Roy Halladay for NL MVP

It’s been nearly two decades since a pitcher has won the MVP award. Even then, the award went to a relief pitcher, who won based on a gaudy saves total. In order to find the last starter to win the MVP award, you would have to go back to 1986 — when Roger Clemens took home the hardware. Any way you look at it, it’s become increasingly rare for a pitcher to win the MVP award. Despite leading the entire National League in WAR, Roy Halladay is getting virtually no support for MVP. When it comes to the MVP award, one thing is clear: pitchers are extremely undervalued.

The American League MVP race may currently be receiving more publicity, but the NL MVP race is just as exciting. Although Roy Halladay leads the NL in WAR with 6.9, Shane Victorino, Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Troy Tulowitzki aren’t far behind. Looking at the recent trends, one of the position players mentioned is most likely to take home the hardware once the season ends — most likely Victorino or Upton since they play on contending teams.

Problem is, Halladay is the most deserving of the award. Due to an increased strikeout rate — and a severely depressed home run rate — Halladay may be on his way to posting the strongest year of his career. Luck hasn’t played much of a favor either since Halladay’s 2.56 ERA matches his 2.56 xFIP. Once again, Roy Halladay has been a ridiculously good pitcher.

In recent years, however, the BBWAA has not been kind to starting pitchers. In the AL, relief pitchers have been more likely to make the ballot than starters. The last time a starting pitcher ranked higher than a relief pitcher in the MVP ballot was 2006 — when Johan Santana placed seventh despite ranking second in WAR.

Over in the NL, things have been a bit better. Roy Halladay did manage a sixth place finish last season — a fair showing based on his stats. Unfortunately, that’s the highest a starting pitcher has placed in the NL in quite some time. The last time a starting pitcher was considered a serious contender for NL MVP appears to be 1995 — when Greg Maddux placed third, but deserved to win. In more recent years, Tim Lincecum finished 18th on the ballot despite posting the second highest WAR in the NL, and CC Sabathia placed sixth following his incredible stretch run with the Milwaukee Brewers.

If recent history is any indication, Roy Halladay is still fighting an uphill battle. Unless he can win 20+ games (a number the voters still love), or goes on a ridiculous September scoreless streak, it’s more than likely that a less deserving player will walk off with the NL MVP award this season. Even if Halladay accomplishes those feats, there’s no guarantee he’ll be considered a legitimate contender based on the current hype surrounding Upton. That’s not to say that Upton isn’t a deserving candidate; he’s just not the best option available. Sadly, it wouldn’t be the first time the voters got it wrong.




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Chris is a blogger for CBSSports.com. He has also contributed to Sports on Earth, the 2013 Hard Ball Times Baseball Annual, ESPN, FanGraphs and RotoGraphs. He tries to be funny on twitter @Chris_Cwik.

155 Responses to “Roy Halladay for NL MVP”

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  1. Jesse says:

    I would agree with you, but I think the MVP award should become exclusively for position players so this type of confusion is avoided.

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    • DD says:

      Not necessarily agreeing with Jesse, but it would have been nice for you to include the contrarian POV that pitchers “don’t play every day” and should be taken down a peg for it in the MVP vote. Instead of changing the MVP to be only for position players though, perhaps they can create a “best hitter” award similar to the Cy Young. In the NFL, there is Offensive and Defensive Player(s) of the year, but also there is the MVP for any position.

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      • AndyS says:

        They have a best hitter award, it’s called the SILVER SLUGGER

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      • DD says:

        That’s not the best hitter in each league award, not like the MVP or Cy Young at all. It goes to the best hitter at each position – hell, a pitcher already gets it every year. I’m talking about adding an award, ONE award, in each league, for hitting.

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      • Ethan says:

        The Hank Aaron award is handed out the the best hitter in baseball each season.

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      • don says:

        There’s the Hank Aaron award but it certainly doesn’t have the same cachet as the Cy Young.

        Maybe that’s only the case because the MVP always goes to position players…

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      • Yirmiyahu says:

        Re: “Pitchers don’t play every day.”

        It’s a silly argument. Roy Halladay has faced 758 batters this season (and has batted 73 times himself). Shane Victorino has 442 plate appearances. Even if you include defensive chances, Halladay has had a hand in about 200 more plays this season.

        If you want to make pitchers ineligible for the MVP, fine. But don’t pretend it’s because they don’t play enough.

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      • Max says:

        @ don
        More often then not, the Hank Aaron award winner didn’t also win the MVP. Go figure.

        @yirmiyahu
        Mentioning the times Halladay has batted hurts your case more than it helps it.

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      • RC says:

        @Max

        He didn’t mention the number of times Halladay has batted.

        He mentioned the batters that Halladay has faced.

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      • Blue says:

        There’s a lot more to being the best position player than simply being the best hitter.

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      • Barry Jive says:

        @RC

        “(and has batted 73 times himself)”

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    • Max says:

      If I had a vote, I probably would just vote for position players. I don’t think pitchers are undervalued so much as they just aren’t considered. Sure, there are probably a bunch of people that do think a pitcher can’t be as valuable as an every day player, but I’d bet a lot of people just see it as a position player award. I think that often the best pitcher would actually be more valuable than the best position player, but they should still just get the Cy Young Award.

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      • Max says:

        It seems a little foolish to say, “You were the best player in baseball! Have an MVP… oh, and did I mention you were the best pitcher too? Have a CYA!”

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    • BostonFanA says:

      The whole pitcher don’t play everyday agrument is absurd, Halladay have faced more batters than any positional player had plate apperance, therefore he influenced more ABs than any positional players.

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    • My echo and bunnymen says:

      “Re: “Pitchers don’t play every day.”

      It’s a silly argument. Roy Halladay has faced 758 batters this season (and has batted 73 times himself). Shane Victorino has 442 plate appearances. Even if you include defensive chances, Halladay has had a hand in about 200 more plays this season.

      If you want to make pitchers ineligible for the MVP, fine. But don’t pretend it’s because they don’t play enough.”

      Stolen with no shame at all, this was brilliantly written.

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  2. Bobby A. says:

    I’m feeling like it’s between Halladay, Kemp, and Ryan Braun.

