- Tampa Bay Rays OF Austin Meadows is leading the AL with a .357 batting average
- He's also in the top four in OBP and SLG
- BetOnline lists Meadows at +1000 to win the AL MVP Award
Is Austin Meadows on the verge of making history? No Tampa Bay Rays player has ever been voted the American League MVP.
Austin Meadows' May? Not bad!
1.112 OPS#VoteRays // https://t.co/xd21pMuMpf pic.twitter.com/JydaEzFtCu
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 2, 2019
BetOnline gives him a chance, albeit not favored status to do so this season.
The sportsbook lists Meadows, who currently leads the AL with a .357 batting average, as its co-third betting choice in their AL MVP odds for 2019.
2019 American League MVP Odds
|Player||2019 AL MVP Odds at
|Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels)||+125|
|Joge Polanco (Minnesota Twins)||+500|
|Austin Meadows (Tampa Bay Rays)||+1000|
|George Springer (Houston Astros)||+1000|
|Joey Gallo (Texas Rangers)||+1000|
|Michael Brantley (Houston Astros)||+1000|
|Alex Bregman (Houston Astros)||+1200|
|Gary Sanchez (New York Yankees)||+1600|
|JD Martinez (Boston Red Sox)||+1600|
|Matt Chapman (Oakland Athletics)||+1600|
|Xander Bogaerts (Boston Red Sox)||+2000|
|Mookie Betts (Boston Red Sox)||+2000|
*Odds taken 06/03/19
Evan Longoria was sixth in AL MVP balloting in 2010 and 2013, the closest a Rays player has ever come to winning the award.
The Numbers Don't Lie
You won't find Meadows in the top 10 in home runs or RBI but it must be remembered that he missed 15 games with a sprained right thumb.
The Rays must be feeling pretty good about trading for Austin Meadows right about now.@RyanPBoyer's full Hot Hitter Rundown: https://t.co/IPcouZY3eL pic.twitter.com/oEWh3Byu91
— Rotoworld (@rotoworld) June 3, 2019
He's third in slugging percentage (.656) and fourth in on-base percentage (429). His WAR of 2.4 is ninth-best among AL position players.
The Rays' outfielder has at least two hits in seven of his last eight games and is a combined 17-for-35 at the plate in that span.
What's Not to Like About Meadows?
His OPS of 1.085 places Meadows third in the AL and among some heady company in Rays history. Carlos Pena set the franchise record for OPS of 1.037 in 2007.
"This guy is an MVP candidate."@TheMayorsOffice had high praise for @austin_meadows in yesterday's #MLBTonight breakdown. #RaysUp @RaysBaseball pic.twitter.com/nVACL0rcRb
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 30, 2019
You'll also find Meadows among the AL leaders in at-bats per home run (10th, 13.1) and runs created (seventh, 46).
There's No Do Overs in Baseball
Last season, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Meadows, and pitchers Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz to the Rays for All-Star pitcher Chris Archer.
While Meadows is raking and drawing MVP talk, Glasnow (6-1, 1.86 ERA, 55 strikeouts in 48. 1 innings) has placed himself firmly in the AL Cy Young Award argument.
Awesome. Cause Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow being studs wasn’t enough. https://t.co/vZsJG7vaeV
— Tim (@tsismour) June 3, 2019
Meanwhile, Baz, 19, the 12th pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, is 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 25 innings for Bowling Green of the Midwest (A) League.
Could Meadows Be AL MVP?
The Rays don't tend to get a lot of love from the baseball writers at awards voting time.
Mike Trout will always get votes because he's Mike Trout. But the Angels are treading water and unlikely to be playoff contenders.
Here's your @Raysbaseball player of the week, @austin_meadows!#RaysUp #MLB pic.twitter.com/Jx79QzYcFR
— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) June 2, 2019
With all of the Houston contenders for MVP, its conceivable that they could split the vote. If the Yankees keep doing what they're doing, Gary Sanchez will get votes because it's the Yankees.
But if you're looking for someone that might get overlooked, Minnesota's Jorge Polanco makes sense. Polanco leads the AL in offensive WAR, hits, and extra-base hits.
At +500, he offers a solid price.
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