The MLB NL MVP Award is given out annually to the best performing player in the National League. The National League has seen some injuries to a few of their best players this season, including Bryce Harper. This has left the NL MVP award in a very interesting spot. Here is a look at a few players among the candidates in the 2022 MLB NL MVP Watch for the month of July.
Manny Machado, 3B, San Diego Padres
— Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) July 1, 2022
Manny Machado was left as a question mark for this list for nearly two weeks. He has the talent and the statistics to remain on this list. But the Padres star suffered a sprained ankle, which left a lot of questions on if he would make a return before the All-Star break or not. Luckily for MLB fans, Machado made his return and he looked pretty healthy in doing so.
He put together a pretty down month, slashing just .284/.333/.506 for the month. He also tallied just 4 home runs and 18 RBIs. This down month speaks volumes for the tremendous year he is having though. Even though he had an entire month in which he played a bit worse than he is used to and he battled an injury, Machado remains among the league leaders in multiple categories. He is 4th in the league in AVG and 8th in the league in OPS. He also ranks in the 98th percentile in outs above average.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
— STL Statcast (@STLStatcast) June 26, 2022
Paul Goldschmidt is having quite a remarkable year this year. He is currently the leader in the entire MLB in Offensive WAR, batting average, OBP, and times on base. The Cardinals’ first baseman is also elite against fastballs, breaking balls, and off-speed pitches, showing no true weakness. He has a batting average of .323 against fastballs, .369 against breaking balls, and .367 against off-speed pitches. His weakness in 2021 was very obviously the breaking ball. He hit .239 against them last season. Goldschmidt has raised this average by .130 points in just one season.
Pete Alonso, 1B, New York Mets
Pete Alonso leads the NL in homers with 22, but he also has the most home runs in the majors since he debuted in 2019 (128). He actually has 20 more homers than the next closest hitter (Eugenio Suarez). pic.twitter.com/PLVfpUCJOZ
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) June 27, 2022
Pete Alonso has burst onto the NL MVP scene as of late. He put together a pretty impressive month of June. In the month, he slugged 9 home runs, tallied 22 RBIs, and held an OPS of .977. His 22 RBIs for the month would give him the MLB lead with 69 as of now. He also ranks in the top 10 for home runs with 22 and OPS with .919. His biggest weakness is the breaking ball. MLB teams are starting to figure this out and they are starting to key in on this weakness. He is seeing breaking balls 33% of the time, up from 27% in 2021. Pete Alonso will need to continue to put up big power numbers to keep him among the top of the National League as the season goes on.
Prediction: Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
Paul Goldschmidt was in my top 3 last month. This month, he takes the crown. And it isn’t particularly close at this point. He has shown major improvement in multiple categories, as well as leading the top candidates in a ton of the statistical categories. He is the NL leader in OPS and WAR, which are two categories that the MVP voters are very keen on. The first half of 2022 has been pretty great for Goldschmidt. If he can continue this campaign, his 2022 season will go down as one of the best seasons in recent memory.
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