Unanimous favorites in newest MVP poll

July 14th, 2023

With the second half of the season about to begin, it's time for another MVP poll. 

This is MLB.com's third MVP Award poll of 2023, and you might be able to guess who's at the top once again coming out of the All-Star break.

But this time, both No. 1 choices are unanimous: Shohei Ohtani in the American League and Ronald Acuña Jr. in the National League. And though there have been 19 unanimous MVPs in AL/NL history -- most recently Ohtani in 2021 -- there's never been a unanimous MVP in both leagues in the same year.

With 47 MLB.com reporters and analysts participating, voters were asked to rank their top five AL and NL MVP candidates based on what has happened so far this season and what they expect will happen in the months to come. Players received vote points on a 5-4-3-2-1 scale -- five points for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on.

Here are the full results. (All stats below are entering the second half.)


1) , SP/DH, Angels (47 first-place votes)

What more is there to say about Ohtani? The Angels' two-way superstar is having another historic season. Ohtani enters the second half leading the Majors with 32 home runs, a .663 slugging percentage and a 1.050 OPS as a hitter. And he's 7-4 with a 3.32 ERA and 132 strikeouts as a pitcher.

2) , OF, White Sox

Robert jumped into the top five in the MVP poll thanks to his power surge to end the first half. The White Sox star has 26 home runs, second only to Ohtani in the AL. That home run total is already double Robert's previous career high (13 in 2021) and more than he hit in the past two seasons combined (25).

3) , SS, Rays

The All-Star shortstop for the best team in the AL in the first half, Franco is having the best season of his young career. The 22-year-old had 11 home runs and 28 stolen bases in the first half and was maybe the best defensive shortstop in baseball, leading MLB in Statcast's Outs Above Average.

4) , 1B, Rays

Díaz's big breakout has been just as instrumental to the Rays' success as Franco's. His huge first half earned him his first career All-Star nod as the AL's starting first baseman. Díaz is batting .323, slugging .515 and has an AL-best .408 on-base percentage. He even homered in the All-Star Game.

5) , OF, Rangers

The AL West-leading Rangers have more than one MVP-type slugger in their lineup, and García just edged out his teammate Corey Seager for the No. 5 spot in our poll. The All-Star right fielder hit 23 home runs and led the Majors with 75 RBIs in the first half.

Others receiving votes: Corey Seager, José Ramírez, Bo Bichette, Randy Arozarena, Marcus Semien, Adley Rutschman, Aaron Judge, Yordan Alvarez, Rafael Devers, Josh Naylor, Kevin Gausman, Mike Trout, Jonah Heim, Masataka Yoshida


1) , OF, Braves (47 first-place votes)

Acuña is having an incredible power-speed season. He has 21 home runs and a National League-leading 41 stolen bases at the start of the second half. That's a 38-homer, 75-steal pace over the full 162-game season. There's never been a 30-70 season in MLB history.

2) , OF, Dodgers

Betts belted nine home runs in his last 15 games before the All-Star break to reach 26 on the season, tied for third in the Majors behind Ohtani and Matt Olson. That's a 47-homer pace, and Betts -- though he's a former MVP and seven-time All-Star -- has never had a 40-homer season. He's also leading the NL with a .586 slugging percentage.

3) , OF, D-backs

Acuña isn't the only power-speed star in the NL. The 22-year-old Carroll has 18 home runs and 26 stolen bases coming out of the All-Star break to go along with his .289 average and .915 OPS. The top three NL players in the MVP poll -- Carroll, Betts and Acuña -- were actually the NL's starting outfield in the All-Star Game.

4) , 1B, Dodgers

Freeman is having the same great season he always does. He earned the start at first base for the NL in the All-Star Game thanks to a first half in which he hit .320 with 17 home runs, a Major League-leading 31 doubles and a .952 OPS.

5) , 2B, Marlins

Arraez's quest for .400 continues in the second half. The Marlins second baseman leads the MLB batting race with a .383 average, the highest by a qualified hitter at the All-Star break since Nomar Garciaparra (.389) and Darin Erstad (.384) in 2000. For good measure, Arraez also went 2-for-2 in the All-Star Game.

Others receiving votes: Matt Olson, Juan Soto, Sean Murphy, Fernando Tatis Jr., Pete Alonso, Elly De La Cruz, Francisco Lindor, Christian Yelich, Jorge Soler, Nick Castellanos