Sports from the Basement

5 Top Candidates For The AL MVP Award In 2017

The AL MVP race is going to be pretty exciting in the 2017 season. But just like every year, there are a few candidates that separate themselves from the rest.

Here are the top five MVP candidates for the American League ahead of the 2017 season:

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Mookie Betts: The departure of David Ortiz left the Boston Red Sox with a huge void in their lineup. However, Betts is ready to answer the call as Boston’ best offensive weapon. The talented outfielder came close to win the Award last season, and he should have an even bigger chance in 2017. Versitality is key for Betts, as he can hit at the top or the middle of the lineup with equal ease. The 24-year-old right fielder slashed .318/.363/.534 with 31 HR and 113 RBI. He finished second in the MVP voting in 2016.

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Miguel Cabrera: Cabrera might be a bit past his prime. However, he remains one of the premier hitters in all of baseball. The Venezuelan first baseman starts the season as Detroit’s best player, but the fact that the Tigers are not likely to contend could hamper his chances. However, one simply can’t rule out Cabrera when it comes to his offense. El Tigre de Aragua had another strong season in 2016, slashing .316/.393/.563 with 38 homers and 108 RBI. He’s finished in the Top 11 in the MVP voting in each of the past eight seasons.

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Mike Trout: What else can we say about Trout? Sure, the reigning AL MVP is stuck on a below-average team like Los Angeles Angels. But that doesn’t stop him to make an impact on the game across the league. An above-average defender, an excellent runner and a threat at the plate, Trout really is the whole package. He won the MVP award in 2016 after a stellar year, in which he posted a .315/.441/.550 offensive line. He finished either second or first in the MVP voting in each of his five seasons. We don’t expect that to change this year.

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Jose Altuve: The Houston Astros have improved drastically during the offseason, and most experts consider them contenders in the AL. One of the big reasons might be the presence of Jose Altuve, as the second baseman is ready to cement his place as one of the best infielders in all of baseball. A wizard on both sides of the ball, Altuve has been an All-Star and a Silver Slugger in each of the past three years. He finished third in the MVP voting this past season, and all signs indicate he’ll improve in 2017. Numbers wise, Altuve hit .338 with a .928 OPS, 24 HR and 96 RBI last year. A slight improvement on that department and a better season from Houston could be enough to give him the first MVP Award in his career.

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Manny Machado: Machado’s presence in this list is a bit of a stretch. But we can’t deny the Baltimore Orioles’ third baseman is one of the most talented players in the league. He finished fifth in the AL MVP voting last season, and he could easily improved what he did in 2016. Machado finished with a .294/.343/.533 slash line, and added 37 HR and 96 RBI. With the Orioles ready to contend in the AL East, Machado needs to play at an even higher level. If he does, he could even get the MVP Award although his chances are tied to what the Orioles can do as a team. But he certainly has a shot.

And you? Who do you have as a potential MVP winner in the American League?

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