MLB Rumors: Ronald Acuña MVP doubters, Astros future at catcher, Trey Mancini switches sides

MLB Rumors: Could Ronald Acuña lose out on NL MVP? Why the Houston Astros might stick with Martín Maldonado. Trey Mancini signs with rival after Cubs DFA him.
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
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MLB Rumors: Is Ronald Acuña NL MVP case in doubt? One MLB insider thinks so

Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña has been a favorite for NL MVP seemingly all season long. And frankly he hasn't fallen off enough to take him off that pedestal just yet. However, the emergence of two Dodgers stars -- Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts -- proves this won't be a runaway competition.

ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan poked the bear that is Braves Country by tweeting about the possibility of Freeman or Betts surpassing Acuña in the NL MVP ranks. While Acuña matches both in most of the stats that matters as well as stolen base total, there is some science to Passan's argument.

"Won't run away with" is not the same as either player surpassing Acuña, yes, but it was enough to rile up Braves country. Passan, like all insiders, surely has an ax to grind, but suggesting either Dodgers star will receive some votes isn't so farfetched.

Passan made sure to qualify his argument with the stolen base total, taking nothing away from Acuña's season as a whole.

Acuña can change a game with one swing of his bat, just like either player. Unlike Betts and Freeman, though, he tends to create havoc on the basepaths, which isn't measurable via a simple baserunning above average calculation. While it's great that both players make wise decisions when they do reach base, they aren't taking the same kinds of calculated risks as Acuña -- at least not at the same frequency.