Altuve, Stanton take home first MVP awards

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is the American League MVP, while Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has been named the National League MVP in one of the award’s closest votes.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, easily beating out New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He had 204 hits, 24 home runs and 81 RBIs for the World Series champion Astros.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third.

Altuve is one of two second basemen in MLB history to hit .330 in a season with 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases, along with Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar (once). Altuve has done it in each of the last two seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Altuve is the second Astros player to win an MVP, joining Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell in 1994.

He is the third player during the wild card era to be named his league’s MVP in the same year that his team won the World Series. The other players to do that since 1995 are Buster Posey (2012 Giants) and Kris Bryant (2016 Cubs), according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Stanton barely edged Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds to take home the NL award.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team.

“I’m so thankful it happened and I’m going to enjoy this and work to get better,” Stanton told ESPN.

Stanton finished the season batting .281 with 168 hits, 59 HR and 132 RBIs. His homer total was the most in the majors since 2001, when Barry Bonds hit a record 73 and Sammy Sosa had 64.

Stanton got 10 first-place votes and 302 points in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Votto also got 10 firsts and had 300 points.

He is the first player in Marlins history to win an MVP award.

Stanton led the majors in home runs, RBI, extra-base hits, and slugging percentage, each of which set a Marlins single-season record, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Votto topped the majors with a .454 on-base percentage. Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was third in the voting.

The last player from a losing team to win an MVP was Alex Rodriguez, who took the AL award in 2003 with Texas. The last NL MVP from a losing team was Andre Dawson with the 1987 Chicago Cubs.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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