Can Giancarlo Stanton Steal the National League MVP?

Last week, Dave wrote a little ditty about how we will probably be crowning some Los Angeles players with the Most Valuable Player Awards this season. For the National League, that means Yasiel Puig or Clayton Kershaw. And, Dave is right. Dave is usually right. Right now, Kershaw is probably the best choice. But he’s a pitcher, and he missed a month, and yada yada yada people will invent reasons to not vote for him. And Puig? Well, we know he isn’t the most popular player among the voting bloc. But Giancarlo Stanton, on the other hand, is pretty popular with just about everyone. And he is having a heck of a season too. Could he sneak in and yank the award away from the boys in blue?

Let’s start with the obvious — Stanton is really good at hitting. At the moment, only Andrew McCutchen has a higher wRC+ than does Stanton, though Yasiel Puig and Paul Goldschmidt (and Seth Smith) are right there with him. In the power department, no one really compares. Stanton’s .270 isolate power is 29 points higher than Goldschmidt in second place, and nearly 40 points higher than Khris Davis in third place. He has similar leads in slugging percentage. For context, there are only nine qualified NL hitters with a .500 or better slugging percentage, and none are within 20 points of Stanton. That’s some sweet separation.

Stanton is rocking several career bests right now. His on-base percentage is at its highest, as is his stolen bases. In a week or two, or perhaps sooner, he’ll surpass his career bests for runs and runs batted in, and he’ll probably top his career bests for homers. And in the ultimate “teh fear” category, intentional walks, he’s already smashed his career highs. He got his 20th free pass in the ninth inning last night, which equals his total from the previous three seasons. Stanton and Victor Martinez become just the 10th and 11th players to reach that 20 free passes threshold since 2010. Stanton also doesn’t do anything poorly. He’s essentially a scratch fielder and base runner, and has the ability to make some showstopping catches or throws in right field, which endears him to the populace.

What’s more, he’s also the undisputed leader of a team that is hanging around on the fringes of playoff contention. Christian Yelich has had himself a pretty good season, as has Casey McGehee and Nathan Eovaldi, but this team revolves around Stanton. Perhaps that would not be the case if Jose Fernandez was around, but he is sitting this season out. And yet, Stanton has the team on the brink of contention. The Braves completely falling apart has played a role in this as well, but the Marlins aren’t awful either. They’re not contenders by BaseRuns, but BaseRuns sees them as essentially what they have been, a slightly below .500 team. This season, that qualifies as a playoff contender in the National League. There are currently just three teams between them and a playoff spot, and one of those three is the aforementioned Atlanta squad.

So, if the Marlins make a run at a playoff spot, Stanton is going to get some good profile in the process. Even if they fall short of the postseason though, if Miami finishes above .500 that still might do it. Since changing the team name and logo and moving into a new ballpark, the team has not even sniffed .500. In fact, if this Diamondbacks series goes the way Miami hopes it will, they will have surpassed last season’s win total by the end of the weekend. The team has to go only 22-19 for the remainder of the season to clear that bar, and with 20 games left against the Dbacks, Rockies, Rangers, Mets and Phillies, plus six with the disintegrating Braves, that goal is firmly on the table.

There’s also this — Kershaw and Puig may split votes. Even if there are just two or three people who vote against the crowd, it will create an opening for Stanton. Stanton doesn’t really have anyone to split votes with not only on his team, but really in his whole division. The only other players in the division in the top 15 in WAR among NL position players are Jason Heyward, Anthony Rendon and Chase Utley. Heyward derives too much of his value from defense to get serious consideration, Rendon is probably a year too early and Utley plays for an awful team. And on the pitching side, there isn’t anyone within a win of Kershaw, so if any pitcher would get it, it’d be him. But if he has to split votes with Puig…

The past two seasons, we’ve seen injuries cut Stanton’s season shorter than we would like. We’ve essentially been dreaming on this Giancarlo Stanton season since 2010, when he came up in June and smashed 22 homers in his rookie campaign that amazingly earned him zero Rookie of the Year Award votes. (Even Jonny Venters got one!) Now, we’re getting that season, and for Stanton it may be coming at the absolute perfect time. The Marlins are hanging around, the three top vote getters in last year’s NL MVP voting are all injured, and the other two top candidates play for the same team. Kershaw or Puig may be the favorites, and the rightful favorites at that, but Stanton may just fight his way in there and snatch it up.




