4 Dodgers who can win 2023 awards and where they currently stand

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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After trailing the Diamondbacks in the NL West race for a good part of the first half of the season, the Dodgers went into the All-Star Break at 51-38, good enough for a first-place tie with Ariona. Since then, things have taken a sharp turn, in the Dodgers' favor of course.

While the Dodgers have gone 24-9 since the break, the Diamondbacks are just 12-22 and the Giants are 16-18 over that same span. The Dodgers quickly shifted from staring down a tight divisional race to an 11.5-game lead in the middle of August.

So what does that mean for the team and fans alike? Well, it might be time to take a closer look at individual performances rather than team performances with the Dodgers distancing themselves from the pack.

Of course, the Dodgers now have the opportunity to chase down the Atlanta Braves with the hope of claiming home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but in the final month and a half of the season, there will also be a few individual Dodgers chasing Braves in tight races for some highly-regarded hardware.

4 Dodgers who can win 2023 awards and where they currently stand

Freddie Freeman: No. 2 in NL MVP Race

A few months ago, it looked like the NL MVP race was over, with Braves superstar OF Ronald Acuña Jr. running away with the honor (literally and figuratively). Acuña remains the frontrunner, with a .331/.417/.569 slash line that ranks top five in the NL across the board. His major league-leading 56 stolen bases and 112 runs scored, all while hitting leadoff for the team with the best record in MLB, will play a big role in his candidacy.

But Acuña's former teammate and current Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman wasn't going to let Acuña run away with the award without making a run at it himself. While Acuña still has the NL lead in fWAR (6.1) and bWAR (6.3), Freeman has been on a tear recently that shrunk those leads significantly.

In the last 30 days, Freeman leads all of MLB in AVG (.430), OBP (.500), hits (43), doubles (11) and runs (29), all while the Dodgers have gone 20-7 in their last 27 games, which tied the Cubs for the best record in that span. While Acuña's won NL Player of the Month in both April and June, Freeman got on the board with a hot May, and could have won the award for July as well, had it not been for Cody Bellinger's ridiculous stretch while the Cubs worked their way back into the playoff race.

All that's to say Freeman's AVG (.333), OBP (.411), SLG (.575), OPS (.986), doubles (45) and runs scored (102) all rank in the top three in the NL. If he's able to carry over his strong performance from this recent stretch of games through the rest of the season and the Dodgers can do the same, this award might actually be in Freeman's hands. However, re-creating his last 30 days of games is a big if, even for Freeman, and the Dodgers catching the Braves for the best record might be an even bigger if.

Freeman's strong run already has him second in the NL in fWAR (6.0), just behind Acuña's 6.1 mark, so if he can continue his push and briong the Dodgers to the top spot in the NL, we could be having a very different conversation in a month.