Home News Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuña Jr. lead 2nd MVP poll of 2023

Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuña Jr. lead 2nd MVP poll of 2023

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The results from the second MLB.com MVP Award poll of the 2023 season are in, and while the leaders from our first poll held steady, one of the races appears to be much closer than the other.

With 47 MLB.com voters participating, National League leader Ronald Acuña Jr. received 42 of the first-place votes in the NL. That was a stark contrast to the American League side of the poll, as five AL players earned a first-place vote, led by Shohei Ohtani with 23.

Once again, voters were asked to rank their top five AL and NL MVP candidates based on what has happened so far and what they expect will happen in the months to come. Players received vote points on a 5-4-3-2-1 scale — five points for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on.

Here are the full results. (All stats below are through Sunday.)

1) Shohei Ohtani, SP/DH, Angels (23 first-place votes)
After receiving nearly 70% of the first-place votes in our first MVP poll of 2023, Ohtani lost some support this time, likely because he hasn’t been as sharp on the mound recently. Ohtani still has a 3.32 ERA on the year with 102 K’s in 76 innings, but he has posted a 4.88 ERA and a 5.15 FIP in his past eight starts. Of course, pitching is only part of the two-way superstar’s game, and he’s more than made up for any struggles on the mound by producing 10 homers, 20 RBIs and a 1.010 OPS over his past 26 games, helping the Angels stay in the thick of the AL Wild Card race.

2) Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (12 first-place votes)
Although he’s on the injured list after hurting his toe running through a wall to make an incredible catch at Dodger Stadium on June 3, the reigning AL MVP nevertheless moved up to second in our latest poll after finishing outside the top five in the first MLB.com MVP poll of 2023. Prior to going on the IL, Judge recorded 13 homers, 24 RBIs and an eye-popping 1.454 OPS in his previous 19 games.

3) Wander Franco, SS, Rays (8 first-place votes)
The Rays have MLB’s best record at 48-20, and Franco leads the club in hits (75), doubles (19), steals (22) and total bases (122) while slashing .299/.360/.486. Add in his excellent defense at shortstop, and the 22-year-old has produced more wins above replacement (3.8) than anyone else, including Ohtani.

4) Marcus Semien, 2B, Rangers (3 first-place votes)
The Rangers are one of this year’s most surprising teams, going 41-23 with the highest-scoring offense (6.25 runs per game) in MLB. Semien, who finished third in the AL MVP race with the A’s in 2019 and the Blue Jays in ’21, has been a sparkplug for Texas out of the leadoff spot, hitting .296 with nine homers, 51 RBIs, 57 runs scored and an .848 OPS. Also a stellar defender, Semien is tied with Toronto’s Bo Bichette for third in the AL with 3.2 bWAR.

5) Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (1 first-place vote)
Bichette has cooled off in June, but he’s still leading the AL in batting average (.317) and total bases (146) and is tied for first in the Majors in hits (91). With a team-high 14 dingers in 67 games, he’s also on pace for his first career 30-homer season.

Others receiving votes: Yordan Alvarez, Yandy Díaz, Randy Arozarena, Adley Rutschman, Adolis García, Julio Rodríguez, Mike Trout, José Ramírez, Rafael Devers

1) Ronald Acuña Jr., OF, Braves (42 first-place votes)
It’s not hard to see why Acuña received near-unanimous support from our voters again. The NL leader with 3.3 bWAR, Acuña is on pace for 32 homers, 70 steals and 140 runs scored with a .331/.402/.563 slash for a Braves club that is tied for the best record in the NL.

2) Freddie Freeman, 1B, Dodgers (4 first-place votes)
The 2020 NL MVP is squarely in the running for another, hitting .338 with 13 homers, 24 doubles, 44 RBIs, 57 runs and a .999 OPS over 66 games this season. That includes a .405 batting average and a 1.219 OPS across his past 29 games.

3) Corbin Carroll, OF, D-backs
After three consecutive losing seasons and five straight without a playoff berth, the D-backs are leading the NL West with a surprising 40-25 record, and Carroll is a big reason why. The speedster has notched a .404/.456/.865 slash line with six homers, 16 RBIs and five steals over his past 13 games — an 11-2 stretch for Arizona — and is on pace to become the second player in AL/NL history (joining Mike Trout) to produce 30-plus homers and 40-plus steals during his rookie season.

4) Luis Arraez, 2B, Marlins (1 first-place vote)
Can Arraez hit .400? It’s something we could be tracking all season as the Marlins second baseman continues to rack up hits like a present-day version of Tony Gwynn. He finished Sunday’s game with an MLB-best .397 average and .447 on-base percentage, going 91-for-229 with 19 walks and only 13 K’s through 61 games. Acquired from the Twins in the offseason, Arraez has helped Miami go 37-29, including a 17-5 record in one-run games.

5) Mookie Betts, OF, Dodgers
Betts’ consistent excellence almost flies under the radar at this point, but he’s on track to earn the fifth top-five MVP finish in the past eight years. After setting a personal best with 35 homers in 2022, Betts already has 17 big flies in 2023, giving him a chance to reach the 40-homer plateau for the first time.

Others receiving votes: Sean Murphy, Juan Soto, Pete Alonso, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Nolan Arenado, Dansby Swanson, J.D. Martinez, Jorge Soler

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