The Miami Marlins have never had a player win the Most Valuable Player Award but Giancarlo Stanton could change that.
Stanton is having a remarkable season, and is leading the National League in many categories. He's not only having the best offensive season of any player in the NL but he's also been the most valuable to his team.
It is not supposition to say that the Marlins would be out of the playoff race without Stanton. Without the slugger in the lineup, it's far more likely that the Marlins would actually be in reach of another 100-loss season. Instead they find themselves hovering around the .500 mark and within striking distance of the playoffs as September nears.
Stanton currently leads the NL in home runs (33), runs batted in (97), on-base percentage (.403), slugging percentage (.558), on-base plus slugging (.961), total bases (273), and walks (87). As far as advanced statistics go, Stanton leads his league in WAR as well according to FanGraphs.
The fact Miami is in the playoff race should only help Stanton gain votes for the award. If his team falls out of contention, he could still win it however. There is a precedent for a player winning the award on a team that doesn't make the postseason. In fact, Marlins' executive Andre Dawson once took home the hardware while on a last place team.
A man who could give Stanton trouble is Clayton Kershaw. Not in terms of striking him out, but in beating him for the honor. Kershaw is having another dominant season, so dominant that he is being mentioned as an MVP candidate in addition to a Cy Young. It's rare for a pitcher to win the MVP Award but it is possible.
If Stanton keeps hitting like he has, the Marlins should remain in the thick of things. Come November, it's possible that Miami could finally find itself with an MVP trophy.