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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for the Boston Globe. He has also written extensively for ESPN MLB Insider. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


85 Responses to “Can Giancarlo Stanton Steal the National League MVP?”

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  1. jroell86 says:

    In my opinion, it’s Kershaw right now, clear cut even.

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    • Dan Ugglas Forearm says:

      The issue, however, is that we’re trying to read the behavior of the BBWAA.

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      • Yirmiyahu says:

        I think the BBWAA choosing a pitcher is impossible to predict (it’s not like they’re logical or consistent). So, Kershaw aside…

        How would Stanton be “stealing” the MVP from Puig? Stanton’s ahead in WAR, batting runs-above-average, HR, R, RBI, SB, SLG. They’re tied in OBP and wRC+. All Puig has going for him is his advantage in batting average (and the jersey he wears).

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        • Yasiel Puig says:

          Don’t forget about bat flips per nine. I have Stanton beat out in that by a long shot…

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        • Bip says:

          The thing that Stanton would have strongly against him is being on a non-playoff team, but considering that the Marlins seem to outperforming preseason predictions, that may actually work in his favor.

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  2. george says:

    How long will mccutchen be on the DL? if he plays 145 games, i don’t think voters will knock him too much. especially since kershaw will have the same issue.

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    • Sam says:

      It’s not the number of games you miss, it’s when you miss them. Missing games when your team is making a late season push for the playoffs will be fatal for McCutchen’s chances, as that’s the time period fresh in the voters’ minds. It’s a shame that McCutchen may have lost an MVP due solely to idiocy in Arizona, but IMO Stanton and Kershaw are equally deserving of the award.

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      • Sam says:

        I’ll hedge my statement, as I’d thought McCutchen was supposed to miss more games…appears he might come back with a decent number of games left. I suppose if he comes back on fire and wills Pittsburgh into the playoffs, he could still win….but I’d still say at this point Kershaw or Stanton will be favorites.

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      • Hup says:

        Josh Hamilton would beg to differ.

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  3. Joe Camp says:

    I agree about Kershaw.

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  4. Mike Stanton says:

    My impressive numbers are entirely due to PED use!

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  5. Reese says:

    If McCutchen comes back in a week and the Pirates make the playoffs, he will win it. Whether right or wrong, MVP voters are biased against players that don’t make the playoffs. See: Trout, Mike.

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    • cs3 says:

      The voters are also biased against players who dont win the triple crown when another MVP candidate does. Whats your point?

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  6. FuriousToaster says:

    Isn’t Stanton already ahead of Puig in every category that matters here except “playing for a winning team”? I don’t think Puig is going to get many votes at all. It’s more likely that Puig costs Kershaw his MVP than having any chance of winning it himself.

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    • FuriousToaster says:

      Kershaw 5.0
      Stanton 4.9
      McCutchen 4.8
      Puig 4.6

      The premise here should actually be “Can McCutchen or Puig steal the MVP from Kershaw/Stanton”.

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      • Yirmiyahu says:

        I agree with this. I think Kershaw has clearly been the most valuable baseball player in the National League, but who knows when/if the writers will actually vote for a pitcher.

        Meanwhile, the writers love offensive counting stats, and Stanton is the pretty clear leader there. I don’t think Puig has much of a shot at this point.

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      • Dead Serious says:

        A .1-5 difference in WAR has been proven to be inconsequential. If Cutch comes back and doesn’t suck, it’s his to lose. If he doesn’t, then the assumption is Kershaw and Stanton will be neck and neck.

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      • Jason B says:

        What Dead said. WAR is imperfect enough that a 4.8-win player winning over a 4.9-win player is hardly egregious enough to term a theft, let alone being consequential at all.

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      • AA says:

        As Puig plays more CF, that gap will close quickly

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      • dte421 says:

        Also keep in mind that some of the writers look at BWAR as well, and Kershaw has a MASSIVE 5.9 to 3.8 lead over Puig in their metric.

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      • Josh says:

        Cutch has really been hurt by his defensive stats. Watching him, I don’t see why they are so bad this year, but it makes me think that a .1 difference could literally just be error.

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      • David says:

        Right, since the difference between 5.0 and 4.6 is not statistically significant, (particularly if you consider context important) and a marginal win is worth more for the Dodgers and Pirates than for the Marlins, I’d say that a simple listing of WAR leaders is pretty compelling evidence that Stanton is the odd man out in that group.

