Paul Goldschmidt, first base, Arizona Diamondbacks: .316 average, 31 home runs, 104 RBIs
Paul Goldschmidt is having an MVP-type season, for he looks to strengthen his lead over this next month. Goldschmidt has been a MVP runner-up twice, once in 2013 and then in 2015, however, this year looks to be different for Goldschmidt, for he has dominated opposing teams. He is boasting a .316 average to go along with 31 home runs and 104 RBIs to help propel the Diamondbacks into playoff contention.
Giancarlo Stanton, right fielder, Miami Marlins: .296 average, 50 home runs, 108 RBIs
The Miami Marlins are in playoff contention for the first time in years thanks to the stellar play of Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton’s power at the plate has turned heads during his career, and this year is no exception, for Stanton has a league-leading 50 home runs with a little more than month left until playoffs. He leads the league with 108 RBIs and a stellar .670 slugging percentage. The only question for Stanton is whether he can catch Goldschmidt before the season is over.
Max Scherzer, pitcher, Washington Nationals: 12-5 record, 2.25 ERA, 220 strikeouts
Max Scherzer is looking to become the first pitcher since Clayton Kershaw in 2014 to win the MVP award. Scherzer has been dominant again with a 12-5 record and another top five strikeout ranking. He has a league leading 0.85 WHIP as well as a 2.25 ERA to help lead the Nationals to a comfortable NL East lead.
Jose Altuve, second base, Houston Astros: .356 average, 20 home runs, 69 RBIs
Jose Altuve has always been undersized and undervalued, but this year he isn’t playing around, for he has been on a tear to show opposing teams what they missed out in the draft. Altuve boasts an impressive .356 batting average while also showing a little bit of power with 20 home runs. The 5-foot-6 second baseman has been a key piece of the Astros’ dominant season as they push toward a World Series berth.
Mike Trout, center fielder, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: .318 average, 25 home runs, 60 RBIs
Mike Trout, the reigning AL MVP, has been consistent as ever for the Angels. Trout is posting his best batting average in years at .318 and has amassed 25 home runs in only 86 games. He has been a key to their resurgence and has helped them keep track in the AL wild card since returning from a UCL tear in his left thumb. Trout will need to make a late push in the final month of the season if he wants a shot at the MVP and the Angels’ first playoff appearance in three years.
Chris Sale, pitcher, Boston Red Sox: 14-6 record, 2.88 ERA, 253 strikeouts
Chris Sale has been dominating opponents lately. Sale has been a strikeout machine with 253 in his first season with the Boston Red Sox. Sale has a 14-6 record and has been an essential piece in the Red Sox reemergence in the AL East. He would be the first Red Sox player to win the award since Dustin Pedroia in 2008 and first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986.