3 Surprise Players Who Could Steal the NL MVP Award in a 60-Game Season

Eugenio Suarez
Cincinnati Reds star Eugenio Suarez | Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The 2020 MLB season, if it even happens, will likely be around 60 games, as the owners are not willing to go higher than that number of games to be played. The shortened season will make this awards race incredibly unusual, as starting pitchers will only have 10 or 11 starts to pull away in the Cy Young race, for example. The National League MVP race already figured to be a crowded one before the season was shortened, but now it's so chaotic that these three dark horses might be legitimate contenders for the award this year.

3. Padres SS Fernando Tatis Jr.

Fernando Tatis Jr
San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. | Norm Hall/Getty Images

Tatis played in just 84 games last year, but he showed that even at the age of 20, he has superstar written all over him. If you extrapolated his numbers out to a full 162-game season, Tatis would have hit .317 with 42 home runs, with 102 RBI and 31 steals. With another year under his belt and Manny Machado ready to assert his dominance once again, Tatis has the talent necessary to put together a sparkling 60-game stretch that ends with him picking up some hardware.

2. Reds 3B Eugenio Suarez

Eugenio Suarez
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez | Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Being able to launch home runs will always get you in the MVP consideration, as Suarez landed in the top 15 last year despite the fact he was playing on a Reds team that was stuck in neutral for the entire season. His 49 home runs, second in the bigs, probably had something to do with that. With more protection in the lineup in the form of Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas, Suarez could potentially lead all of baseball in dingers, which could get him an MVP if the Reds make some noise in the NL Central.

1. Brewers Closer Josh Hader

Josh Hader
Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader | Stacy Revere/Getty Images

A closer winning an MVP sounds absurd, a kicker winning MVP in a nine-game NFL season happened, so let's not discount this. In a shortened season that will make every single game matter, a quality bullpen and ninth-inning situation is going to be even more treasured than it is over a 162 game season. Hader might be the most unhittable closer in the NL when he's on, and he should get Cy Young and MVP consideration if he keeps slamming the door on Brewers wins over these 60 games.