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    • SKob says:

      I literally read this column in awe that Puig was even considered higher in MVP voting than Stanton!

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      • AA says:

        Puig is the best field player on the best team, and happens to also be nearly as highly rated by WAR as Stanton. Shouldn’t be surprising.

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  7. BlueJays93 says:

    I don’t like when pitchers win MVP. They have their own award for a reason. How can you compare an elite pitcher who plays 30 games a season averaging 7 innings a start to an elite hitter who plays 160 full games? I think Stanton’s ability at his position is less superior than Kershaw’s prowess at his own, but nonetheless you just can’t compare a player whose value is entirely defensive to one whose value is majoritarily offensive, partially defensive, and plays six times as much.

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    • Benjammer says:

      Upvoted for use of “majoritarily”

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    • FuriousToaster says:

      Batters have their own reward too. In fact they have their own defensive (gold glove) and offensive (silver slugger) rewards separately.

      “you just can’t compare a player whose value is entirely defensive to one whose value is majoritarily offensive”

      That’s almost exactly what WAR is for… to measure those dissimilar events against each other.

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      • Brian says:

        Hi! Just wanted to say that I’m a major sabr guy but lean traditional on a few things. One being the idea that SP’s shouldn’t win MVP (except in rare circumstances, Pedro ’99?)

        > Batters have their own reward too. In fact they have their own defensive (gold glove) and offensive (silver slugger) rewards separately.

        Huh? Pitchers win Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers too.

        Until there is a hitting version of the Cy Young — a “best overall position player and pitchers are not eligible” award — there is no comparing the two. Silver Sluggers are nice, but they’re not Cy Youngs.

        Maybe there should be one of those, but a “best hitter” award along with a “best pitcher” award would make an MVP weirdly redundant.

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        • Brian says:

          Oh and I realize there is the Hank Aaron Award. That’s the argument that should have been made.

          If people want to start caring about the Hank Aaron Award (and maybe they should) then we’ve got a conversation.

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        • Jason B says:

          I’m not sure you can force people to care, though. The award exists, whether people notice or care or not.

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      • John Havok says:

        “Batters have their own reward too. In fact they have their own defensive (gold glove) and offensive (silver slugger) rewards separately.”

        Yes but the Silver Slugger awards is awarded at each position(all OF lumped into 1 category), including pitcher in the NL, not just 1 Silver Slugger award per league to the best offensive hitter. Pitchers also get Gold Gloves. So to say that hitters have their own award in the Silver Slugger and gold gloves… really it just doesnt compare.

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    • Yirmiyahu says:

      In addition to what FuriousToaster said, despite that they play 5 times less often than a position player, a starting pitcher is usually involved in the game more than a position player. If you look pitch-by-pitch….

      Mike Trout has faced 2352 pitches this year (more than any other position player), and has had 283 fielding chances. James Shields has thrown 2803 pitches this year (more than any other pitcher), and has had 38 fielding chances. In other worlds, James Shields has played a lot more baseball this year than Mike Trout, even if he’s been physically on the field less often.

      (Note: It’s not true of Kershaw/Stanton because of how much Stanton has played and how much time Kershaw missed, but it’s a general point about playing time.)

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    • Stuck in a slump says:

      You can look at batters faced vs a hitters PA’s, and when you do, you’ll see that those numbers are similar for health full time players (Kershaw has 512 BF, Stanton has 527 PA’s). From that, you can clearly see that a hitter may be able to affect more games, but a starting pitcher plays a pivotal role in each of the games that he starts. So then you have to ask yourself, is a guy pitching 28-32 games and having a huge impact on the out come of each and everyone of those games on par with a guy who plays 130-162 games and may or may not have any positive impact in any given game?

      I think it’s pretty clear that for Kershaw’s 19 games so far this season, even though he’s only played in an average of 7.2 (not 7 2/3, but the actual decimal value) inngings that he’s been the end all be all for 14 of those games, and he’s been solid in four others and has only done poorly in one. I’m not sure just how many hitters can truly dominate such a large portion of the games that they play in. I did a quick check using wRC+ on Stanton. I found that offensively, he’s dominated (my own judgement call here, using wRC+ of 250+) 40 games this year. Compare that to his 121 games played, and he comes up with a 33% dominance rate. Kershaw’s 14 games with three ER allowed or les out of his 19 GS gives him a 74% dominance rate. Just something to think about.

