Has Shohei Ohtani fallen out of MVP race?

Earlier in the season, Shohei Ohtani had everyone wondering if he might be the first designated hitter to snag the National League MVP title. No DH has ever clinched the award, but Ohtani was making a compelling case, batting a scorching .364 with a robust .432 on-base percentage, along with 12 homers, 30 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases. He was practically on fire.

But then, like hitting a speed bump at full throttle, Ohtani slammed into a mid-May slump, and now his MVP aspirations seem to have hit a dead end.

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Since May 16, Ohtani’s performance has been lackluster. Over 24 games, he’s struggled with a .200 batting average, a .276 on-base percentage, and a .400 slugging percentage. He’s managed only two doubles, a triple, and five homers during this stretch, coinciding with the Angels’ 12-12 record.

To be fair, Ohtani’s overall season stats through 70 games still look respectable—he’s maintaining a .306 average and has launched 18 homers. The issue lies in the monumental effort required to thrust himself back into the MVP spotlight, especially considering the historical bias against DHs in MVP voting.

Realistically, the odds are slim that he can surge enough to rekindle MVP talks. For the Angels, the focus is on Ohtani finding consistency in his hitting. While he’s shown signs of life with hits in eight of his last 11 games in June, strikeouts have been more frequent, and he’s produced just four extra-base hits during this span.

There’s optimism as the balls start sailing over the fence again, hinting at a potential power resurgence. Yet, it’s unlikely to be sufficient to propel him back into serious MVP contention.

In essence, while Ohtani’s talents remain undeniable, reclaiming MVP glory this season seems to be slipping out of reach faster than a well-placed fastball.