These 24 players represent the top candidates for the American League and National League Most Valuable Player Awards entering the season.
Bregman is getting the wrong type of attention this spring for his involvement in the Astros sign-stealing scandal, but he undeniably remains one of the best players in the game. The third baseman finished fifth in the AL MVP voting in 2018 and second place last year, hitting .296-41-112 with a league-leading 119 walks.
Acuna was spectacular in his first full MLB season last year, coming three steals away from going 40/40 and finishing fifth in the NL MVP voting. On a strong Braves squad, Acuna enters the year as one of the MVP favorites.
With Mookie Betts gone, Bogaerts is arguably now the face of the Red Sox. The shortstop won a Silver Slugger and finished fifth in the AL MVP voting last year, hitting .309-33-117.
Arenado has been disgruntled during the offseason and is on a Rockies team that really struggled in 2019. Still, he's been one of the most consistent hitters in baseball since 2015, averaging .300-40-124 per season with elite defense. He's finished in the top eight in MVP voting in each of those seasons.
The AL's best impression of Nolan Arenado, Chapman has established himself as an elite defensive player and hit 36 home runs last season. He's finished in the top seven in MVP voting in each of the last two years.
Baez emerged as the clear leader on the Cubs last year. With the team cash-strapped during the offseason, he should remain in that role. Baez finished second in the NL MVP voting just two years ago.
Donaldson was able to get a lucrative contract from Minnesota this offseason after revitalizing his value in Atlanta last season, hitting .259-37-94. The 2015 AL MVP remains a household name and a strong all-around player at age 34.
Bellinger added the NL MVP Award to his mantel last season after hitting .305-47-115 just two years after winning the NL Rookie of the Year. The Dodgers lineup looks even more talented this year after acquiring Mookie Betts, which could mean even more great opportunities for Bellinger.
Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year and finished second in the MVP voting in 2017 but has struggled to stay healthy since then. He's already battling shoulder problems this spring, but the upside is huge if he can get and stay healthy.
Betts has finished top eight in AL MVP voting in each of the last four seasons and won the award in 2018. He has plenty to play for after getting traded from Boston to L.A. in February, as he enters his walk year, and he will be playing in arguably the best lineup of his career.
Lindor has been one of baseball's elite players since his arrival in 2015, making four consecutive All-Star appearances. He enters his walk year with plenty of motivation and has launched at least 32 home runs in three straight seasons.
Freeman remains Atlanta's big bat in the middle of the order, and there will be more pressure on him after the Braves lost Josh Donaldson in free agency. The first baseman hit a career-high 38 home runs and 121 RBI last season, and has finished in the top eight in MVP voting four times during his career.
Ohtani has an advantage as a two-way player and will begin the year as the Angels DH. He also could return from an elbow injury to pitch mid-May. If he's able to play like he's capable and stay healthy, Ohtani is a strong dark horse MVP candidate.
Harper had a strong first season in Philly, even though he didn't get any MVP consideration. He's now hit at least 34 home runs in back-to-back seasons and is just entering his age 27 season. The 2015 NL MVP has lofty goals entering 2020.
Ramirez went through an early slump last season but still hit 23 home runs and swiped 24 bases in 129 games. He finished third in the AL MVP voting in both 2017 and 2018 and is just entering his age 27 season.
Machado had a disappointing first season in San Diego but still managed to hit 32 home runs. He's launched at least 32 home runs in each of the last five seasons and now has a better supporting cast after the Padres offseason moves and the return of a healthy Fernando Tatis Jr.
Rendon has a lot of pressure after signing a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels in the offseason, but he seems up to the challenge. The former National finished third in the NL MVP voting last year with 34 home runs and a league leading 126 RBI.
Suarez is recovering well from offseason shoulder surgery and looking to capitalize on an epic 49 home run season in 2019. He still didn't get much MVP consideration last year despite the great offensive performance, but improved talent in Cincinnati this year could help his cause.
Stanton couldn't stay healthy last year, and his 2020 season is already off to a sour note due to a calf injury. However, he won the NL MVP with the Marlins in 2017 and still presents plenty of upside if he can avoid injury.
Soto has effectively replaced Bryce Harper in Washington and finished ninth in the NL MVP voting last year in only his first full season at age 20. After posting an outstanding .937 OPS through two seasons, the sky is the limit for Soto.
Torres is quickly developing into a star for the Yankees, launching 38 home runs last season. He got a bit of MVP consideration last year and could get even more if he continues to improve at age 23.
Tatis Jr. established himself as one of the most exciting talents in MLB in his rookie season, but he was able to play in only 84 games due to injury. While healthy, he did hit .317-22-53 and could be a shoo-in for the MVP if he's able to keep up that performance and stay healthy.
Trout is the clear favorite for AL MVP, as he is seemingly every year. He won his third MVP in 2019 and has finished top four in the voting every season since 2012. Trout has also led the AL in OPS+ in five consecutive years.
Yelich won the NL MVP in 2018 and likely fell just short last year due to a late-season knee injury. Despite playing only 130 games last season, Yelich led the NL in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging while hitting 44 home runs and swiping 30 bases. He's been on a historic run lately.