The American League MVP is a very easy race to predict. There are many likely candidates, however these five are the favorites almost every year. I do not see how anyone else could sneak in amongst these five stars. Here are the top five AL MVP candidates, in no particular order.
American League MVP Candidates
5 Josh Donaldson, TOR
The past four season Donaldson has finished in the top-10 in AL MVP voting. In the past four seasons he has 126 home runs and 413 runs batted in. Donaldson can do just about everything very well. He can work the count, hit a home run on a pitch only he can, or make a nifty defensive play. Without Edwin Encarnacion in that lineup in Toronto someone is going to have to pick up the slack.
4 Manny Machado, BAL
The past two season Machado has come around as one of the better all around third basemen in baseball. In his three full seasons, he has finished in the top-10 in American League MVP voting, and the past two seasons he has been in the top-5. Machado has picked up his power as of late, he has 72 home runs, 70 doubles, and has driven in 182 runs the past two years. Defensively, Machado is a two time Gold Glover, and has shown some unreal range and an incredibly strong arm.
3 Jose Altuve, HOU
Altuve is the best all around second basemen in the league. Alive is one of the fastest guys in the league, having stolen 30+ bases in the past five seasons. In each of the past three seasons, Altuve has hit to an average of over .300, with his most recent having hit .338 last season. His power numbers have gone up each of the past two years, as he is a combined 39 homers. He has won the Silver Slugger the past four seasons, and has finished in the top 15 in MVP voting the past three seasons. This may be the year he finally wins one. The Astros look primed for a run this year, and Altuve is just the guy to lead them.
2 Mookie Betts, BOS
Mookie solidified himself as one of the top outfielders in the game last season. He was named to his first career All-Star game, won a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove, and finished second in AL MVP voting. He finished with a .318 average with 31 home runs, 42 doubles, 214 hits, 26 stolen bases, 113 RBI’s, and a league leading 359 total bases. Betts has a unique combination of power, contact, and speed. At only 24 years old, Betts is only going to get better.
1 Mike Trout, LAA
Mike Trout is hands down the best athlete in the sport of baseball, oh yeah and he is only 25 years old. He won the AL Rookie of the Year in 2012, and is a two time AL MVP. In all five full seasons he has played, he has won a Silver Slugger and made the All-Star team. He has led the league in wins above replacement five times and runs scored four times. Trout is a career .306 hitter with 168 home runs and 497 RBI’s. Trout is on pace to put up numbers up there with some of the greatest to ever play the game of baseball.
Main image credit: