Nationals

Juan Soto left out of National League MVP finalists

Nationals

A final indignation was bestowed on the Nationals’ 2020 season Monday night when no one from the organization was among the BBWAA awards finalists. Not even Juan Soto.

The finalists for National League MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year were announced on MLB Network. Soto’s name was expected to be among the three MVP finalists. Instead, Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts and Manny Machado are up for the award which will be announced Nov. 12.

The finalists are not a surprise. Though, the exclusion of Soto is strange to see following a season when he led the NL in batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, OPS-plus and intentional walks. The one ding against Soto’s candidacy is that he played 47 of the 60 games. He did not take the field until Aug. 5 because of a positive coronavirus test result he believed to be a false-positive. Soto later missed time because of a sore left elbow. The three finalists played 60, 55 and 60 games, respectively.

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Freeman is the front-runner to win the award after another hefty season in Atlanta when he finished second in MLB, behind Soto, in OPS. He also played stellar defense at first base on his way to the second-most bWAR in the National League.

Betts excelled in his first year with the Dodgers. He finished with a .927 OPS and as one of the elite corner outfielders. He led the NL in bWAR.

 

Machado re-established himself as one of the game’s elite players by finishing with a .950 OPS.

Anthony Rendon was an MVP finalist and Max Scherzer was a CY Young finalist in 2020. They both finished third. This year, no one from the Nationals will be beamed in to find out who wins. Instead they will all be home while others participate, just like the postseason.