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  3. Hmm says:

    Not even going to mention the fact that there is a Cy Young for pitchers?

    Yes, “Most Valuable”, pitchers aren’t actually excluded, etc. I have no problem with having the Cy for pitchers and MVP for position players. The two groups don’t do the same thing on the field – why try to decide between them for the end of season hardware?

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  4. Jason461 says:

    Given that he leads NL positions players in WAR, Votto probably at least deserves a mention. But yeah, if a pitcher has the best year, give him the MVP. Still some games to play, though.

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    • Feldmarm1 says:

      I also was wondering how Votto was omitted from the MVP conversation given that he is the returning MVP and currently leads all position players in WAR. Is it possible to fly under the radar as a returning MVP? It must be because he’s Canadian…

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  5. MattK says:

    I don’t think fangraphs WAR is perfect for being the deciding factor on who should win the cy young MVP. I’m a big Halladay fan but in no way he is streets ahead of every other SP in MLB/NL. Too much weight seems to be put in the projected results instead of actual results. As a Jays fan there is no way you can say Morrow has been better than Romero yet his WAR is 0.8 points higher.

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    • Yirmiyahu says:

      It doesn’t matter whether you look at runs allowed, xFIP, or FIP. And it doesn’t matter whether you use runs-above-average or runs-above-replacement. In any combination, Halladay leads the NL.

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    • Desdroia says:

      MattK is streets ahead

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    • My echo and bunnymen says:

      I going to assume that somehow this received thumbs up because it’s sarcasm. Otherwise, this makes no sense.

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  6. Dancin_bubs says:

    Halladay may be leading the league in WAR, but depending on how the rest of the season plays out, will he even win the Cy Young? Kershaw is ahead of Halladay in all of the standard statistics usually looked at – Wins, Strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP. They are tied for the league lead with IP as well. I can’t see them voting Halladay MVP when he’s not even a clear winner for the CY.

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  7. TK says:

    Most likely Upton or Braun. Victorino has almost no chance.

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    • Sean says:

      I wonder if Howard gets more votes than Victorino.

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      • balagast says:

        Probably will.

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      • NEPP says:

        He hits the long ball and is thus automatically more valuable than a gold glove (legitimate gold glover) CF with an OPS that’s 150 points higher.

        Victorino has been the Phillies positional MVP this year and Doc is again the best pitcher in baseball…just as he has been year in and year out for the past decade.

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  8. brett says:

    Great article. I thought baseball researchers were actively avoiding this issue for whatever reason. You’ve handled it well here.

    That being said, I agree with MattK. I’d like to see a Fangraphs moratorium on lines like “it wouldn’t be the first time the voters got it wrong”. Especially in the context of such a close race. This kind of thing implies that WAR is a perfect statistic and objectively right all the time. If one player lost the MVP race to another player who owned let’s say 0.5 fewer WAR points, would that necessarily be wrong?

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    • Jason461 says:

      That’s a good point about WAR. Especially given how widely variable some of its components (like UZR) can be. Had I a vote (you know, in a fantasy world), I’d take maybe the top ten in WAR and then work from their, but someone wouldn’t necessarily win because they had the highest WAR.

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      • RC says:

        UZR doesn’t fluctuate as much as people think it does. Its just that its on a +/- scale instead of a totally positive scale that scares people.

        Why is a defender fluctuating by 15 runs a huge issue, but a batter fluctuating by 30 isnt?

        For instance: Zobrist
        2008: 7.5
        2009: 41.3
        2010: 3.2
        2011: 28.1

        Nobody seems to think that batting runs isn’t working correctly, but if a guy fluctuates 10 runs as a fielder, everyone panics.

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      • Barry Jive says:

        um, because of how the sample size works

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    • mcbrown says:

      Yes, this. The voters don’t necessarily “get it wrong” if the WAR leader doesn’t win. How confident can we be in the significance of a 0.5 win difference between players over a single season? I’m fine with a little subjectivity here.

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      • Rob says:

        Because we know that if the batter is fluctuating by 10 runs as a hitter he’s actually doing that. When fielding stats do so we have no clue if its the player or the metric.

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      • RC says:

        “When fielding stats do so we have no clue if its the player or the metric.”

        Why? How do we “know” that the player is fluctuating at hitting? We know the outcome is different, but we don’t know if its the skill fluctuating, or just the results with a hitter either.

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      • todmod says:

        Well the results matter for hitting – whether it’s lucky or not, we’re at least measuring performance.

        There’s big debate (as you can see in the different results between different fielding metrics) on how accurate UZR is in measuring defensive impact (whether lucky or not) in 1 season.

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      • Jason461 says:

        todmod- that’s exactly what I was trying to say. When a player experiences huge fluctuations in hitting, we can almost always find a reason, but with fielding, results seem to vary wildly from one year to the next with no explanation available. Given that we’re told UZR isn’t stable until you have 3 seasons of data, it doesn’t seem ridiculous discount WAR a bit if someone seems to be having a ridiculous UZR season.

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      • RC says:

        The fact that we don’t know the reason doesn’t mean there isn’t one, and that the numbers are invalid.

        Very often there is a reason, whether it be positioning, lingering minor injuries, a park that doesn’t match the players well, etc.

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      • David says:

        If we know the value of a single for a hitter, then we can infer the value of either allowing or not allowing a single for a fielder. UZR takes these outcomes, however variable they may be, and produces a value for the fielder. UZR is a result of outcomes, and the outcomes dictate value. Large fluctuations in that value only suggest that we should expect regression to the mean.

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      • Thought says:

        @Jason what determines how “ridiculous” a situation is to discount WAR?

        completely agree that WAR should not be the determining factor, but I think what you said about discounting WAR brings up a interesting question.

        If WAR should be discounted in ridiculous situations, then why put any faith into it during seemingly non ridiculous situations? It seems like some, not all, but some pick and choose when they want to discount WAR when it’s convenient to his/her point of view.

