He led the AL with 131 RBI's and finished second with a .311 batting average for 2022. 

Judge set a new home run record where collectively the league home runs have dropped. Even though the batting averages have dropped, the winning average in MLB this year was .316. 

Manny Ramirez won the batting title in 2002, hitting .349. There is no doubt that pitching has overtaken hitting statistically, which makes Judge's season even more remarkable. 

Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels)

Ohtani is the reigning MVP winner for the American League and is a strong candidate to repeat the award. The Japanese two-way star has had another stunning season. He had 34 home runs, 11 stolen bases, and 95 RBI's as a hitter and went 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts as a pitcher. 

This season has been a better season for the 28-year-old, despite all of this he may still be pipped at the post by Judge, in any other season, Ohtani would be claiming back-to-back MVP awards for the American League. 

Related MLB News

MLB: Manager of the Year contenders

MLB: Rookie of the Year contenders

MLB: Cy Young Award Contenders

National League

Nolan Arenado (St.Louis Cardinals)

While the American League title seems wrapped up for Aaron Judge to win, the National League MVP award is closer than it ever has been. All three candidates would be worthy winners and we would have a first-time winner, unlike the AL contenders. 

Nolan Arenardo and fellow NL MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt led the St. Louis Cardinals to the NL Central title by a clear seven games over the Milwaukee Brewers. Arenado batted .293 with 30 home runs and 103 RBI's while playing brilliant defence at third base, collecting his 10th successive Gold Glove award. 

Arenado has never won the MVP award. He has been a top-five finisher three times and a top-three finisher five times but can he add this to his already glittering baseball career. 

Paul Goldschmidt (St.Louis Cardinals)

Consistently one of the best players in baseball, Goldschmidt keeps producing season after season. Could he and Arenado lead the St Louis Cardinals to a World Series title? The Red Birds are 22/1 to do just that. 

Goldschmidt chased the triple crown all season in the National League. He eventually finished with a .317 batting average, 35 home runs and 115 RBI's while leading the National League in slugging (.578) and OPS (.981). Goldschmidt is a two-time MVP runner-up and a three-time finalist before 2022. He is also looking for his first MVP award.

Manny Machado (San Diego Padres)

The Padres needed Manny Machado's power with the bat and his leadership skills to take them into the postseason and that's exactly what they got. 

While they fell short in the NL Championship series to the Philadelphia Phillies, Machado had a stellar season, batting .298 with 32 home runs and 102 RBI's in his second straight All-Star season with the Padres. 

With the Padres missing fellow superstar Fernando Tatis Jr, Machado provided San Diego with just enough to creep into the Wild Card series. Machado is a three-time, top-five finisher, he is looking to win the award for the first time.

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