Does Mike Trout suffer from MVP fatigue like LeBron James and Michael Jordan?

Mike Trout probably isn’t going to win his third MVP award. Mookie Betts is the frontrunner and seemingly a lock to get the award in November. Yet, just like every season of his big-league career, there’s a compelling case to be made for Trout as the Most Valuable Player.

Trout has more homers, a better on-base percentage and a higher OPS, while Betts has a higher batting average, more runs scored and a couple more RBIs. Both would be a solid and worthwhile choice. However, that’s not how MVP awards work. There has to be one winner.

And wouldn’t you know it? On a recent rundown of MVP candidates by MLB Network, Trout wasn’t even on the list. No disrespect to Alex Bregman, Khris Davis, J.D. Martinez or Jose Ramirez — but Trout deserves to be on this list too. Even his mom thinks so.

And while we’re almost certain it was an honest mistake on MLB Network’s part, we still couldn’t help but wonder on this week’s Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast whether Trout is suffering from some MVP fatigue — the same type of MVP fatigue that clings to greats like LeBron James and Michael Jordan.

When you’re the best year-in and year-out — which make no mistake, Trout is without a doubt, the best player in the game — you might get taken for granted. When you’re as consistently great as Mike Trout, sometimes that greatness gets overlooked.

Does Mike Trout have MVP fatigue like LeBron James? (AP)
Does Mike Trout have MVP fatigue like LeBron James? (AP)

But why? It’s something Jeff Passan, Tim Brown and I discussed on this week’s podcast, the full episode of which you can find on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Acast and other podcast platforms. We honed in on a couple of factors:

• Playing for the Angels makes it easier to overlook Trout than if he played for, say, the Red Sox. Some voters think that playing for a good team is part of what makes an MVP.

• Never having performed on the biggest stage, in the postseason, is something that some fans will hold against Trout, because we’re such a ring-driven sports culture. Even though the MVP award has literally nothing to do with postseason performance and ballots are due before the postseason starts. Some people will say Trout isn’t as good as the numbers say because his teams have never won a postseason game. That’s one difference between Trout and LeBron or MJ. They have done it on the biggest stages.

Want more year-end baseball talk? Then check out this week’s Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast, where we’re talking about the best and worst of the regular season, what we’re watching for in the final week and much more. If you dig what we’re doing, we’d appreciate your ratings and reviews to help the show grow.

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Mike Oz is a writer at Yahoo Sports. Contact him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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