Could Mike Trout Still Win the American League MVP?

It's hard to believe that best player in baseball is better than ever.

If you didn't think it was possible for Mike Trout to be any better than he already was, I've got some scary news for you.

He is.

After missing nearly seven weeks of the season due to a thumb injury, Trout is mashing, and (again) celebrated his birthday in a big way on Monday night, hitting a major milestone:

He followed that up later in the game with this monster blast off the left field foul pole.

Trout obviously likes playing on his birthday, having already hit dingers on his 21st, 22nd and 24th. He celebrated 26 on Monday by becoming the youngest player in MLB history to hit that many home runs on his birthday. And the statistics he's piling up at his age continue to boggle the mind.

But after missing more than a month and a half of game action, is it still possible for him to win the AL MVP?

He has led the American League in WAR each of the last five seasons, and has quickly narrowed the gap between himself and his competitors since returning, now just 1.0 fWAR away from catching Aaron Judge.

Player Games AVG OBP SLG HR wOBA wRC+ fWAR
Aaron Judge 106 .299 .424 .627 35 .431 175 6.0
Jose Altuve 107 .364 .424 .570 16 .419 169 5.7
Anthony Rendon 102 .308 .413 .567 21 .410 152 5.3
Paul Goldschmidt 110 .323 .438 .593 25 .426 159 5.2
Mike Trout 68 .346 .464 .716 23 .472 208 5.0
Bryce Harper 102 .327 .422 .621 29 .429 165 5.0

Despite having played 38 fewer games than Judge and 39 fewer than Jose Altuve, Trout's WAR totals put him within striking distance of both players.

Of course, MVP voters look at more than just WAR when determining who to name the Most Valuable Player, but it's remarkable that Trout has been able to gain ground so quickly. And at the moment, Trout is at career highs in batting average, on-base percentage percentage, slugging percentage, weighted on base average (wOBA) and weighted runs created (wRC+).

Since returning from his injury, Trout is hitting an astounding .363/.469/.663 with 7 home runs and 3 doubles in 96 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Judge has slumped a bit since the All-Star break, batting .182/.333/.377 with just 5 dingers and 12 RBIs in 22 games.

Altuve is a different story. Perhaps the best pure hitter in the game, the Houston Astros' incredible second baseman has been just as productive as Trout since the All-Star Game.

Player Team Games wOBA wRC+ fWAR
Chris Taylor Dodgers 21 .480 203 1.7
Mike Trout Angels 21 .467 204 1.6
Matt Chapman Athletics 23 .419 171 1.5
Jose Altuve Astros 21 .461 198 1.5

Altuve and Trout have virtually the same fWAR since the second half of the season began. It's likely Altuve is the leading contender for AL MVP at the moment, but could Trout catch him in WAR and make things interesting for voters?

It will take a herculean effort from Trout over the final two months of the season to do so, but remember, this is Mike Trout we're talking about.