Houston just keeps producing MVP candidates.
George Springer hit a two-run, go-ahead home run to lead the Astros to a 3-1 victory over the Red Sox on Friday and it’s time to start taking notice of what the Astros’ outfielder is doing.
His eighth-inning homer was his 17th of the year, and at the end of the night he had raised his slash line to .320/.402/.663. Springer is ninth in the American League in batting average, first in home runs, first in RBIs (42) and first in slugging percentage.
Springer has always been a key to Houston’s lineup. When A.J. Hinch put him in the leadoff spot in 2015 the Astros’ offense truly took off, and when they took him out of that spot to start 2016, the team’s hitting struggled. Now this season he is leading off and emerging as an early season MVP candidate.
Over the last nine games, Springer is 16 for 36 (.444) with six home runs and 12 RBIs. Not coincidentally, the Astros have won all nine of those games.
It’s only May so it’s tough to say Springer is a favorite to win the MVP, but it’s very possible the outfielder could be the Astros’ third different MVP candidate in the last three years following Alex Bregman in 2018 and Jose Altuve in 2017, who won the award.
Studs of the Night
Speaking of MVP candidates, Cubs infielder Kris Bryant went 4 for 6 with three home runs and five RBIs and now has seven homers in his last 11 games. Unsurprisingly, the Cubs beat the Nationals 14-6.
Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy is starting to right the ship and he tossed 5 2/3 innings allowing just one unearned run in a 5-1 win over the Indians.
Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill tossed six shutout innings while striking out 10 in a 6-0 win over the Reds.
Dud of the Night
Jacob deGrom gave up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits in five innings of an 8-6 loss to the Marlins.
Joey Gallo was the first prospect to receive grades of 80 in both power and arm strength from MLB Pipeline. He showed off why with this 95.8-mph missile to nail a runner.
Brewers (27-20) at Braves (24-21) 7:15 p.m. ET – Neither of these teams is leading their respective division, but both expect to be in the race at the end of the year. Chase Anderson (2-0, 3.20 ERA) takes on Kevin Gausman (2-3, 4.50 ERA) in this one.