The NL MVP could come down to two St. Louis Cardinals stars, and a few others.
The National League MVP race has been fun to watch. Unlike in the American League where it will be either Aaron Judge or Shohei Ohtani, the NL race has been mostly competitive throughout the season.
Although there has been one key leader in the race. There’s only one month left in the season for National League MVP contenders to make the final push to win an elusive MVP.
Huge September performances are what pushed Freddie Freeman and Bryce Harper into MVP wins. You always want to put your best foot forward in the final month to make an imprint on the BBWAA like our own Kevin Henry and Robert Murray. Regardless, there’s a clear hierarchy to the NL MVP Power Rankings.
NL MVP Power Rankings: Here’s where we stand entering September
First off, let’s start with an honorable mention. That would be Austin Riley who had been contending for the NL MVP all season with two other names listed later. From Opening Day to July 31, Riley had been swinging an insanely hot bat with a batting line of .301/.360/.604/.964 with 29 home runs, 31 doubles, and 68 RBI.
Then he crashed back to Earth in August. During August, Riley completely lost his chance at an MVP. He hit only .230/.339/.350/.689 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 15 RBI, and 11 walks in 26 games. Those are fine numbers, but not anywhere near MVP numbers. Due to that, he has fallen out of power rankings.
Other Honorable Mentions include Pete Alonso, Juan Soto, and Bryce Harper.
No.3 NL MVP Power Rankings: Freddie Freeman, First Baseman, Los Angeles Dodgers
Just like how Austin Riley fell out of the NL MVP race with a poor August, Freddie Freeman has come roaring alive in August. While he was already having an excellent first year in Hollywood despite all the drama, he raised his play in August to another level.
Freeman is certainly in the running for his second NL MVP award after winning his first in 2020. Over 25 games into August, Freddie has hit .330/.382/.430/.812 with 7 doubles, a home run, 14 RBI, 8 walks, and 15 strikeouts. He has scored 20 runs in that timeframe as well. While you wish the power was higher, he’s still been making excellent contact. One can’t deny the fact that Freeman has been getting on base to set the tone for an excellent Dodgers lineup.
Perhaps Freeman can strike the ball with a bit more authority to increase his power numbers in September. If not, he might be stuck finishing third at best in the race for the MVP. Overall, Freeman’s yearly stats are certainly MVP worthy. In 126 games, he has 42 doubles, 16 home runs, 80 RBI, 58 walks, 83 strikeouts, and leads the NL in hits with 161. He has a batting line of .326 /.398/.516/.914 with a 151 OPS+ and has been worth 4.9 WAR.