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    • My echo and bunnymen says:

      I don’t think anybody discussing the MVP on fangraphs.com believes WAR is perfect. Personally I use the same deviation for the MVP/Cy Young Awards, as long as they are within .5 WAR I see no problem with anyone being over whomever, but after that expands to the .8 WAR discussed by MattK, I believe you’re stretching it a bit. I hope you agree with his principle on the idea of the deviation (as some writers on here have even suggested) but not his illogical, Ricky Romero is better than Brandon Morrow because I “believe” it to be true premise.

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  9. AndyS says:

    People need to stop saying “oh but there’s Cy Young for pitchers.” Yeah, there’s Cy Young for pitchers. But you know what? There’s silver sluggers for position players (I know the NL gets one for pitchers, but that hardly counts). There are golden gloves. And if we reward those two parts of the game individually, but still allow competition for MVP, why not reward good pitching individually, but still allow pitchers to compete for MVP?

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    • Patricio says:

      Silver sluggers are for positions, not overall best hitter. Cy Young is for overall best pitcher. These two awards are not comparable.

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      • brett says:

        There’s also the Hank Aaron Award, which unfortunately isn’t intended to include fielding (i don’t think) but I’ve operated under the assumption that it exists to be a sort of Cy Young for hitters.

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      • DD says:

        Yeah, the Hank Aaron award exists. Now tell me the last 3 years of players who have won it without looking it up. Can’t do it? My point is they need to publicize a new award, even if its the one you mentioned that already exists, so we can celebrate a great hitter, even if he is only a DH (like Edgar Martinez). By the way, did anyone else know they have an Outstanding DH Award?

        Also, the Hank Aaron Award has only been around since 1999, but it has already gone through FIVE different election processes. It’s obviously not being taken seriously enough yet.

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      • Yirmiyahu says:

        So, let’s review the league awards by order of importance:

        best overall baseball player = doesn’t exist (as pitchers are apparently ineligible for MVP)
        best overall position player = doesn’t exist (as players on losing teams are apparently ineligible for MVP)
        best pitcher = Cy Young
        best hitter = Hank Aaron Award
        best defender = doesn’t exist

        What a mess.

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  10. Patricio says:

    Even though we have stats to help guide us to who the best players in the game are, they are still not 100% accurate. How can we honestly act as though we know that Pitcher WAR and Hitter WAR are fair to compare, considering that they do completely different things on the field? Has it not also been mentioned that the difference between 6.9 and 6.5, 6.3, or even 6.2 is somewhat negligible, considering you are referring to a FRACTION of a win?

    Let’s make this simple and make the MVP the hitters award, and the Cy Young the pitchers award. This will allow us to compare apples to apples.

    Oh, and if we are taking the initials MVP literally, wouldn’t exchanging Halladay for a replacement level player essentially make the Phillies tied with Atlanta in the standings? Where would the D-backs be without Justin Upton? Definitely not in first….

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    • test says:

      “Oh, and if we are taking the initials MVP literally, wouldn’t exchanging Halladay for a replacement level player essentially make the Phillies tied with Atlanta in the standings? Where would the D-backs be without Justin Upton? Definitely not in first….”

      Not sure how that is literal, the interpretation of valuable to mean “value added to likelihood of making playoffs” is the annual controversial interpretation of it, not a clear actual meaning that others are trying to get around. It’s an aspect to be considered, but even that is at best an opinion on what valuable means. I think it makes a decent “tie-breaker” when considering roughly equal players, which as you rightly note, is about all WAR is telling you at the fractional level.

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      • Patricio says:

        The goal for every team is to win the world series. The opportunity to participate, in said series, is given to only those who make the playoffs. I hate the playoff team MVP ideal…however, If you give me Player A and Player B who both have 6.0-6.5 WAR, but Player A’s value contributes to a 1 game lead in the standings, affording their team a playoff spot; while Player B’s value contributes to a team being 17 games back, instead of 23 games back — I’m sorry, but I think we can all agree that in the grand scheme of things Player A if more valuable. He/she allows the team to take the next step to the promised land, while Player B maybe helped take the team out of the basement.

        I hate the “Playoff Team MVP” but, if you are looking for the “Most Valuable Player”, then value goes beyond statistical numbers, both basic and advanced. Halladay is contributing to a playoff team, giving them a chance to have home field advantage. Upton is contributing to a team on the bubble. His contributions, quite literally, could decide whether the D-Backs see playoff ball. Upton’s contribution is more valuable — especially considering ANYTHING can happen in a 5, or even 7, game series.

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      • RC says:

        Right, but by that argument, you could say that a 1 WAR player on the Tigers (or whoever) should be MVP, because without him, they end up missing the playoffs.

        If you wanted to find the true “most valuable” player, you’d look at the difference between the team’s projected record with and without his WAR, and then figure out how much losing those wins costs the team in revenue.

        If those wins knock the team out of the playoffs, then it costs a lot of money. But, at the same time, the player should only be credited for a small amount of that money, because losing any other player could have the same affect.

        IE, 1WAR for a 95 win team might have the same value as .8 WAR for a 75 win team.

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      • Patricio says:

        RC, you are wrong about my argument. Considering a 6 WAR player and a 1 WAR player on the same bubble team, the 6 WAR player is obviously more valuable. A 5 win difference in value is not at all comparable. My whole argument is concerning that for “Most Valuable Player”, there are many variables to be taken in account. If you take all the most valuable players in the league, you can narrow it down by which teams NEEDED that player. The players with the most WAR are still the most valuable, it’s just a fraction of a win is not something you hand over an award for.

        “If you wanted to find the true “most valuable” player, you’d look at the difference between the team’s projected record with and without his WAR”

        That is quite literally what I did with my comparison, albeit without a truly in-depth analysis.

        “…and then figure out how much losing those wins costs the team in revenue.”

        So…no theoretical player from the Marlins, even if they made the playoffs and put up 20 WAR, deserves the award because, wins and losses to the Marlins doesn’t really effect Loria’s wallet?

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      • Patricio says:

        Oh, and if a 1 WAR player is the best your team has to offer, you are not a playoff team. You’ll have, at most, wins in the 60s….

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  11. domingoes says:

    I have always assumed the existence of the Cy Young award has made voters less inclined to offer MVP to pitchers.

