History is on Ronald Acuna Jr.’s side in NL MVP race

dkb221012006 phl vs atl

The MVP race has been of the one-man variety for much of the season. Ronald Acuna Jr. has sat atop the list of candidates since May and been the most consistent player in the National League; however, a pair of teammates out west have made a push down the stretch run — Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman.

The race seems to be down to Betts and the Venezuelan superstar, though there is plenty of season left for one to separate from the other, or for Freddie Freeman to make another surge for his second MVP.

Regardless of the metric, the three are neck-and-neck, constantly topping one another on a nightly basis. Check out how close this race is as of today:

  • Ronald Acuna Jr.: .335/.418/.572, .989 OPS, .421 wOBA, 166 wRC+, 29 home runs, 119 runs, 79 RBI, 61 stolen bases, 6.6 fWAR
  • Mookie Betts: .312/.406/.606, 1.011 OPS, .423 wOBA, 172 wRC+, 35 home runs, 110 runs, 93 RBI, 10 stolen bases, 7.2 fWAR
  • Freddie Freeman: .340/.415/.583, .998 OPS, .419 wOBA, 168 wRC+, 24 home runs, 109 runs, 87 RBI, 17 stolen bases, 6.7 fWAR

As you can see by the bolded stats, Mookie is leading in most categories but not by much. If the race ended today, most would look at the Dodgers superstar as the MVP, but Ronald Acuna Jr. has something on his side that neither candidate does — history.

After swiping two bags and hitting another home run in Monday’s contest against the Rockies, Ronald Acuna Jr. brings his totals to 29/61 — one shy of becoming the first player in history to hit 30 bombs and swipe 60 bags.

He’s currently on pace to steal 76 bags, a mark that has only been reached twice in the past 30 years. What makes him even more special is the power that comes with that speed.

That power-speed combination has never been seen before, and as long as he doesn’t fall off a cliff, I think it’s enough to propel him to the NL MVP award. History is a hell of a narrative, but Ronald Acuna Jr. is also two years removed from his torn ACL, which only adds to the story.

Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman have had equally impressive campaigns; either is capable of taking home the honor, but I think history pushes the Braves superstar over the finish line at the end of the season.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: