We’ll start off by saying, that these are power rankings based on who we think have the highest odds of winning the award. Unfortunately that’s biased on who wins the series, and as of right now, the Braves have the advantage. So with that said, here are our top 5 players in the running for the NLCS MVP.
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1) Freddie Freeman
He may not be the number one player in the series so far, but he is on the team in the Lead. He’s slashing an incredible .444/.524/.944 with 6 runs, 6 RBI, 3 doubles, 2 homers, and a 2/3 walk to strikeout ratio.
His two homers broke open the scoring on the Braves first two wins. He’s playing a perfect 1st base. He was half of the Braves production in what could turn out to be the most important game of the series, Game 2. He literally cannot be stopped. If the Braves win, chances are he’s your NLCS MVP as well as the regular season.
2) Corey Seager
Meanwhile Seager should win the award whether the Dodgers win or not. He’s slashing an even better .400/.429/1.100. He has a record breaking 10 RBI, 7 runs scored, 2 doubles, and 4 homers for a homer every 5 at bats.
Game 1: 1-4, Loss (5-1)
Game 2: 2-4, 4 RBI, 2 R, Loss (8-7)
Game 3: 3-4, 3 RBI, 3 R, Win (15-3)
Game 4: 0-4, Loss (10-2)
Game 5: 2-3, 3 RBI, 2 R, Win (7-3)
He’s been the epicenter of every Dodger explosion. He’s playing a solid shortstop. He’s a finalist for the Hank Aaron Award and definitely for NLCS MVP.
3) Max Fried
Fried came out and dominated his Game 1 start for 6 innings. He gave up 4 hits, 2 walks, and one run via homer. But he struck out 9 Dodgers and kept the game tied at 1-1. Only 2 Braves bullpen pitchers had to bridge the gap before their offense exploded for a 5-1 lead in the 9th. Fried didn’t get the win, but he was the MVP of the first game of the series.
He goes again today for game 6. His performance starting at 1:38 PM could win the young ace the MVP award if he leads the Braves to a series win tonight. However, even if the Braves win, if he gets roughed up (even for just a few runs), the award is still probably Freeman’s.
4) Max Muncy
Max Muncy has quietly been making an impact in the middle of the Dodgers lineup this series. Which is weird for a guy batting .200. But his OBP is .478 and his SLG is .667. His OPS of 1.145 is the 2nd best among Dodgers starters this NLCS.
He only has 3 hits, 6 strikeouts, but 8 walks to score 4 runs. It also helps that his 3 hits have combined for 10 bases and 6 RBI. His defensive versatility has been used in almost every game so far.
If the Dodgers win, he has two more games to leave his mark on. He has a lot of ground to catch up on with Seager, but he’s probably the only Dodger that can at this point. Oh yeah, and add him to the list of several guys who has been robbed of a homer this series.
5) Ozzie Albies
Albies has the third highest OPS of the Braves starters slashing .381/.364/.714. He’s 8 for 21 with 4 RBI, 4 R, 2 homers, a double, and that’s with Bellinger robbing him of a three run bomb in an already unfair ballpark. His two homers came in the 9th inning as well. Both being the final blows in game 1 and 2. It wound up being crucial in game 2.
We almost gave this last spot to the Big Bear Ozuna (1.106 OPS), but we decided that his impact has been more skewed. He did basically win a game for the Braves offensively, but Albies has been consistent day in, day out for Atlanta while playing an elite second base.
Each Teams Honorable Mention
Braves: Marcell Ozuna
The race is neck and neck, and Ozuna could take the award with another unstoppable performance. Albies has just made a bigger impact to us so far. He’ll still need to have more of an impact in the final winning game. Especially after screwing up a would be sac fly and possible game changing run in game 5.
Dodgers: Mookie Betts
Mookie was relatively quiet for most of the series. But he was the momentum shifter if the Dodgers Game 5 would-be elimination win with his incredible double play via Ozuna’s mistake. And although he’s only 4-18, he’s still scored 4 runs, had his first RBI last night, has a stolen base, and a 3/4 walk to strikeout ratio. If he takes over these last two Dodger wins, he could still be the MVP.
Overall we’d be absolutely stunned if someone off this list won the NLCS MVP. The only other name we’d even think to mention is Will Smith, but he’s been so unlucky his stats aren’t competitive.