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  12. test says:

    To say a less deserving player will win, you’re assuming a lot of things with 20% of the season left. Halladay isn’t obviously the MVP of the NL right now, he has a marginal lead in WAR, as fangraphs calculates it. It’s not a given Halladay wil even lead the NL in WAR, Kemp and Braun only trail based on defensive value, where other systems have them as slight positives, rather than slight negatives.

    And a media story for MVP in August doesn’t matter much (who have the AL MVPs been so far in the media, Bautista, Gonzalez, Pedroia, maybe Granderson, now Bautista again?). Upton’s story only has legs if he continues to excel, and likely if his team does. There are few pennant races for a player to shine in this year, and Upton is in one of them.

    I also don’t see much problem with not giving MVPs to pitchers by tradition, even if it is a new tradition.

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  13. James says:

    I think Verlander has a better case for AL MVP than Halladay does in the NL… It’s hard to say Halladay has been that much more valuable than either Lee or Hamels.

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  14. Angelsjunky says:

    I’d like to see the MVP award split into two: The Kirk Gibson Award and the Barry Bonds Award. The latter is for the best position player in the league, while the former is for the player who had the most impact on the pennant race, position player or pitcher.

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  15. LionoftheSenate says:

    Stat geeks ripped the idea of a pitcher winning the MVP for the last decade. Now we have a case for one……don’t expect to be taken seriously anymore kids.

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  16. LionoftheSenate says:

    Ryan Braun will be a 30/30 player and possibly the batting title…..there is your MVP folks.

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  17. Jamie says:

    VOTE FOR VICTORINO

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  18. Hurtlocker says:

    Willie mays would have eleven MVP’s if WAR was the statistic that decided the MVP. I also thought that pitchers WAR was not as reliable as a batters WAR??
    I don’t think a pitcher should be the MVP unless there are clearly no position players that rate it. Won-loss records and saves totals are not great indicators of a pitchers dominance as we all know.

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  19. Drew says:

    Does Michael Cuddyer qualify at pitcher? I wonder where he ranks in WAR relative to other AL starting pitchers.

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  20. Telo says:

    Did you add Halladay’s negative WAR from the plate? Because he is god awful – even compared to other pitchers. He is absolutely not the most valuable player in the MVP.

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    • ivdown says:

      That’s not a bad point. Kershaw is having a nice year with the bat, around 0.6 WAR on offense or so. Should that not be taken into effect?

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      • Telo says:

        It should. Plus, FG calculates pitcher’s batting WAR incorrectly. It should be calculated from league average, like UZR. Right now almost ALL pitchers have a positive hitting WAR, which is clearly wrong. If only I ran fangraphs.

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    • Ted Lilly says:

      Wow, you had a good comment today Telo, but the MVP should not solely be based on WAR. Perhaps, if Halladay was hitting like Zambrano, Gallardo, Wes Ferell, or Don Drysdale, he should get the MVP. My case for disfavoring Halladay for the MVP and Cy Young (which should merely be a minor consideration) simply because he has two Cy Youngs, while . I think Kershaw deserves the recognition and prestige of the Cy Young more than Halladay: this is not entirely a novel reason to vote against Halladay (relative to Kershaw or Lee) as a Cy Young winner; Fergie Jenkins won the 1971 Cy Young award even though Seaver had a better season (as Seaver had an ERA almost one point below Jenkins and a higher strikeout rate although Jenkins had a low walk rate).

      BTW, according to Baseball Reference, Halladay’s pitching WAR is 5.9 (Kershaw has 5.3) while Kemp has an oWAR of 6.8 and a dWAR of .7.

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      • jessef says:

        Uh, Ferguson Jenkins pitched an additional 40 more innings and still walked barely half as many batters as Seaver. They were actually tied for baseballreference WAR that season and their FIPs were a lot closer than their ERAs (Jenkins: 2.38 FIP, Seaver: 1.93). Jenkins likely has a stronger case for 1971 Cy than Seaver, even excluding the actual reason that he won (a league-leading 24 wins to Seaver’s 20).

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      • Ted Lilly says:

        Yes, Jenkins had a lower walk rate and had more complete games (30 vs 21) in 1971. Seaver had 4 SHO and Jenkins 3.

        I guess I just based my remark off of this entry on wikipedia:

        “It is generally conceded that Jenkins’s accolades for 1971 (arguably Seaver’s best season) were in recognition of his amazing pitching performances of the previous four seasons.”

        Even though there is no source for that statement.

        —-

        Nevertheless, I believe that someone who has multiple Cy Youngs (or even one), should be disfavored relative to a pitcher without one. (In this case, Seaver only had one Cy Young in 1971).

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      • psychump says:

        Ron Bryant 1973

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  21. RC says:

    Pitcher WAR isn’t based on on-field performance. The vast majority is based on a predictive tool.

    WAR is basically saying that Halladay has displayed the tools that make him most likely to be the best going forward. Not that he has been the best.

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    • Wilson says:

      Aren’t strikeouts, walks, and home runs allowed on-field performance?

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    • Abreutime says:

      Yeah, that’s why baseball ref’s tool has very different WARs. It’s more reflective of outcomes, and probably more indicative of how voters make their MVP decisions.

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    • Josh says:

      Pitcher WAR is based on FIP, which is derived from strikeouts, walks, home runs, and innings pitched. Therefore, FIP is an indication of what happened and is not predictive. xFIP is the predictive tool, but that isn’t factored into WAR. Pitcher WAR, because it relies on FIP, absolutely indicates on-field performance. It simply excludes the performance of players other than the pitcher (the idea that a pitcher shouldn’t get credit/blame for what the defense behind him does).

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      • RC says:

        FIP ignores 75% of at bats. Its clearly not descriptive.

        Well, it doesn’t actually ignore them. It pretends to ignore them.

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      • Brendan says:

        FIP is an indication of only part of what happened on the field. No, pitchers should not get credit/blame for what the defense did/didn’t do, but FIP excludes too much. Pitchers should get credit for drawing weak contact, and should get blame for allowing loud contact. How hard they’re getting hit is something over which a pitcher does have influence, and is way too big a factor to completely omit in considering his value.

