MLB Power Rankings: Does Shohei Ohtani still win AL MVP?

How does Shohei Ohtani's injury affect the race for AL MVP?
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

In case you haven't heard, Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani suffered a torn UCL in his right arm during Game 1 of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds. Adding insult to injury was Mike Trout's return to the injured list.

But the biggest story, of course, is Ohtani. While the two-way phenom did return to hit in Game 2 of the doubleheader against the Reds, Ohtani will not pitch for the remainder of the 2023 season.

It remains to be seen what Ohtani's future will be this season and beyond as he readies to enter free agency during the offseason. Ohtani was running away in the AL MVP race, but how does this latest development affect his candidacy? Let's look at the Top 5 players in line for the AL MVP.

5. AL MVP Power Rankings: Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox

About the only good thing the Chicago White Sox have going for themselves this season has been Luis Robert. While it's exceedingly rare to see a player on a losing team take home MVP honors, Roberts' efforts need to be recognized. He's among the Top 5 in the league in home runs, slugging, and OPS.

4. AL MVP Power Rankings: Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners

What a difference a week makes, huh? Since August 13th, Julio Rodriguez is hitting .500/.531/.739 with seven extra-base hits. I'm not sure if you noticed, but J-Rod has a .531 on-base percentage over the last nine games while drawing on two free passes. That's insane. His batting average has jumped more than 20 points in a little over a week.

3. AL MVP Power Rankings: Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers

Marcus Semien has been some kind of special this season for the Texas Rangers. There's only one player in the American League with a higher bWAR than Semien, and that's Shohei Ohtani. Semien is among the best in the AL in runs scored and base knocks. Semien is also getting it done with the glove. According to Fielding Bible, Semien is second in defensive runs saved (12) among second basemen.

2. AL MVP Power Rankings: Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros

If you need any further proof that the best players in the American League reside in the AL West, take a look at this list. Kyle Tucker has put together quite the season but has done so rather quietly. While Tucker doesn't carry the same name recognition as Shohei Ohtani or Julio Rodriguez, he leads the AL in RBI, and is Top 5 in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS.

1. AL MVP Power Rankings: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

In case you were curious, whether or not Shohei Ohtani suits up for the final month of the season or not is irrelevant; he's still going to win the AL MVP. Ohtani could take the entire month of September off, and may well still be a unanimous choice for the award. He's been that good. The Angels star leads the league in runs scored, triples, walks, home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS.