2019 MLB Predictions: MVP
This week, we are unveiling the 2019 MLB awards predictions of our baseball writers/reporters across all NBC Sports Regional Networks.
Next up: MVPs. And yes, someone outside of Philly did select Bryce Harper.
Mike Trout & Paul Goldschmidt (Corey Seidman — Phillies)
Picking Trout every year for the AL is just the logical way to go. He's the best player in baseball, a top-five player ever and could win the MVP every season if it was based strictly on numbers and not narrative.
In the NL, Goldschmidt is a complete hitter who has solid lineup protection and is playing for a projected winner. With his next contract no longer a concern, I could see Goldschmidt hitting .300 with 35 and 125. And unlike the candidates on other teams, there is no clear second star alongside Goldschmidt, which should boost his case if the Cards make the playoffs.
Mike Trout & Bryce Harper (Todd Dybas — Nationals)
Duh, Mike Trout is going to win MVP in the AL. On the other side, Harper will enjoy his new park and honeymoon period in Philadelphia on his way to his second NL MVP.
Mike Trout & Nolan Arenado (Alex Pavlovic — Giants)
In the AL, there is no reason to get cute here — at 27 years old, Trout is the best player in the world and should be entering his prime. For the NL, perhaps this will be the year voters give the nod to the six-time Gold Glove Award winner. Arenado has hit at least 37 homers in each of the past four years and should again play for a team that's in the race.
Mike Trout & Paul Goldschmidt (Ben Ross — Athletics)
In the AL, Trout is still the best all-around player in baseball, and at age 27, he is just coming into his prime. His advanced metrics are off the charts, which could allow him to win MVP award No. 3 even if the Angels miss the postseason.
In the NL, Goldschmidt has a chance to make an impact on a larger stage now with the Cardinals. Expect the 31-year-old to put up his usual huge numbers and lead St. Louis to the postseason.
Mike Trout & Nolan Arenado (Lou Merloni — Red Sox)
When you’re the best player in baseball, you win the MVP unless someone else puts together a historic type year. That won’t happen this season and Trout should take home AL MVP. Nolan Arenado’s been so consistent over the years, but this will be a career year for the best player in the NL.
Carlos Correa & Freddie Freeman (Tony Andracki — Cubs)
When healthy, Correa gives Francisco Lindor a run for his money for the crown of top shortstop in baseball. Still only 24 years old, Correa has the youth, the talent and the help from the supporting cast on one of baseball's best teams to emerge as a bonafide MVP contender in the AL.
Freeman, on the other hand, led the NL in hits and doubles last season while finishing fourth in MVP voting and taking home his first Gold Glove Award. He's the stabilizing force in a lineup that should be plenty productive in 2019.
Alex Bregman & Nolan Arenado (Vinne Duber — White Sox)
For the AL, Bregman put up an MVP-caliber season in 2018. He bashed 31 homers, drove in 103 runs, reached base at a .394 clip and led the game with 51 doubles — not to mention, played some pretty good defense at the hot corner.
In the NL, Arenado has now made his money, but that doesn’t mean he’ll stop being the consistent Coors Field crusher he’s been in each of the last four seasons: 158 homers, 503 RBIs, a .931 OPS, four Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, four All-Star berths and four top-eight NL MVP finishes.