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      • Mrs. Featherbottom says:

        FIP is based on performance, but it is based on a generalized idea of the best way for a pitcher to succeed. A pitcher like Maddux in his prime pretty consistently outperformed his FIP. Between 92 and 2002 he outpitched his FIP in 10 of 11 seasons (one year is was by .01 runs, but 9 of 11 aint bad).

        So becuase Maddux had an ability to succeed despite his historically percieved “flaws” he is pennalized in FIP\WAR. An out is an out, it the real world it doesnt matter if its of the ground, fly, pop, or strike variety. If you know how to, and can pitch to your defense that isnt neccesarily a bad thing. Plus in the day and age of pitch counts, if you can get a pop fly on two pitches instead of a strike out on 6 pitches there is an added value to that.

        So I’ve always felt like WAR should some how incorporate both real ERA (what actually happened) and FIP (what a generalization says should occur based on periphery numbersthat did occur).

        Just a thought.

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      • Wilson says:

        Re: Brendan “Pitchers should get credit for drawing weak contact, and should get blame for allowing loud contact.”

        I agree, how do we measure that? Generally speaking, not relating to the MVP race. All stats below from FanGraphs:

        Stat: Halladay, Kershaw
        Opp BA: .242, .208
        BABIP .311, .277
        LD%: 17.6%, 18.1%
        GB%: 51.4%, 43.7%
        IFFB%: 15.9%, 14.4%

        Just from watching a lot of Halladay’s games, it seems like he often gets hurt by bloopers and grounders.

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      • Brendan says:

        Re: Wilson “how do we measure that?”
        In an ideal world? Take a lot of data on the velocity of batted balls in play, do some regression, and come up with 1) Percentage chance that a ground ball goes for a hit as a function of velocity coming off the bat, 2) Percentage chance that a line drive goes for a hit as a function of velocity coming off the bat, and 3) Percentage chance a fly ball goes for a hit as a function of launch angle. Then produce some sort of “expected hits allowed” metric based off of batted ball characteristics (e.g. a line drive at x mph that has a 60% chance of being a hit counts as .6 expected hits, etc)
        In the real world? The stats you quoted do a decent job, and their addition makes a better case than FIP does by itself. And quite frankly there’s no substitute for watching a man pitch (subjective as it may be).

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      • Brendan says:

        *launch angle should’ve been launch angle and velocity (or maybe distance and hangtime, same idea)

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    • strongbad56 says:

      Pitcher WAR isn’t predictive; it just ignores some important aspects of a pitcher’s performance on the field. Strikeouts, walks, and homeruns are all things that actually happened, but I agree that pitcher WAR is very flawed because it completes ignores balls in play, which are an important part of a pitcher’s performance.

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      • RC says:

        The fact that it uses things that actually happened doesn’t mean its not a predictive tool.

        Also, FIP doesn’t ignore BIP. They;re used in the denominator, just not in any sensical way.

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      • IvanGrushenko says:

        If we used SIERA rather than FIP to calculate WAR wouldn’t we get something like 5.8-6.0 WAR for Halladay? In that case he’d be behind Victorino, and even a tiny bit more if you counted his -0.1 WAR for batting. He’s still a valid choice but the article would have been more interesting if some of these nuances were discussed.

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  22. michaelfranko says:

    Eh, I know this is contrary to the heart of this site, but I think you need to be truly extraordinary for a season relative to everything else if you’re a pitcher and want to win the MVP.

    I mean, let’s face it, if someone told you Halladay was going to pitch like this for the whole season, you’d think that was pretty much in line with expectations.

    It’s just got to be something special to basically just not reward a hitter with a top award, and it takes a special pitching performance coupled with some meh hitting overall.

    2008 is the last time I remember thinking a pitcher should be MVP, and that was CC Sabathia in the NL. I mean, 7 complete games in an 18 game stretch… I get that one player can only make so much of a difference on a team, but it’s very cut and dry here that if the Brewers don’t trade for CC Sabathia, or if they had traded for Rich Harden instead, they almost definitely miss the playoffs.

    I also wasn’t against voting for Manny Ramirez that season for his work with the Dodgers, but in general I’m not a big fan of punishing players who get traded from league to league.

    This isn’t the most WAR award. We can do a little bit of projection and timeliness here. This doesn’t mean we should all vote for Adrian Gonzalez and ignore Jose Bautista (Seriously, don’t do that. No more first basemen for MVP. Of course they have better numbers, so take that in context.), but I feel like the Manny Ramirez example would be fine. I mean, he had three and a half wins (Baseball Reference) in a hair over 50 games for the Dodgers. It’s understandable.

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  23. Nilsilly says:

    According to Jim Bowden yesterday, Ryan Howard is the MVP of the Phillies. Why haven’t the Cubs hired him again? Oh, right. (see previous sentence)

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  24. Travis says:

    In an MVP debate, I think you have to include all aspects of the game. Roy Halladay is useless at the plate. His batting WAR is -0.1 which I think should be added to his pitching WAR. Curiously he is credited with -1.2 baserunning runs despite only reaching base safely 8 times[perhaps he reached in other manners as well] and scoring 3 runs. Cliff Lee for instance had a game where he hit a home run which was the winning run in a 1-run game[in which he allowed no runs, and had 10Ks in 8IP] so it’s wrong to completely discount hitting. The fielding metrics for pitchers seem broken, but subjectively Halladay’s fielding seems fine.

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  25. Josh says:

    Personally, I’m in favor of either scrapping the MVP award, or pushing hard to put the Hank Aaron award on level with the Cy Young award. Pitchers should absolutely be considered for the MVP, but voters focus on the fact that “they have their own award.” So do the hitters, but no one seems to care about that. Pitchers are just as important to the game as position players.

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  26. Mrs. Featherbottom says:

    The simple reason for why Halladay does not deserve the MVP is precedent.
    In current history Maddux 94/95 Randy Johnson 95, Pedro 99/2000, all come to mind quickly as both being deserving of MVP and significantly better than Halladay’s current season.
    The MVP shouldnt be just for position players, but the standard is\should be higher for a pitcher, because they already have an award for there main skill.

