Fernando Tatis Jr. may be absent from the Padres lineup, but Manny Machado has kept them in contention in the NL West — a feat which could land him his first MVP Award.
Machado’s two hits Wednesday upped his MLB-leading total to 46, and even with a loss, San Diego (20-12) remains in second place, 1.5 games behind the Dodgers.
After four top-10 finishes in MVP voting with Baltimore (9th in 2013, 4th in ’15, 5th in ’16) and San Diego (3rd in 2020), Machado has his best chance to win this year — he’s the current favorite (+425) to win the NL award.
- The 29-year-old leads the NL in runs (27), average (.383), OBP (.460), slugging (.625), OPS (1.085), OPS+ (222), and total bases (75).
- Machado has seven HRs (T3 in NL), 22 RBI (7th), and six steals (T3).
- The five-time All-Star has a 1.000 fielding percentage, handling 73 total chances at third base without an error.
The Padres won the Machado sweepstakes in 2019, signing him to a 10-year, $300 million deal that at the time was the biggest free-agent contract in American sports history. They’re arguably getting their money’s worth.
With Tatis Jr. slated to return from his wrist injury in mid- or late-June, the sluggers’ one-two punch could deliver the Padres their first World Series title. They are currently tied for the eighth-best odds (+1700).