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    • KD says:

      I am usually not a big fan of pitchers winning the MVP, but the knock on them should not be that the only are part time players. They have so much more to do with the teams success each time they do pitch than batter/fielders do. If you want to look at pitches made, batters faced, outs made, plays where they also field, pitchers total many more plays over their 30 or so starts that any batter who may have 600 plate appearances and their defensive plays combined

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    • C says:

      Batters only have 4-5 at bats per game, where pitchers can face 25+ batters per game. So even though batters “play” six times as much in terms of games, pitchers faces similar amount of batters to batter’s AB.

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  8. FuriousToaster says:

    A more important article to write is about how King Felix (6.2 WAR) should be the hands down favorite for AL MVP right now and NOT Trout (5.7WAR). Also WOW what a season Alex Gordon is having?!

    All of these are more entertaining conversations than Puig undeservedly getting MVP consideration.

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    • Aaron (UK) says:

      Well, Mr AngryGrill, Dave Cameron has already written that article.

      Though it should be noted that Felix leads Trout only in Fangraphs’ version of WAR.

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      • FuriousToaster says:

        Lots of people disagreed with his assessment in that article, and it’s also old information. Felix has been lights out since then.

        And since we are ON fangraphs, shouldn’t the fangraphs writers be defending their own metric and explaining WHY they have Felix with a higher WAR than Trout? Why should Kershaw leading the NL be more important than Felix leading the AL??

        Felix plays in a tougher division, tougher parks and vs DH and has no natural LHP advantage.
        I’d say he’s the only “hands down MVP” there is in baseball this season.

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        • Dingbat says:

          Old information? He wrote the post this past Tuesday:

          http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/felix-hernandez-and-the-al-mvp/

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        • FuriousToaster says:

          That is… not what I was thinking of. Thank you for pointing that out I must have missed that article.

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        • Stuck in a slump says:

          Fangraphs isn’t in a battle with Baseball-Reference over who has the better WAR. Both sites try to use a metric that can compare pitchers with hitters objectively, but they have different methods of doings so. Both are valid stats, and in some cases rWAR is better than fWAR (especially for pitchers since rWAR is based on RA-9 IIRC).

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        • Bip says:

          Tougher parks? I think they’re pretty comparable. Both divisions have an extreme hitters park, both pitch in pretty strong pitcher’s parks.

          For the record, according to baseball reference, the average park factor Felix has pitched in this year is 93.6, while for Kershaw, it is 98.6

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    • Martin says:

      Wouldn’t it be kind of fitting if, after two consecutive seasons of losing the MVP to the AL’s second-best player, he won the MVP as the AL’s second-best player?

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      • Andy says:

        More than fitting. Trout was not only the best by WAR, but the best by a large margin. And not only the best by large margin at FG, but at BBRef and BBPro (for AL). Regardless of how the rest of this season goes, Felix is not going to finish with a dominantly larger WAR than Trout, and at BBPro he is very unlikely to finish ahead of Trout at all.

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      • Jason B says:

        In response to Martin’s question:

        If he is clearly the second best player in the AL (say, for instance, finishing with 7.5 WAR to Felix’s 9) then…no. You don’t screw someone in year (y+1) to benefit someone else just because they were screwed over themselves in year (y).

        If Felix is demonstrably better, he should win. Just like Trout deserved to win the last couple.

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        • Yilan Dai says:

          That -6.8 Def Trout has is absolutely misleading. I’ve watched him for three years, and no, there’s absolutely no chance that he’s anywhere near that bad of a fielder. This could be just an instance where the always inconsistent defensive metrics messed up.

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        • Ruki Motomiya says:

          Or he could be having one of those odd down years on defense like players have odd down years on offense.

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    • Sam says:

      Gordon is quietly having a very good season. Should be a 4th straight GG for him. Puig’s in the conversation b/c he’s got the basic triple slash numbers voters love, and b/c he could potentially steal votes from Kershaw, one of the favorites.

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  9. Alice Cooper says:

    “At the moment, only Andrew McCutchen has a higher wRC+ than does Stanton”

    soooo, why not McCutchen?

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    • Steve says:

      He’s injured and already won the award. Less media frenzy.

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      • Alice Cooper says:

        The shame of it is that McCutchen is actually having a far better year, statistically, this season.

        If not for the Pirates Cinderella run, he probably wouldn’t have won, and would probably be looked at as a front-runner this year.

