In one of the tightest MVP races in recent memory, FOX Sports Films, in association with Major League Baseball have partnered to produce an original documentary special entitled, “The Race: Quest For Baseball’s MVP Title.”
The special will air on Sunday, Oct. 10 at midnight ET after the conclusion of Game 3 of the American League Division Series play between the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox on FS1. The special will be narrated by FOX Sports MLB analyst and host of the Flippin’ Bats podcast, Ben Verlander.
The film will highlight the tight races in the American and National Leagues. In the AL, Los Angeles Angels two-way pitching and hitting sensation Shohei Ohtani, and Blue Jays first base slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are seen as front runners, but the special also features Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien and Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers.
Over 155 games, Ohtani had 46 home runs, along with 100 RBIs, and a league-leading eight triples. Not to be outdone at the plate, over 23 games he struck out 156 batters, posted an ERA of 3.18, and a WHIP of 1.090. His Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 9.0 ranks him #1 in the American League. Not to be outdone, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led the league during the regular season with 48 home runs, ranked 1st in the AL in Slugging percentage (.601), On-Base % (.401), runs scored (123), Offensive WAR (6.6).
While the AL has turned into a two-player race, the National League is seen as nearly wide open. The documentary will feature Phillies slugger Bryce Harper, Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, Dodgers infielder Max Muncy, and Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and shortstop Ronald Acuña Jr.
Harper led the NL in Slugging % (.649), doubles (42), tied for home runs (42), Extra Base Hits (78), and Runs Created (134). Fernando Tatis Jr. led the National League in Offensive WAR (7.3), tied home runs with Harper (42), and hit more home runs in the fewest average plate appearances (11.4). Soto ranked #1 in the NL by Position Player WAR (7.0), On-Base % (.465), Walks (145), and Intentional Walks (23).
“This has been one of the most incredible Major League Baseball seasons I’ve seen in my lifetime,” Verlander said. “In the AL, you’ve got Shohei Ohtani – a generational talent – going up against Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who in any normal year would be a shoo-in for the MVP. And then in the NL, it’s wide open with guys like Bryce Harper, Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr., who all had incredible seasons playing for teams that didn’t even make the playoffs. It’s been a privilege to watch these guys up close, and I can’t wait for fans to get an inside look at this unbelievable season.”
Major League Baseball has increased the number of documentaries on the current crop of stars in recent months with the MLB Network produced, Tatis: The Rise of El Nino chronicling Fernando Tatis, Jr.’s rise as one of the league’s young superstars as but one other example in 2021. The league has been working to tell showcase the personalities of the league’s current generation of stars.
The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) will announce the awards on November 11 on MLB Network following the conclusion of the World Series. The BBWAA has the writers fill their ballots out at the conclusion of the regular season, and therefore does not account for any players in postseason play.