With a pair of St. Louis Cardinals among the favorites to potentially win the 2022 National League Most Valuable Player Award, once the votes are tallied, the duo could well accomplish something that hasn’t happened since 2000.
Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt could provide a piece of history for the St. Louis Cardinals
Goldschmidt, the first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals who is currently the NL leader in bWAR with 6.8 this season, is considered the favorite to win the MVP honor, an honor that Arenado has already said, “That’s Goldy’s award.” Arenado, however, is putting up numbers that are MVP-worthy as well, just behind Goldschmidt in bWAR at 6.5 and on track for his 10th consecutive Gold Glove Award.
Should Goldschmidt and Arenado finish first and second (in either order), it would mark the first time since 2000 when Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants came in as the top two finishers (h/t to @mike_petriello for the information) that a duo from the same team earned the most and second-most votes. It would be the only MVP award earned by Kent, who finished with 392 points following the 2000 season while Bonds earned 279.
Bonds, however, would go on to win the next four MVP awards, part of seven he would win during his 22-year career.
Goldschmidt, a seven-time All-Star, has finished second in the NL MVP voting in two separate seasons, those honors coming in 2013 and 2015 when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks. During his 2013 campaign, Goldschmidt led the NL in home runs (36), RBI (125), OPS (.952), and OPS+ (160).
Arenado, meanwhile, finished in the top five of NL MVP voting three consecutive seasons from 2016-18 while he was a member of the Colorado Rockies.
When members of the Baseball Writers Association of America vote for the MVP award after the regular season concludes, it could be a pair of Cardinals who sit on top of the standings and provide a bit of history as well.