    On that point I know that there is already a defensive award and offensive award at each position as well as the Hank Aaron award for the best hitter in all of Baseball. So the MVP shouldnt go the best fielder or Hitter, and instead should go the the Most Valuable Player

    Which brings me to my final Point

    BEN ZOBRIST FOR AL MVP.

    There is no more valuable player than a guy who can be the all aound solid offensive player that he is, as well as field two positions as well as he does.

    Which brings about my issue with WAR, I am a sox fan and love Pedroia but the fact that his positional adjustment is (as of this post) +1.9 and zobrist’s is -0.3 seperates them further in WAR than it should. Zobrist has the ability to fill in at a second position ( and quite well at that) and is penalized for it, as he was back in ’09 when his postional adjustment should have been like +80 for playing anywhere and everwhere and istead was -0.5.

    Ill be okay if pedroia win’s MVP #2 but i’d rather see it go to Zobrist.

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    • Josh says:

      I think this raises a really interesting point. Should a player get extra credit for playing multiple positions well? Or should the normal positional adjustment apply, thus penalizing those like Zobrist who play multiple positions very well, but spend much of their time as a corner outfielder or 1B? Zobrist has proven to be a superb defender at both 2B and RF, but he’s spent enough time in RF to negate the positional adjustment he’d get as a 2B. He seems as though he’s “punished” for his defensive versatility. How should that versatility be quantified? Can it be?

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      • jessef says:

        I’d say you can quantify it as such: if the guy plays some number of games at a second position, you can credit him with saving a roster space for each game he plays at any position.

        And I agree, it is an interesting point and a good idea.

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    • RC says:

      I’d be really surprised if Pedroia couldn’t play LF or RF. I’d also be surprised if he coulnd’t play SS.

      The fact that Zobrist CAN play RF makes him more valuable. The fact that the Rays choose to play him there often makes him less valuable.

      It’s like saying a catcher is more valuable because he can backup 1B. He’s not, everyone can back up first base.

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      • DD says:

        Pedroia was drafted as a SS but was moved to 2B for arm strength and range issues.

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      • RC says:

        Pedroia was moved to 2B because he was blocked by Hanley Ramirez.

        Just as Jed Lowrie was moved from 2B to SS because he was blocked by Pedroia.

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      • Mrs. Featherbottom says:

        The point really isnt to compare zobrist to pedroia, just to point out a flaw in positional adjustment, and therefore WAR as well, which does a good job, but is not the true defintion of Value to me.

        Zobrist does play two positions well (well is the key word for me; not play.); Rightfield which i feel is slightly underrated in the adjustment scale to begin with, and 2nd, and he has the ability to play others somewhat capably though he hasnt yet this year.

        We assume Pedroia can play another postition or two well. One is a known commodity which occurs, one is not.

        The other issue is that Zobrist played close to 3/4 of the time at 2nd, but the negative weight of RF overcomes the positive weight of 2nd. So even though he is mostly a 2nd basemen he has a negative positional by being a part time right fielder as well.

        I have always had an issue with postional adjustments because you are crediting for Example Derek Jeter with 108 runs over the course of his career for playing a position he does not play well, while penalizing ichiro 63 runs for playing a postion he plays extremely well. There should be a way of combining\averaging the plus\minus of the fielding as well as the postional. I know the oulook is that offensive production X out of SS is more valuable than a 1b, but if the SS shouldnt be a SS, than im not quite sure he deserves the credit for being one.

        Now im just beggining to rant, so THE END.

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      • todmod says:

        But the question raised is, what value would it add to the Red Sox if Pedroia played outfield? Why would they ever choose to play him there over 2nd base? Zobrist is great, but I think his outfield flexibility is pretty overrated – how many times can the Rays really get a better bat in at 2nd over a fill-in outfielder?

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      • Mrs. Featherbottom says:

        In the instance where the regular rightfielder needs a day off, or is on the DL, you already have a more than capable RF in waiting if you can fill in 2nd (most teams carry an extra middle infielder obsiously). I’m not even necesarilly arguing that his positional adjusmtment should increase because of his time in RF, but due to the fact that 2nd is +2.5 and right is -7.5 zobrist now has a negative positional value because he is for simplicity’s sake being two players. He is your everday secondbaseman, and your 5th (or 4th potentially) outfielder (who is probably better offensively and defensively than your average non-starting outfielder). He is Pedroia and a much better Darnell McDonald all wrapped up in one, which allows you to carry another valuable weopon on your roster.

        The Red Sox dont need\want pedroia anywhere but 2nd, and im not saying Zobrist deserves credit for playing RF, i just dont feel like he should be penalized.

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      • Telo says:

        Tango showed recently that a roster spot is worth some amount of runs over a season. So, if Pedroia gives you 1/4, or something, of a roster spot of flexibility, then he is providing extra value. It gets pretty wishywashy obviously, but there is a small tangible and possibly calculable benefit.

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    • RC says:

      He’s not being penalized.

      He’s just significantly less valuable when hes playing RF.

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      • Mrs. Featherbottom says:

        Is he really less valuable in right field on a short term basis,??… He is the same hitter, he is the same baserunner\stealer, he is pretty similar defensively. He is of the same value at the plate on the bases and in the field. He is just playing RF, not because he is incapable of playing another postion, or playing another position effecitiently for that matter.

        If a situation arises where the manager feels it is in the teams best interest to have Zobrist in RF, and inserting someone at 2nd instead of just inserting someone in Right, and he playes there and plays there well, I commend that. To many athletes bitch and moan about not wanting to leave a prime postition that makes there offensive numbers look better (Hanley Ramirez and Derek Jeter come to mind).

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      • RC says:

        Yes, hes less valuable.

        Finding a guy who hits like Zobrist and plays 2B is really tough. Finding a guy who does the same in RF isn’t nearly as tough.

        The easier position you put a guy like Zobrist at, the less impressive his hitting is. And the less valuable.

        I mean, to take it to the extreme, if he has the same value in RF, he should have the same value playing 1B. In which case, the defense is useless.

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      • Mr. Featherbottom says:

        I understand the premise of positional adjustment, and i understand and agree with the fact that 284/371/494 is more rare\impressive\valuable coming from second than it is in right. So i would agree his offensive production is less valuable when he plays RF.

