Who has the better MVP Case: Jose Ramirez or Steven Kwan?

The Cleveland Guardians are witnessing career seasons from both Jose Ramirez and Steven Kwan, but which player is making the stronger MVP case as we reach the halfway point of the season?
Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Guardians
Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Guardians / Mike Lawrie/GettyImages
3 of 3

The case for Jose Ramirez

José Ramírez
Cleveland Guardians v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

This isn't the first time we've talked about Jose Ramirez in the MVP conversation, and hopefully, it won't be the last. He finished second in 2020, third in both 2017 and 2018, and fourth in 2022. While Ramirez has had more statistically impressive seasons in the past, it feels like momentum may be on his side a bit more this year.

The biggest talking point for Ramirez has been his power. He's already blasted 22 home runs this year, ranking fourth in the MLB. For reference, Ramirez hit only 24 last year and hasn't hit the 30-home run mark since 2021. He's currently on pace to hit more than 40. As for RBI, he's logged 73 for Cleveland this season, ranking second in the MLB behind only Aaron Judge's 79. The pace for that stat? 147 RBI. He's never had more than 126 in a season.

Now, these stats might just be painting the picture that Jose will cool off soon. Surely at 31 years old, he isn't going to post his best season ever? Right? Well... history has other thoughts.

Traditionally, Ramirez has been better in the second half of the season. Throughout his career, his batting average usually jumps about seven points in the second half. In fact, July has historically been his best-performing month. The most intriguing part is the bulk of his home runs typically come in the later half of the season. For his career, he's hit 40 home runs in July, 42 in August, and 41 in September/October. June has carried just 34 home runs for him over his career. This year in June, he's hit six after 11 in May. Entering this season he had just 31 May home runs and he hit 11 this year alone.

More will be needed to bolster Ramirez's MVP case. His slugging percentage is ninth in the MLB, but he's drawing attention with his power and RBI stats. There's a chance, albeit maybe slim, that Ramirez and Kwan could combine for a Cleveland triple crown. Ramirez is within shot of both home runs and RBI while Kwan is in the process of locking up average. Then it just becomes deciding between the two for MVP.