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NL MVP Race: Does Jonathan Lucroy or Carlos Gomez have a shot?

Lucroy and Gomez have had great years, but a poor July for both may have torpedoed most of their MVP chances.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

With just one and a half months remaining in the regular season, two Brewers players are still firmly in the hunt for an MVP nod. Here's a look at the top candidates for the award at this point.

The Hitters

Troy Tulowitzki .340 .432 .603 21 71 1 52 5.1
Andrew McCutchen .311 .411 .536 17 64 17 67 4.8
Giancarlo Stanton .290 .390 .554 29 74 10 79 4.5
Yasiel Puig .311 .395 .528 13 64 7 55 4.5
Carlos Gomez .289 .352 .490 18 74 25 59 4.5
Jonathan Lucroy .309 .376 .492 12 56 4 53 4.4
Paul Goldschmidt .300 .396 .542 19 75 9 69 4.2
Hunter Pence .287 .341 .465 15 80 10 51 4.2

The Pitcher

Player W/L K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA FIP fWAR
Clayton Kershaw 14-2 10.76 1.25 0.40 1.78 1.75 5.0

Though both Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy appeared to have decent odds at winning the award as recently as the All Star break, particularly Lucroy. However, at this point it seems like either player would need a huge month to overtake those in front of them.

Right now, I would venture a guess that Kershaw would be the most likely candidate to win the NL MVP. Personally, I'm not a big fan of that. It's not that Kershaw isn't good enough -- it's the fact that there are two major awards in baseball (Cy Young and MVP). and a pitcher already gets one of them. I don't know. I mean, MVP stands for 'Most Valuable Player' and a pitcher is a player, but something seems kind of...unfair?...about that. Most Valuable Hitter opens people to valuing defense even less, while Most Valuable Everyday/Position Player sounds dumb.

Troy Tulowitzki might have been a shoo-in for the award were it not for two things: He might well be out for the remainder of the season and the Rockies are dreadful. Both of those will cost him the award this year, no matter how much he dazzled previously.

The whole losing team thing will also reflect negatively on Stanton and Goldschmidt, well being on a winning team is the only thing that gives Hunter Pence much of a chance. If we're going strictly on the player who is most valuable to their team, it should be Stanton hands down. The Marlins are nearly playing .500 ball this season. Without Stanton? They would have almost no offense. Not with Christian Yelich's 755 OPS being second-best on the team to Stanton.

Lucroy and Gomez, meanwhile, will be helped by being on a team that has been in first place virtually all season long. Gomez is the only player in the league with 25 steals and 15 home runs, and he's arguably the best defensive outfielder in the MLB. Unfortunately, he's hit just .243/.299/.412 since the beginning of July. Lucroy was also pretty much terrible in July, with a .207/.271/.414 line. Had either player kept up their yearly production, they would likely be nearer the top of MVP lists.

As it stands, however, they'll have a tough time overtaking Kershaw or Puig. McCutchen, too, if he comes back from injury quickly. Still, it's not impossible for the Brewers to have another MVP. And with the NL Central turning into a tight race, the Brewers could use an MVP performance for the next month and a half.