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    • Hrkac Circus says:

      You’re delusional if you think the BBWAA uses wRC+ to determine the MVP. Stanton has the flashier basic numbers, even though Cutch has been better all around.

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      • Alice Cooper says:

        I don’t think that, at all. McCutchen has a higher hitting metric than Stanton and is a superior baserunner. I’d say they’re about even on D, even though Cutch plays center.

        So if McCutchen is a better hitter (as wRC+ demonstrates) and he is “better all around” as you state, why are we giving the award to Stanton?

        Flashier basic numbers = more HR basically (I dont give a poop about RBI)

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  10. TKDC says:

    Why does the “Puig is not popular with the voting bloc” trope get pulled out all the time? In his first and only go-around in awards season, he finished second to Fernandez and got a few first place votes and the rest of the second place votes. He also finished 13th among position players, and the 12 guys ahead of him all had higher WAR.

    Ever watch ESPN? Well, I don’t, but I’ve heard they like to talk about him. A lot. I mean they don’t really ever stop. I think it is more likely that Puig gets an undeserved MVP than that he doesn’t get a deserved one.

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  11. Andy says:

    Interesting that Tulo is not even mentioned any more. Granted, he has three strikes against him–injury, home park advantage, and playing on a non-contender–but for much of the season he was clearly the best hitter while playing great defense at the second most important position on the diamond. If not for the injury he could have had an historic season, and he still might salvage much of it. Not saying he deserves the MVP, but it’s unusual for a guy this productive to be this ignored.

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  12. Bill Andrews says:

    This whole discussion is kind of early mid-august, but I cannot even believe Puig is in the discussion for NL MVP.

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    • Bip says:

      He’s 4th in the NL in OPS, he hasn’t missed any time, and he’s on a playoff team, two things that cannot both be said about any of the three players ahead of him. How could he not be in the discussion?

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  13. Bob says:

    Lucroy just hanging out from the sidelines here? He has to be in the conversation even if he can’t win.

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    • Hrkac Circus says:

      Lucroy has been very good, I would say he’s the fourth or fifth guy mentioned. His numbers just don’t quite stack up to Cutch, Puig, or Stanton.

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      • dustin says:

        When you add in factors like pitch-framing and calling a game that aren’t accounted for in WAR I think you do.

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        • chuckb says:

          But voters for the MVP don’t use pitch – framing stats to inform their vote. We’re lucky when they use OPS.

          You’re conflating what voters should do with what voters will do.

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  14. Voter's says:

    Why are the writer’s votes secret? They are fan driven aren’t they?
    Would we not all benefit to see how everyone votes for awards and HOF??

    Are they such a irreplaceable, powerful group that they could not be replaced if they do not want to show their votes (even the old guys)?

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  15. Phantom Stranger says:

    I don’t see Puig being a serious MVP candidate as awarded by the voters. No one thinks he’s a leader on that Dodgers team, no matter his numbers. This would be a lot more interesting discussion if Tulo hadn’t have gotten hurt.

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    • Bip says:

      I think the fact he isn’t seen as a leader may be mitigated somewhat by his reputation as a sparkplug that energizes the team and makes an impact on each game. These are all things that are difficult to quantify, so this is just speculation on my part.

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  16. PackBob says:

    WAR is a method to calculate value and every year there is a WAR MVP player, with the only suspense being which version to use.

    It makes sense that the MVP award would reward narrative as well as performance, since a good narrative is what writers value most. It really has been a combination of best player and best story. Puig/Kershaw leading the Dodgers to a division title is a much better story than Stanton having a great year for a lousy team, but if the Marlins are in it to the end and make the playoffs, Stanton’s narrative is competitive.

    WAR is easily the best method available to determine the best player, but being objective, is a little bit dry and lacks suspense. The BBWAA version is flawed, but entertaining.

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  17. Johnston says:

    Steal it? No. But I think he can earn it.

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  18. Yilan Dai says:

    Compare 2014 NL MVP to 2011 AL MVP:

    Kershaw – Verlander
    McCutchen – Ellsbury
    Stanton – Bautista
    Lucroy – Granderson
    Puig – Cabrera

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  19. David says:

    no love for lucroy or Gomez in Milwaukee? the brewers are in first with Braun and Ramirez having multiple dl trips, bad starting pitching, and horrible defense at pretty much every other position. also, weeks and segura have done nothing.

    I think lucroy has a great chance as voters love good defensive catchers who hit for average with decent pop.

