Emerging AL MVP Contender: Taylor Ward Makes Waves Alongside Trout and Ohtani
The 2022 season has brought forth favorites for the AL MVP award, including household names like Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Aaron Judge. However, a surprising contender from their own team, the Los Angeles Angels, has emerged in the form of Taylor Ward.
Ward’s Stellar Performance Rivals MVP Candidates
While Taylor Ward may not yet be regarded as a serious contender for the MVP title, his performance in nearly a quarter of the season cannot be overlooked. Despite being placed far down the MVP candidate list at +7000 odds according to FanDuel Sportsbook, his numbers speak for themselves.
In the span of 26 games, the 28-year-old outfielder boasts impressive statistics, hitting an astounding .385 with an outstanding 1.247 OPS. Not only does he lead the majors in these categories, but he also tops the charts in on-base percentage (.500) and slugging percentage (.747). With eight home runs, 22 runs batted in, and 24 runs scored, Ward’s performance has been nothing short of remarkable.
If Ward had showcased this level of excellence in previous seasons and not suffered from hamstring tightness and a strained left groin early in the season, he might have found himself leading the AL MVP race at this point. The incredulity of his current performance has even caught the attention of Angels manager Joe Maddon.
According to Maddon, “I’m really enjoying watching this because you don’t see this very often… It’s kind of extraordinary what he’s doing right now.”
Ohtani and Trout Continue to Shine
While Taylor Ward’s emergence has injected additional offensive power into the Angels’ lineup, Shohei Ohtani remains the frontrunner for the MVP award. Ohtani has displayed improvement at the plate along with a commendable 2.78 ERA as a pitcher. Meanwhile, Mike Trout maintains his usual excellence, hitting .312 with nine home runs and a 1.092 OPS.
Angels’ Promising Path to the Postseason
Ward’s performance not only alleviates some pressure on Trout and Ohtani but also plays a pivotal role in the Los Angeles Angels’ remarkable start to the season. With a record of 24-13, the Angels currently find themselves in a virtual tie for first place in the AL West with the Houston Astros.
While the Astros are favored (-210) in the divisional crown race, the Angels possess a +200 chance to claim victory. However, even if they don’t secure the AL West title, the Wild Card spots offer an opportunity for Los Angeles to make it to the postseason. The Angels’ strong performance thus far suggests they are well on their way to achieving this goal.
AL MVP Odds – Los Angeles Angels Players (via FanDuel Sportsbook)
- Shohei Ohtani: +220
- Mike Trout: +500
- Taylor Ward: +7000
- Anthony Rendon: +13000
- Jared Walsh: +25000
These odds reflect the current MVP outlook for key players on the Angels roster.
Ward’s Rising Confidence
Taylor Ward’s exceptional performance goes hand in hand with his growing confidence. The outfielder firmly believes that no pitcher can get him out. While he acknowledges that the game can humbly remind him otherwise, his unwavering self-assurance propels him to continually improve and succeed.
Taylor Ward has emerged as an unexpected contender for the AL MVP award, putting up statistics that rival those of his more renowned teammates, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Despite not garnering significant attention in MVP discussions, Ward’s remarkable performance deserves recognition. Alongside the stellar performances of Ohtani and Trout, Ward’s contributions have propelled the Los Angeles Angels to an impressive start to the season. With their sights set on making a postseason run, the Angels’ formidable lineup and the surprising emergence of Taylor Ward make them a force to be reckoned with.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does Taylor Ward’s performance compare to other AL MVP candidates?
Ward’s performance has been exceptional, leading the majors in batting average, OPS, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. While he may not be receiving the same recognition as other AL MVP candidates, his statistics speak for themselves and warrant consideration.
2. What impact has Taylor Ward’s emergence had on the Los Angeles Angels?
Ward’s emergence as another offensive weapon has alleviated pressure from Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, providing the Angels with a formidable lineup. Ward’s contributions have played a significant role in the team’s impressive start to the season and their potential postseason aspirations.
3. Who is the current favorite for the AL MVP award?
Shohei Ohtani remains the favorite for the AL MVP award due to his remarkable two-way performance as a hitter and pitcher. His improvement at the plate and strong pitching performances give him an edge in the race for the prestigious accolade.
4. What are the Angels’ chances of making it to the postseason?
The Angels are currently in a strong position to secure a postseason spot. With a strong record and a competitive roster, they are well positioned to compete for a Wild Card spot if they don’t claim the AL West title.
5. How has Taylor Ward’s confidence grown alongside his exceptional performance?
Ward’s confidence has seen an evident rise as he continues to impress with his stellar performance. While he acknowledges the unpredictable nature of the game, his unwavering belief in his abilities fuels his drive to continuously improve and succeed.