While the MLB gets ready for the World Series, it means that awards season is only around the corner so we thought that might take a look at the top three candidates of the American League MVP.
Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins
Position: Designated hitter
Odds to win the NL MVP: +125
The Twins designated hitter is the frontrunner to take out the American League Most Valuable Player award for 2020, and it can’t be denied that he has had a stellar season with the bat.
The Twins designated hitter had the 20th best average in the 2020 season averaging .303 (when looking at the MLB altogether), but once you break those stats down into each position you would find that the Cruz, in fact, had the best average for anyone who played as a designated hitter in the regular season, it was the same when looking at the American League.
Cruz also finished the regular season with 16 home runs and was ranked seventh in the MLB in terms of home runs scored out of any position, but once again when you break it down to each position he was undoubtedly the best-designated hitter in the MLB and the American League as he scored the most home runs.
Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians
Odds to win the MVP: +200
Not since 2014 has a pitcher won an MVP award when Clayton Kershaw claimed the title, but six years later it could be on the cards again as Shane Bieber is in line to change that trend.
Bieber has had a magnificent season, as he finished the regular season being ranked as equal first with Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish for most wins with eight in the MLB. Not only that but he finished the regular season with a earned run average (ERA) of 1.63 the best out of the MLB and American League.
Another reason why Biber is the second favourite to clinch the award is that he has the most strikeouts in the whole MLB and in the American League as he has struck out batters 122 times.
Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
Position: First base
Odds to win the MVP: +550
Jose Abreu could be the dark horse to claim the American League MVP crown. The first baseman is currently the third favourite to take out the AL MVP but his statistics suggest otherwise.
Abreu is very handy with the bat as this season he posted an average of .317 (which is more than Nelson Cruz) which in turn meant he had the 11th best batting average in the whole MLB with players from any position. When breaking down the batting averages for the American League, Abreu was ranked fourth.
When you look closer at those numbers to just players who play first base from the whole MLB, Abreu had the second-best average for a first baseman with .326, in the American League for players who played first base he had the best batting average.
When looking at MLB players who play first base, Abreu was just as vital as he managed to hit the second-most home runs with 16. He was still ranked second in the American League with most home runs scored by a first baseman, but when you include all players in the American League he increased his home run tally to 19 but was still second as he was only three home runs behind leader Luke Voit.
*Odds are correct at time of publication.
Image by: John Ruddock
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