(Ed. Note: Yes, it’s true. I have grading to do. And I’m doing it! But the students are not well-served if I’ve graded myself into a stupor when I get to their papers. To prevent that, I conduct little studies as grading breaks. Here’s one.)

MLB published today another one of their fillers they use to attract clicks when nothing is happening. This one was about the supposedly 5 most likely 2024 MVPs in each league, plus 5 “dark horse candidates.” So I did a little study, to see how our teams fared, and which team might be the scariest this season because its roster features so much potential MVP-ity.

Here are the results:

  1. THE TEAM WITH THE MOST MOST LIKELY MVP’s: The Salem Seraphim! Our angelic team is as otherworldly as advertised. They have both Mookie Betts (#1 in the NL) and Corbin Carroll (#5 in the NL).
  2. THE TEAMS WITH THE MOST #1 MOST LIKELY MVP’s: There are only two teams who hold players in the #1 slot as most likely in their leagues. The Seraphim are one of those teams. The other is… the Tornados! Who have Julio, the most likely AL MVP.
  3. THE OTHER TEAMS WITH ONE OF THE TOP 5 MOST LIKELY MVP’S IN EACH LEAGUE: The D.C. Balk have Corey Seager, the #3 most likely AL MVP. The Haviland Dragons have the #4 most likely AL MVP (Aaron Judge). And the Pittsburgh Alleghenys have the #5 most likely AL MVP (Adley Rutschman). These are all legit top candidates, although I’d rank Seager 5th. Sorry, Rob.
  4. THE TEAMS WITH THE MOST DARK HORSE MVP CANDIDATES: Of the 5 dark horse MVPs, no EFL team has the #1 candidate (Royce Lewis). Lewis is a legit dark horse candidate. He has shown a BUNCH of potential once he got clear of his injuries. The Old Detroit Wolverines have #2 (Will Smith) The Woeverines appreciate the recognition for their quietly good catcher, but they would not have expected him to make such a list. The #3 dark horse is Riley Greene of the Canberra Kangaroos, confirming the enthusiasm the captain Kangaroo has expressed for this promising young Tiger. The #4 dark horse is Adolis Garcia of the Wolverines. This accolade, one suspects, is largely due to Garcia’s dominance in last year’s post-season, especially during the 5-game stretch in which he went 11 for 21 with 6 homers and 15 RBI, .524, .560, 1.349 for an ops of 1.909. If he keeps doing that he’ll be an MVP. But the #5 dark horse is the most surprising of all: Old Detroit’s Ke’Bryan Hayes, based on his defense (which raised his 3b rating to 6.0 at the end of last season), and his break-out offense in the second half of 2023 (.299, .335, .539) — routine stuff for Garcia, but, yeah, if Hayes can do that he might really be the MVP.
  5. THE LEAGUE WITH THE MOST TOTAL MVP CANDIDATES ACCORDING THE THE ARTICLE: The EFL! With 10 of the 15 players mentioned! The AL has only 8, and the NL only 7. And there are three more of these MVP-candidate players available in our Free Agent Draft: Ohtani, Acuna, and Soto.

So which is scariest: A team with 2 of the 10 legit MVP favorites? Or a team with 3 of the 5 dark horse candidates? Or…

What about a team able to spend $70,000,000 to get Ohtani?

Oh, but who’s going to be able to pungle up $70,000,000 per year to get Ohtani? There are three EFL teams who could pull it off: The Drive have $74,750,000 to spend. After they get Ohtani, they’ll only need a catcher and two other players to be legal. They could get Ohtani and still have over $4,000,000 for those other three players.

The Pears could afford Ohtani. They have $82,750,000 under the salary cap, so they’d have plenty ($12,000,000 or so) to get the other five players (including at least 3 pitchers) they’d need to be legal.

And the Glaciers have $94,000,000 left to spend. They could get Ohtani and have more than $23,000,000 left over, easily enough to acquire the other 8 players they would need for a legal roster. In fact, they could use a pre-emption on their #1 pick in the rookie draft and STILL have enough to get Ohtani and 7 other players.

Flint Hill has lots of money left — $73,000,000 — but they have 10 holes to fill, 9 after acquiring Ohtani’s contract. They had Ohtani at the end of 2023, so they could acquire him by matching the Dodgers’ offer — a mere $70,000,000 a year (unless someone else bid them up). But you need at least $6,750,000 to acquire 9 MLB players for your team…they’d be short by $3,750,000.

But wait! Brian Anderson’s salary is exactly $3,750,000! The Tornados dangled Anderson in the expansion draft…

Aha! We’ve uncovered the Tornados’ secret plan! Secret, bold… and with Julio on the roster, too, SUPER scary!