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    • chuckb says:

      First of all, the media hates Carlos Gomez. As a Brewers’ fan, surely you know that. Second, there’s a decent chance that half the BBWAA has no idea who Lucroy is. You’ll be lucky if he finishes in the top 5.

      He’s been awesome this year, but I have no faith in the BBWAA to recognize that. And you’re delusional if you think he has a good chance.

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    • Corey Heim says:

      “Weeks has done nothing” is irrelevant because he’s not a starter. Gennett is doing something–and he’s the starting 2B. As for defense, it’s not “horrible” at basically ANY position. It’s fantastic at SS and CF, average at C, possibly above avg at RF, perfectly acceptable at 3B and 2B, a surprisingly decent at 1B and marginal at RF (Davis’s arm is atrocious but he still has good speed).

      And SP is average or acceptable…nowhere near bad.

      Do you actually watch this team or are you reading ESPN for your info? (The fact you even bring up Weeks speaks a lot, frankly).

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  20. That Guy says:

    Forget the NL MVP. I can’t wait for Alex Gordon to out-WAR Mike Trout by the end of the season and not get a single MVP vote, and we can spend months talking about /that/.

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    • Bip says:

      With the Royals playing like they are now, there no chance Gordon gets shut out. He probably won’t get as many votes as he deserves, but, if the Royals make the playoffs, I predict he’ll be to 10 (and if they win the division, I’ll go as far as to predicting top 5. I’m putting my reputation on the line!!)

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    • Ruki Motomiya says:

      Alex Gordon really should be talked about more, though. He’s been crazy good 3 of these past 4 years including this year (2013 was merely good) and yet is rarely talked about. He’s gotta be one of the most underrated players around, doesn’t he? Sure, not like Zobrist was, but…

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  21. Bip says:

    I am constantly surprised by how many people consider Kershaw to be the frontrunner for the MVP. I don’t even know that he’s the frontrunner for the Cy Young! At current pace, Johnny Cueto will finish with a comparable ERA, the same number of wins, and 40 more innings. Kershaw will likely fall just short of 200. It seems to me that wins, ERA and IP are clearly the factors with the greatest impact on CY voting, so given the innings difference, I would not be surprised at all if Kershaw loses the CY to Cueto.

    As for the MVP, I think he has no chance unless he finishes with 20 wins at least. I think voters tend to reward “pitcher skill” more for the Cy Young, using such complex and advanced metrics as ERA and strikeout rate, but for the MVP, I think they want measures of “player value,” and to them, that is wins. I’ve never heard this argument made specifically, but I would strongly bet they see wins as a measure of value added by the pitcher, so if a pitcher finishes 10-10, they may think that regardless of the skill the pitcher displayed, he didn’t provide much value.

    I think the sole reason he is in the MVP discussion up to this point is that he’s won all but 5 of his starts, and the Dodgers are 16-3 in them. Perhaps people are giving him a bonus because he leads the NL in wins despite missing time. However, I would say comfortably that his MVP candidacy depends entirely on the continuation of his winning ways. If he get pegged with some lousy run support and finishes the season 3-2, then even if he maintains that ERA, I think that MVP is out of reach.

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  22. AddyMac8 says:

    Not that I’m suggesting this is exactly THE way this should be considered–it ignores team performance as well as static individual player WAR–but an interesting way I like to add another element to this discussion is which of these players contributes the highest overall % of their team’s combined WAR.

    Again, while that ignores actual WAR output–potentially rewarding all stars on non-contending teams (with presumably lower overall combined team WAR)–it does help me with the question of which player produced the highest % of individual value to their team overall.

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    • Eric R says:

      “Not that I’m suggesting this is exactly THE way this should be considered–it ignores team performance as well as static individual player WAR–but an interesting way I like to add another element to this discussion is which of these players contributes the highest overall % of their team’s combined WAR.”

      How would it ignore team performance?

      A 10-win player on a 100-win team would be around 19%.
      A 5-win player on a 70-win team would be around 23%.
      A 3-win player on a 60-win team would be around 25%.
      A 0.6-win player on a 50-win team would be around 30%.
      But your MVP is the -2.5 win player on a 40 win team at 31%

      It is still team dependent, just giving “bonus points” if you are on a bad team rather than a good one.

      Similar to using Carlton’s “credited with 46% of teams total wins” 1972 season. While that is neat, is it because he was great or because there were no other good starters?

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