​The Boston Red Sox have the best record in baseball at 86-35, and it would be fairly easy to default to one of their megastars as the league's rightful MVP.


But when your entire roster is over-performing, driving a franchise-best campaign, is it really that easy to select one singular straw as the one that stirs the drink?


Red Sox star outfielder Mookie Betts has rightfully been garnering MVP chants as of late, but Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez has been doing just as much, if not more, than Betts, and deserves some genuine consideration for vaulting his team into legit contention.


To be clear, Betts is having an outstanding season in his own right. Fresh off ​hitting for the cycle, Boston's leadoff hitter is batting .350 with 24 stolen bases, 27 home runs, 63 RBI, and a 1.106 OPS, which in total is good for 8.1 wins above replacement with six weeks still left in the regular season.


​Ramirez, though, deserves the award more. The Indians third hitter is batting .305 with 27 stolen bases, 36 home runs, 89 RBI, and a 1.054 OPS, which adds up to 7.9 WAR. Betts has been responsible for ever-so-slightly more wins, but he has done so in the best lineup in baseball where he almost always is in a favorable situation at the plate, whereas Cleveland's lineup is mediocre at best.

Betts is protected by stars such as fellow MVP candidate JD Martinez, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and outfielder Andrew Benintendi. Meanwhile, Ramirez has paired himself with Francisco Lindor, but beyond that is backed up by a regressing Edwin Encarnacion, a league-average first baseman in Yonder Alonso, outfielder Melky Cabrera, and the underperforming Jason Kipnis.


Ramirez has essentially matched Betts' production with far less around him. The award is called the Most Valuable Player, and this Indians team, despite being 17 games over .500 in the worst division in baseball, would sink so much further without someone like Ramirez in their lineup.


Without Trevor Bauer and the pitching advantage he creates over the next few weeks, we may be reminded more than ever exactly why Ramirez matters so much.