AL MVP - Jose Ramirez vs. Mike Trout

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TwinSpires Staff

August 8th, 2018

by BetAmerica Staff
With all respect to the likes of Matt Chapman, J.D. Martinez, Alex Bergman and Mookie Betts, the race for the American League MVP certainly feels like it's down to two guys - Jose Ramirez and Mike Trout. If you'd asked a few weeks ago, this seemed like an open and shut case for the latter but Ramirez has been coming on strong in the closing months of the season while Trout is dealing with an injury that couldn't have come at a worse time.

Trout is undeniably the greatest player donning a uniform right now. What he's doing this year ahead of his 27th birthday is absolutely ridiculous and there's no need to go deep in to the statistical barrage that he's unleashing through the 2018 MLB betting season. He is an absolute monster and continues to be on pace to challenge Bonds for "greatest ever" as the years go on.

Injuries have cursed the Los Angeles Angels throughout the year. Ohtani's elbow caused problems midway through the summer and the team is still working to get him back as a dual threat. Before the All-Star break, everyone was excited to see Trout finally play in a meaningful playoff series, but those hopes have been dashed over the last month with the team dropping 10 of their last 18 games. The Angels are fourth in their own division and are going to need something miraculous to close the gap with Seattle and Oakland for a shot at the Wild Card. They're 10.5 games back currently.

Perhaps the only reason to vote for Trout over Jose Ramirez is his sterling reputation, and his jaw dropping WAR numbers. Trout is already the 111th best career WAR producer in league history. 

"Jose Ramirez could end up leading the league in homers, stolen bases and extra-base hits."

But voters have short term memories and can also have a narrow lens on a particular season, which is the way it should be. Yearly awards should reflect the season appropriately, and while Trout's been bashing, sprinting and fielding his way through another stellar year, it hasn't yielded the best of returns overall for his team. That's not entirely fair to Trout but

The fact that Jose Ramirez and the Cleveland Indians are on route to winning their division while boasting the 3rd best offense in the majors is a huge benefit for his AL MVP campaign overall. But what's really steadying the Indians' third-baseman's surge is the fact that Ramirez is on pace for something completely staggering, that is putting him right up there with Trout: Jose Ramirez could end up leading the league in homers, stolen bases and extra-base hits. He's just a single dinger off the pace currently maintained by J.D. Martinez and is second behind Trout with 7.3 WAR. Only Trout, Ramirez and Betts are boasting WAR's in that range this season across the majors.

It's easy for bettors to overlook the Cleveland Indians since they're a horrifying moneyline play in terms of value, and an ice-cold run line team, but Ramirez is truly having an outstanding season. The only thing that could derail him is if Trout returns sooner rather than later from his troubling wrist injury and puts up the mind boggling numbers we expect from him.

This race is far from decided. J.D. Martinez, Betts and Trout surely won't go in to the night quietly but Jose Martinez has suddenly become the man to catch right now.