The Astros are back from the dead, and Jose Altuve is one of the biggest reasons why. On June 20, just about a month ago, the Astros were a game under .500 at 35-36. Since then, they’ve gone 20-8, which is the best record in the MLB over that span, to move within a half game of the Toronto Blue Jays for a Wild Card spot. Over that 28-game stretch, Altuve is hitting .404 with an 1.106 OPS, 5 doubles, 2 triples, and 7 home runs, two of which came on Sunday against the Angels. He’s also scored 27 runs in those 28 games, and driven in 21 runs of his own.
Mike Trout is the best player in the American League (and in all of baseball), but the fact that the Angels are in last place will likely cost him AL MVP honors. In my opinion, the American League MVP race is going to come down to Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays and Altuve of the Astros, and that’s going to be one hell of a fight to the finish with those two teams so close to each other in the Wild Card standings. As of right now, Donaldson is second to Trout (6.0) in the majors in WAR (5.8), and Altuve is right behind him at 5.6. Nobody else in the MLB has a WAR above 5.0.