The Student News Site of Prospect High School


The Student News Site of Prospect High School


The Student News Site of Prospect High School


Superstar Showdown for MVP

Mookie Betts and Ronald Acuña Jr. (NBC Los Angeles)
Mookie Betts and Ronald Acuña Jr. (NBC Los Angeles)

The current state of the National League MVP race could not be any better. Ronald Acuña Jr. is setting records. Mookie Betts is putting up career highs, Matt Olson is slugging home runs and driving home runners in droves, and Freddie Freeman is lacing balls into the gaps, on his way to a record pace for doubles. This race for MVP is as electric as it can be, and will almost certainly stay like that until the end of the regular season. 


Let’s start with Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. He is the consensus front runner right now, and rightfully so. Acuña is absolutely balling out right now, hitting .335 with 32 home runs, 85 RBIs, and an absurd 63 stolen bases. Acuña recently became the first player in MLB history to record a 30 home run, 60 stolen base season, which is unheard of. He is doing all of this while also setting career highs in hits (184 and counting), on-base percentage (.416), and a crazy high .994 OPS. One of the biggest things for Acuña this season is his consistency. Hitting above .300 in 4/6 months and having an on-base percentage over .400 in 4/6 months is absolutely huge numbers. Even in those 2 “off” months, he still batted .264 with a .329 on-base percentage, which is still above the league averages. All the help Acuña has put in this year for the Braves has definitely paid off as they find themselves with the best record in the league (90-42), and 15.0 games ahead of the second place Phillies. If Acuña can continue this massive season he is having, we should be expecting to see him with the NL MVP trophy in November.


Just behind Acuña, is Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts. The former MVP is back in the race after a huge month of August. He absolutely tore up the baseball, hitting a staggering .455, with 11 home runs and 30 RBIs. One of the most impressive things from this season is that Mookie is very close to leading the league in many major hitting stats. He is hitting .316 (7th), with 38 home runs (5th), 99 RBIs (4th), a .410 on base percentage (4th) a .615 slugging percentage (3rd), and a 1.025 OPS (3rd). Betts and co. have helped the Dodgers to a 84-52 record, which is good for 3rd best in the MLB. They look to continue their dominance in the division, as they are 14.0 games ahead of the 2nd place Diamondbacks. If Acuña continues his great year, I think we will see Betts fall just a bit short of the MVP award, but that will still not take anything away from the career reviving year he is having. MVP or not, Betts has a lot to be proud of.


Behind the two heavy front runners, we find the new Atlanta Braves 1st baseman Matt Olson, and the MLB veteran, Los Angeles Dodgers 1st baseman, Freddie Freeman. They are both still having phenomenal seasons, but are being overshadowed by their respective teammates. Stats wise, it is almost gridlocked between the two first basemen:


Batting Average – Freeman: .335 (3rd in MLB), Olson: .266

Home Runs – Freeman: 25, Olson: 44 (1st in MLB)

RBIs – Freeman: 89, Olson: 113 (1st in MLB by a landslide)

On Base % – Freeman: .410 (3rd in MLB), Olson: (.373)

Slugging % – Freeman: .576 (6th in MLB), Olson : .581 (4th in MLB)

OPS – Freeman: .987 (5th in MLB), Olson: .954 (6th in MLB)


Maybe the most impressive stat this year has been from Freeman. He has hit 51 doubles, which is 14 more than Jeimer Candelario, who is in second place. As of September 1st, Freeman is on pace for 63 doubles, which would be just 4 shy of the MLB record (67 set by Earl Webb in 1931). Even if Freeman does not set the record, that can’t take away anything that he has done this year. 


This MLB season has been historic in many ways. From all the rule changes, and the improved pace of play, it’s been one to remember. This NL MVP race is going to continue to heat up and be a focal point of the 2023 MLB season. Even though we may find Acuña leading the race right now, obviously anything can happen. A mix of potential hot streaks and cold slumps can catapult anyone in and out of the top 4 in the MVP race. This end of the season will almost certainly be one to remember. 




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About the Contributor
Joe Peters, Sports Reporter
My name is Joe and I’m a sophomore here at Prospect. This is my first year working on the KnightMedia staff. I play baseball for both Prospect and a club team. I also play hockey too. Outside of school, I like hanging out with friends and working out.

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