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Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Altuve take home 2017 Most Valuable Player Awards

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Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was named the 2017 National League Most Valuable Player as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He narrowly edged out Reds first baseman Joey Votto, as both received the same number of first-place votes, but Stanton received one more second- and third-place vote. Stanton had 302 total points to Votto’s 300.

Stanton, 28, led all of baseball with 59 home runs and 132 RBI, and led the National League with a .631 slugging percentage. He also hit .281 with a .376 on-base percentage, scoring 123 runs in 692 plate appearances. Stanton is the first member of the Marlins to win the MVP Award since the team came into existence in 1993.

In the run-up to Thursday’s announcement, there was yet another debate about whether or not MVP award winners should come from playoff teams. Stanton’s Marlins finished 77-85, 20 games behind the NL East-winning Nationals, so it seems that most voters — many of whom also placed Votto highly despite his team’s 68-94 record — don’t place as much value on a team’s finish as much as they used to.

Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt finished in third place with 239 points. He was followed by Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (229) and Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon (205). Others receiving votes included Anthony Rendon, Kris Bryant, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Max Scherzer, Tommy Pham, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rizzo, J.D. Martinez, Kenley Jansen, Marcell Ozuna, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Daniel Murphy, Archie Bradley, Zack Greinke, and Ryan Zimmerman.

In the American League, Jose Altuve convincingly won the 2017 MVP Award. He received 27 of 30 first-place votes, racking up 405 total points. Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge finished in second place with 279 points and Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez finished in third place with 237 points. Others receiving votes were Mike Trout, Francisco Lindor, Mookie Betts, Corey Kluber, Andrelton Simmons, Chris Sale, Nelson Cruz, Brian Dozier, Jonathan Schoop, George Springer, Jose Abreu, Eric Hosmer, Justin Upton, Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, Marwin Gonzalez, Edwin Encarnacion, Didi Gregorius, Khris Davis, Josh Donaldson, and Gary Sanchez.

Altuve, 27, led all of baseball with a .346 batting average and led the AL with 204 hits en route to helping the Astros win the AL West with 101 wins, then dispatched of the Red Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers to win the World Series. He also had a .410 on-base percentage, a .547 slugging percentage, 39 doubles, 24 home runs, 32 stolen bases, 81 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 662 plate appearances during the regular season. He is the first Astro to win the MVP Award since Jeff Bagwell in the strike-shortened 1994 season.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.