Fans were concerned about the Los Angeles Dodgers heading into their East Coast road trip, and all the club did to quell those concerns and remind fans that they’re arguably MLB’s best team is win five of those six games with a +22 (!) run differential.
We get the Dodgers have disappointed at times this season, but the fact they’re 72-46 with all the injuries they’ve had to navigate around is simply remarkable.
There’s a number of players who deserve credit for that. Walker Buehler should be the NL Cy Young frontrunner.
Chris Taylor has announced himself as a star. AJ Pollock finally looks like the player the Dodgers thought they signed back in 2019.
The list is endless. However, Max Muncy sticks out among the rest. The slugging lefty smacked two home runs in the 14-4 win over the Mets on Sunday and has been a consistent source of production in a lineup whose superstars haven’t been reliable.
How pivotal has Muncy been? Well, we’d go as far as to say that he’s a more deserving MVP candidate (emphasis on candidate) than Bryce Harper.
Max Muncy deserves more MVP love than Bryce Harper.
Let’s get one thing clear. We aren’t proclaiming Muncy as the MVP frontrunner. That title likely belongs to Fernando Tatis Jr., despite that he’s missed some time due to injury. The Padres superstar is hitting .300/.379/.675 with 33 home runs, 74 RBI, and 102 runs scored.
To put otherworldly season into perspective, Tatis currently leads the NL in home runs (33), slugging percentage (.675), stolen bases (23), OPS (1.054) and OPS+ (186).
With that settled, Muncy deserves to be ahead of Harper for the second spot behind Tatis. Let’s compare the stats, shall we?
- Muncy: .272/.402/.550 with 25 HRs, 69 RBI, .952 OPS and 20 doubles
- Harper: .297/.414/.567 with 21 HRs, 49 RBI, 981 OPS and 26 doubles
While Harper might have the edge on Muncy in most of those categories, they don’t tell the full story in terms of the impact the Dodgers star has had on his club’s success. If you remember, Muncy carried Los Angeles’ offense early in the season when Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger were injured and while Mookie Betts was slumping to the worst start of his career.
That can’t be understated. While the Mike Trout argument might work in Harper’s favor, it speaks volumes that his Phillies are fighting for their playoff lives in the lowly NL East.
Muncy doesn’t have has big of a brand as Harper and he no doubt gets overlooked in a loaded Dodgers lineup, but he’s been every bit as good (if not better) than the Phillies star.
Max Muncy Odds to Win NL MVP
According to WynnBET, Muncy’s officially the third-leading candidate at the moment, clocking in behind the favorite Fernando Tatis Jr. (-400, and suddenly a right fielder?) and Harper (+400). Do we trust our guy’s power surge at +700 (bet $100 to win $700)?
As long as Muncy can get his average up above .280 over the next few weeks and continues to produce in the home run and RBI departments, there’s no reason to think he shouldn’t be ahead of Harper in the NL MVP pecking order.