        However, that to me is very different than saying that he, ben zobrist, a second baseman, is less valuable because he is capable of filling another role if need be and doing it above average.

        “Finding a guy who hits like Zobrist and plays 2B is really tough”. If your joe maddon you dont need to find him, you have a guy who hits like Ben Zobrist and plays 2b, his name is Ben Zobrist.

        Though it doesn’t come across in in his personal WAR, there is value to the team in a manager being able to put in a middle infielder as a pinch-runner, putting him at second, and sliding Ben into right, instead of utilizing a slower pinch runner who plays right, or putting a lesser defensive player in right in a tight game to keep Ben at 2nd. There is value to the team in not having to utilize a roster spot to carry a 5th outfield, because they already have a pretty good right fielder playing 2nd if need be.

        At some point versatility and value to your team supersedes having your offensive numbers look more impressive because they came at 2B instead of RF.

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  27. Donny says:

    Where’s the Verlander for AL MVP article?

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    • Jason says:

      I agree, Verlander has been way more valuable to the Tigers and no dicsussion?

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      • Wilson says:

        I think everyone at this point considers Verlander to be in the race for AL MVP. ESPN and other mainstream sites have been talking about it a lot. The thing I like about FanGraphs is they come out with different perspectives, such as this one that is hardly being mentioned (except Keith Law did mention in his AL MVP column earlier in the week / last week that if he were looking at the NL, Halladay would be in the lead)

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  28. Ray says:

    no way Halladay should win NL MVP as he plays on a team that includes Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino.

    Is Halladay that important to a team that has that much talent?

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    • Josh says:

      So a player on a team with lots of other great players should never win MVP? When it comes to MVP voting, the performance of a player’s teammates shouldn’t be a consideration. An award of individual merit shouldn’t be based on how well or poorly those around him performed.

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      • RC says:

        And yet, if a team doesn’t have lots of great players, they’re not going to be in the hunt for the playoffs….

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      • Ted Lilly says:

        RC, the hunt is already over for the Phillies, unless they intentionally throw games to give the Braves a chance to win the division. Even then, the Braves have a commanding lead over the wild card that the Phillies would easily win the wild card in such a case. I think that an MVP or Cy Young candidate that performed well on a contending team in late August and September should be favored over other candidates. (This doesn’t depend on the actual outcome of the playoff race: players should be rewarded for significantly increasing the odds that their team would make the postseason, if a pitcher keeps his team in a pennant race through his September starts, but his team experiences a heartrending loss on the last game, the pitcher’s accomplishments during that stretch should make him favorable relative to other Cy Young candidates of similar talent.) However, this should not be considered in the 2011 NL Cy Young voting, since no Cy Young caliber starting pitchers are on NL contending teams, unless you consider Ian Kennedy’s line (HR/9 0.9, BB/9 2.4, K/9 7.7) to be Cy Young caliber.

        The Phillies are not even a “contending team”, and certainly their games would not make the NL division/wild card races interesting, unless they play the Giants or Diamondbacks. Halladay doesn’t deserve to be rewarded for pitching for the Phillies, since his contributions are not integral to the team’s success throughout the season, although individually, he has a superlative year. (In contrast, we can reasonably say that the 2010 Aubrey Huff (5.8 Fangraphs) was the difference between the Giants staying home throughout October, and getting a chance to win the World Series.)

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    • Mrs. Featherbottom says:

      The award isn’t MVPTHT (Most Valuable Player to his Team), just MVP. You shouldnt discredit someone for having talented teammates. Nor should you credit them for the teammates accomplishments (runs\rbis\wins). I’ve always had a distaste for those: If you take Player X off a 100 win team they still make the playoffs, but if you take player Y off a 92 win team they dont.

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    • James Lewis says:

      God I hate this argument. Your perception of value is being influenced by the specific circumstances of the player, and a simple analogy will show what I mean.

      Suppose, or example, that I have a $100 bill to give to one of two people, a multi-millionaire, or a homeless man. The “value” of that $100 stays the same regardless of which individual I give it to. The fact that it will almost certainly have a bigger “impact” on the homeless man in no way changes the value of the $100. Each person can still acquire the same $100 in goods and services by exchanging the money.

      The same is true for baseball players. Take Halladay off the Phils and put him elsewhere and he still provides the same value to that team, if not necessarily the same impact. The award is for the most valuable player, not the player most important to his team (and even then I’m not sure I’d agree with you).

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      • RC says:

        The value of $100 is extremely high to a homeless man. The value of $100 to a millionaire is extremely low.

        From Dictionary.com;
        1. relative worth, merit, or importance

        Notice the first word there? RELATIVE. As in, to the person, or team influenced by the player. $100 has much more relative worth to a poor person than a rich one.

        You’re looking for the word “Worth”. Value is absolutely relative.

        Thats the real problem here. Most people don’t actually know what the word “Value” means.

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      • Telo says:

        It’s the crux of why MVP voting is so crrraaazyyyyy. Everyone has their own definition of what MVP means, and there’s a logical argument for many different interpretations.

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      • RC says:

        Telo,

        Honestly, I believe it should just go to the best guy. But yeah, thats not what value means.

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      • Blue says:

        “The “value” of that $100 stays the same regardless of which individual I give it to. ”

        This is 100 percent wrong.

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  29. The Nicker says:

    Ray makes a good point, not that I agree with it exactly but it needs to be mentioned.

    Fangraphs has essentially written off the three position players for the Red Sox as legitimate MVP candidates (Ellsbury, Gonzalez, Pedroia), in part because of some players’ exorbitant UZR scores but also in part because they are all getting equally large contributions from each and thus it’s hard to vote one for MVP when they may not even be the best player on their respective team.

    Now this articles comes along touting Halladay for MVP when he has three teammates (2 pitchers and 1 hitter) on his own team that have essentially been as valuable as he is. Now a Cy Young is for the best pitcher, period, and I have no problem giving that to Halladay (although him and Kershaw are basically neck and neck, and rightfully so), but during MVP voting other factors should be taken into account.

