Sports

Tight MVP races highlight great MLB year

The 2017 Major League Baseball season has brought baseball fans many storylines and surprises. The Los Angeles Dodgers are on the verge of history, the Houston Astros have gone from zeroes to heroes and one of the faces of baseball is in the midst of setting a monumental yet controversial record. The storylines developed during each MLB season are what keep the fans interested, and this season has been no less exciting.

Right now, the Dodgers are the kings of the National League and, arguably, all of Major League Baseball. Not only do the Dodgers own the best record in baseball, but also are on pace to surpass the 110-win mark for the first time since the Seattle Mariners in 2001, who won an MLB record of 116 regular season games. With a starting rotation led by three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, and an offense led by rookie phenomenon Cody Bellinger, the Los Dodgers are in great shape to win their first World Series title since 1988.

The Astros boast the best record in the American League and are led by one of the best young offenses in history. Entering the All-Star break, the Astros scored the most runs in baseball, hit the most home runs and held the largest lead of any of the six divisional leaders.

As of late, however, the Astros have dealt with many obstacles. Injuries to their starting rotation have resulted in inconsistent outings from the remaining starters and inactivity during the trade deadline left Houston unable to improve the team via personnel transactions.

Conversely, the team recently acquired future Cooperstown enshrine Justin Verlander, who they hope will patch up the holes in the injured rotation. Many baseball fans and pundits also believe that the unfortunate disaster of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area has given the Astros more to play for, motivating the team to play for its city and giving the people of Houston something to cheer for.

The MLB has not been short of strong individual performances this season. No player took the sport by storm like Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees.

The right fielder is currently tied for the American League lead in home runs, and is among the leaders in most other offensive categories. Along the way he has led the Yankees to a surprisingly successful season, in which the team has a shot at the American League East division crown for the first time since 2012.

In the MLB, history and statistics go together very well when it comes to determining a player’s legacy. This season, Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins is demonstrating just that. The right fielder put up record numbers in the month of August with 18 home runs that tied Rudy York’s mark from 1937.

Stanton has had such a prolific second half of the season that he now has a chance of reaching Roger Maris’s 61 home run record set in 1961. The August surge has currently placed Stanton at 52 home runs with just 27 games to play. Stanton has not only launched himself into a possible record-breaking scenario, but also into the National League MVP race.

The MVP races in the American and National Leagues are currently loaded with players who are both the faces of their respective teams and huge reasons why their teams are in playoff contention. Major League Baseball has made an effort to make baseball fun and energetic, and baseball fans could not be happier with what this year’s MVP race is currently representing.

With less than a month left until the start of the 2017 postseason, baseball fans have a great deal to be excited about. From tight MVP races to the playoff hunts of many teams, it looks as though the end of the 2017 season will be one to remember.

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September 11, 2017

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