Andre Dawson and Alex Rodriguez are the only players to win MVP on a last-place team. Can Juan Soto join them?
WynnBET has released its MLB MVP awards, with Juan Soto (+275) the favorite to win the hardware in the Netherlands. Behind him are Ronald Acuña Jr. (+799), Bryce Harper (+750), Mookie Betts (+900) and Trea Turner (+1000).
Soto being the favorite should come as no surprise. The 23-year-old finished second to Harper last year after hitting .313. with 29 home runs, 95 RBIs and a .999 OPS. Now second in the Nats roster, Soto is in line to receive more ABs and with the addition of Universal DH – he will also have more hitting opportunities with runners on base. The Nationals roster factor has improved with the addition of Nelson Cruz and a full season of Keibert Ruiz and Soto has plenty of protection.
Yet despite being the favorite, history stands in his way. The Nationals are expected to finish last in the division and voters tend to hold that against the players. Since 2010, only six of the past 24 MVP winners have missed the playoffs — Harper in 2015 and 2021, Mike Trout in 2016 and 2019, Giancarlo Stanton in 2017 and Shohei Ohtani in 2021.
Going further, only twice in MLB history has anyone won MLB MVP on a last-place team – Andre Dawson with the Cubs in 1987 and Alex Rodriguez with the Texas Rangers in 2003.
Here’s how each of them fared during their MVP years.
Dawson: .287 BA, 49 HR, 137 RBI, .328 OBP, .568 SLG, .896 OPS
Rodríguez: .298 BA, 47 HR, 118 RBI, .396 OBP, .600 SLG, .995 OPS
Rodriguez’s stats were boosted by taking steroids, while Dawson benefited from a change of scenery. In the second half of last season (72 games), Soto slashed .348/.525/.639, well above Dawson and Arod’s output.
The phenomenon has already started its 2022 campaign with a bang. He’s already started to pick up where he left off last year – going 1-3, with a home run and a walk last night.