With the 2019 MLB season reaching the halfway point, fans and analysts are giving their early predictions for the annual year-end awards. In terms of the National League, it's a two-man race between Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger for MVP.
In the American League, it's an open competition for the MVP award. Mike Trout and DJ LeMahieu are the early favorites, but there are plenty of other quality options who aren't getting enough love.
Here are three AL MVP candidates that fit the bill.
3. Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana is the epitome of a sleeper candidate for the AL MVP award. While the Indians first baseman doesn't have the home runs and RBI like Mike Trout, he ranks at the top in other categories. Santana has the second-best on-base percentage (.407) and third-highest OPS (.943) in the American League. Carlos Santana is doing what he does best, and that's get on base. If the Tribe advances in the playoffs after capturing the Central, keep an eye on him.
2. Rafael Devers
Talk about a bounce-back year for the Boston Red Sox young third baseman. With the Sox battling up from the middle of the AL East standings, many are missing out on the ridiculous season that Devers has had (including those who watched the All-Star Game. Devers has recorded 73 RBI (third in AL) on a .325 batting average (second in AL) and .942 OPS (fourth in AL). But, of course, he has some competition from his fellow teammate.
1. Xander Bogaerts
That's right, the Boston Red Sox have two AL MVP candidates this season, and they're not Mookie Betts or JD Martinez. It's Devers and Xander Bogaerts. The Boston shortstop has tallied 74 RBI (second in AL) on a .315 batting average (fourth in AL) and .975 OPS (second in AL). Check out some Red Sox games, just for the friendly battle for AL MVP between Devers and Bogaerts.