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Adam Glanzman/Getty Images http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-matt-joyce-jersey , the playoff chase isn't the only thing heating up around Major League Baseball.Players around the game are also trying to put the finishing touches on their resume as they look to claim the top individual awards.Here's how the MVP races are shaping up at the beginning of September, according to OddsShark:OddsShark OddsSharkUpdated odds to win AL MVP (BovadaOfficial):Mookie Betts -235Mike Trout +450J.D. Martinez +500Jose Ramirez +500Jose Altuve +1000OddsShark OddsSharkUpdated odds to win NL MVP (BovadaOfficial):Freddie Freeman +250Nolan Arenado +260Matt Carpenter +300Javier Baez +350Paul Goldschmidt +600Jacob deGrom +750Christian Yelich +800There are plenty of familiar faces in the American League. Four of the five front-runners finished in the top-six of the 2017 AL MVP voting a season ago. J.D. Martinez was the only not to do so, as he split time between the Detroit Tigers and the Arizona Diamondbacks.Mookie Betts appears to be the favorite at this point, leading the AL with a .336 average to go with 29 home runs, 39 doubles, five triples, 71 RBI and 27 stolen bases. Not only that, but he has won a Gold Glove in each of the past two seasons.Meanwhile, Martinez, a teammate of Betts on the Boston Red Sox, also has a strong case. He has hit .335/.407/.641 with 39 home runs, 36 doubles and a major league-leading 115 RBI.Both players' cases are Glenn Hubbard Jersey , of course, bolstered by the fact Boston is running away with the best record in baseball at 97-44. Then again, the fact that both have played at an MVP-caliber level this season could split the votes, ultimately hurting their individual causes.And once again, Mike Trout remains a candidate. Through his first six full seasons, the Los Angeles Angels star has two MVP awards to his name and has never finished outside of the top four in voting. This year figures to be no exception, as he is hitting .305/.456/.604 with 31 home runs, 21 doubles, four triples, 63 RBI and 22 stolen bases.His argument will likely be hurt by the Angels (67-72) missing the postseason.Don't forget about Cleveland Indians star Jose Ramirez (.287 average, 37 home runs, 34 doubles Rickey Henderson Jersey , three triples, 96 RBI and 29 stolen bases and reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve (.318 average, 10 home runs, 27 doubles, two triples and 51 RBI), either. Both of their respective teams appear to be destined for the postseason.In the National League, there is very little clarity, meaning the final month could be the difference.Freddie Freeman (.305 average, 20 home runs, 36 doubles and 82 RBI) has led the surprising Atlanta Braves (76-63) to first place in the NL East. Nolan Arenado (.299 average, 31 home runs, 29 doubles and 92 RBI) has helped the surging Colorado Rockies (76-62) grab a hold of the top spot in the NL West.Javier Baez has been showing out for the first-place Chicago Cubs lately. Not only is he tied for the NL lead with 100 RBI http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-catfish-hunter-jersey , but he also has 30 home runs, 35 doubles, nine triples and 21 stolen basesll while playing all around the infield.As the playoff picture becomes clearer, the awards races may do the same. LOS ANGELES — Almost a month removed from his magical major league debut, Daniel Poncedeleon will return to the St. Louis Cardinals‘ rotation, with an outing in his native Southern California.The right-hander will face the Los Angeles Dodgers and will no doubt be brimming with confidence. His only other big league start came July 23 at Cincinnati, when the right-hander delivered seven no-hit innings before he was removed after throwing 116 pitches.The Cardinals ultimately lost that game 2-1, but gained a winner in Poncedeleon, who was born in nearby Anaheim and went to high school in La Mirada. Moved to the Cardinals’ bullpen after his inspiring debut, St. Louis has won every game Poncedelon has appeared in since, keeping the legend of the 26-year old alive and well.Article continues below ...Perhaps the most impressive part of his debut was that it came 14 months after undergoing emergency surgery to stop bleeding in his brain after he was hit by a line drive in a Triple-A game.“I don’t know if words can describe it,” Cardinals interim manager Mike Shildt said Rollie Fingers Jersey , according to mlb.com. “You talk about magical, with what he’s dealt with, what he’s come back from. Making his MLB debut, throwing seven innings without giving up a hit, that’s what’s magical about this game and special about this game.”Poncedeleon will pitch opposite Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is working on his own story of resilience. Injured often over the past four seasons, with a bevy of maladies, Ryu was out for another 3 1/2 months this year with a left groin strain.He finally returned to the Dodgers’ rotation Wednesday and gave up three hits over six scoreless innings in a Los Angeles victory that allowed the Dodgers to avoid a three-game sweep by the rival San Francisco Giants.“I’ve said it before, that you win with starting pitching,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Our starters have been lights out, they really have. And to get (Ryu) back, the way he’s throwing the baseball http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-terry-steinbach-jersey , that’s a huge boost for our club.”In four career appearances against the Cardinals (three starts), Ryu has a solid 1.50 ERA over 24 innings.Another huge boost for the Dodgers is the return of Kenley Jansen from an irregular heartbeat. The right-hander went on the disabled list Aug. 10 and was cleared to return Monday after going on blood thinning medication. But he ended up taking the loss Monday when he gave up two ninth-inning home runs to the Cardinals.The Dodgers will need all the pitching they can get against a Cardinals’ offense that has hit a home run in 13 consecutive games, the longest current active streak in baseball. The Philadelphia Phillies had the longest streak this year at 16 games.The Cardinals are not only 22-11 under interim manager Mike Shildt, they are 15-4 in August, the best record in the National League over the month.The Dodgers moved into a tie for first place with a victory Aug. 1, but are 8-10 in the month and have fallen to third place, 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks and two back of the Colorado Rockies.
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