Shohei Ohtani's injury should not impact the AL MVP race in the slightest

Shohei Ohtani has had this award wrapped up all season long.
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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The 2023 AL MVP race seemed to be over before it already started. Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani had blown everyone out of the water, putting up arguably the best season ever. When healthy, Ohtani was the best hitter in baseball by far and was putting up all-star numbers on the mound. That's something not even 2022 Aaron Judge could match.

The dialogue when discussing the AL MVP award seems to have shifted in recent weeks with Shohei Ohtani out and Corey Seager having a terrific year for Texas. Seager absolutely deserves his praise, but any talks of an MVP award should be laughed out of the room.

Ohtani's season has ended prematurely due to injury, allowing some to open the door for Corey Seager to steal Ohtani's second MVP award. This would be a travesty if it were to happen, but I'd be shocked if it did.

AL MVP award is still Shohei Ohtani's unanimously despite season-ending injury

Chris Rose on his podcast with Trevor Plouffe discussed the AL MVP race and Rose wound up discovering what he felt was a possible path for Seager to steal the MVP. “If the Rangers come back and win the West when we all thought they were dead, and he is the biggest reason why, you don't think some voters will be swayed in that direction?"

Rose believes Seager has a case if the Rangers recover from their own minor collapse and win the division they were leading most of the season even with him on the IL? Sounds to me like the Rangers would be doing what they're supposed to do if they win the AL West more than Seager deserving credit for that.

Regardless, the MVP, as much as we don't want to admit it, is an individual award. Especially in the game of baseball, one player can't singlehandedly win you a division or a World Series. If that was the case the Angels would have plenty of titles under their belt with two of the best players over the last decade wearing Angels uniforms in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. With that in mind, let's look over the stats.

Seager has been a slightly better hitter this season with a 185 OPS+ compared to Ohtani's 182, but Shohei has 13 more home runs and has been worth over three more wins above replacement according to baseball reference. The reason for that is Ohtani is still an all-star pitcher while Seager is merely a shortstop.

This argument for Seager has really picked up over the last couple of weeks when Ohtani has been out as if Seager hadn't missed substantial time earlier this season. Remember when the Angels took three of four in Texas earlier this season? Seager was out. Even with Ohtani set to miss the rest of the season, he'd still have more games played and at-bats than Seager.

I fail to see any argument than Seager other than team record to point in Seager's direction. Seager has had an unbelievable year and deserves recognition, but he's not Shohei. The AL MVP race is over. It's not even close. Ohtani has won his second MVP in the last three seasons, and it should be done unanimously.

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