    I don’t agree with Ray’s point about not voting for a guy for MVP because he has teammates that are just as good and his team is running away with the division. I’m just saying, note that the Phillies and the Red Sox are basically in the same boat on this MVP thing, and they should be judged accordingly.

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    • The Nicker says:

      Addendum: Verlander deserves the AL MVP more than Halladay deserves the NL MVP.

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    • Josh says:

      I don’t think Fangraphs is writing off the Red Sox players. And they certainly aren’t writing them off for having awesome teammates. They simply all seem to believe that the MVP award should go to the BEST player, and that has been Jose Bautista this year. They aren’t taking teammates into consideration at all.

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  30. Bronnt says:

    I’m not categorically against pitchers winning the MVP, but I think they need to be CLEAR leaders, and it needs to be regardless of methodology. Roy Halladay has a slim 0.4 fWAR lead in the NL-that’s, for example, within a reasonable fielding error margin. And if you look at bWAR, he’s in fifth place for WAR. So there’s arguments for at least four other players, which means that I’m going to focus on them rather than the pitcher. There’s actual, solid reasons to look at things like ERA instead of FIP for awards voting, since ERA, despite its flaws, points to actual results.

    So basically, pitchers need to have transcendent seasons in order for me to think they deserve the MVP. Pedro Martinez should have won it in 1999, maybe in 2000 also (regardless, Jason Giambi should NOT have won). Greg Maddux should have won the MVP in 1995. Roger Clemens probably should have won it in 1997. Beyond that, I can’t think of many others from the last 20 years.

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    • jim says:

      ironic that he won in 2000 when he shouldn’t have, then not in 2001 when he should have. and that he lost out to ichiro, ugh..

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  31. akas247 says:

    It’s true starting pitchers only affect one out of every five games, but they affect that one game so greatly.

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  32. DLighty says:

    WAR is still a very imperfect stat. While voting for the postseason awards should at least consider these, they should definitely not be based on them.

    How can Halladay be considered the NL MVP he probably isn’t the CY Young? Kershaw has a slight edge in every major pitching category. W, W%, K’s, ERA, IP (tie), Ratio, BAA, OPSA? Yes, slight adjustments should be made for park factors, but giving a guy a voting edge because of BABIP? You gotta be kidding me. These new stats are a framework but not the tell all. Of course reversion to the mean exists in extreme circumstances of unluckiness (Bumgarner this year), but certain pitchers have higher BABIP because of the way they pitch. So, Halladay gets extra credit because some of hits are from weak grounders, even though these all these ground balls are the same thing that makes him so successful…Why should he get a double bonus here?

    Why not give extra credit to Kershaw for having a .188 BAA vs #3 and 4 hitters while Halladay’s is .276? Doesn’t doing a better job against a team’s best hitters have some value? What about pitching better with runners on?

    At a certain point you just have to look at results. And ERA/Ratio/OPSA, albethem old, should really be the bulk of the voting puzzle.

    And if Halladay can’t even separate himself in the NL Cy Young race, he shouldn’t be considered even in the top 5 of the MVP voting (unless you’re ok with putting Kershaw in there as well).

    That being said, when it’s all said and done, Braun will win the NL MVP award.

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    • A guy from PA says:

      Can you guys tell my why ERA is so much better at telling you how a pitcher did than RA. If you’re going to dismiss runs scored via errors, you should really discount runs scored via dinky hits that are no better hit than balls that are called errors.

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      • RC says:

        There’s no real way to tell what are dinky hits, because its not tracked. Errors are tracked.

        Its not perfect, but its better than just ignoring them.

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    • Wilson says:

      What is Ratio?

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    • Chris says:

      So, they’re close in all the “major” categories, yet Halladay leads pretty convincingly in all peripheral stats, therefore Halladay isn’t clear leader?

      Nobody’s giving Halladay the edge over Kershaw because of babip, it’s because aside from K’s, Halladay does just about everything related to pitching better than him.

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  33. Thought says:

    DLighty brings up a good point. Traditional stats shouldn’t be undervalued just because they have traditionally been overvalued

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  34. Ted Lilly says:

    Would anyone count against Halladay the fact that he’s already won two Cy Youngs. I am against giving the award to a multiple Cy Young winner that marginally outperformed another pitcher that hasn’t yet won a Cy Young. Someone like Halladay doesn’t need the extra recognition of a Cy Young. (In contrast, I bet few will remember Jack McDowell or Pat Hentgen if they haven’t won a Cy Young.) Multiple Cy Young awards must win by many lengths against other candidates in order to get another Cy Young. Randy Johnson certainly fits this during 1999-2001, but in 2002, I think Schilling should have won because he has a high FanGraphs WAR (although Johnson has a higher Baseball Reference WAR) and half as many walks, although Johnson has a lower ERA by .9 point.

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    • jessef says:

      I don’t know, I might be going out on a limb here, but I think it probably makes more sense to give the best pitching award to the guy who pitched the best.

      Pat Hentgen won his Cy Young Award because he was a very good pitcher who had an exceptional year. Personally, I think giving the award to players just because they hadn’t won it yet would cheapen it for the guys who really deserved it. You are right that MLB did this for a while (long before the Cy Young Award even existed, players were only eligible for MVP once) but they realized that didn’t make sense.

      Also, Clayton Kershaw is how old? Does he really need a pity award at this point?

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      • Ted Lilly says:

        Pat Hentgen wouldn’t have won the award if Randy Johnson hadn’t been (presumably) injured since he only pitched 61 innings.

        I believe that he was the better candidate of the award in 1996 relative to Pettitte. He had 10 complete games and three shutouts, and the lowest HR/9 in the AL (.7 although it most certainly isn’t Greg Maddux good) that year. He also had the a K/BB ratio lower than 2 that year. It is obvious that he is the benefactor of fortuitous circumstances, such as the Johnson injury. Surprisingly, Mariano Rivera was in third place even though he wasn’t yet a closer. (Mike Marshall was the only non-starter/non-closer to win a Cy Young.) One can make a reasonable case that Rivera deserves the award more that year, but I have no objection with Hentgen winning over Rivera.

        Yes, you are correct. Kershaw should win the award legitimately eventually (as long he doesn’t collapse) if he doesn’t win this year. There is a weak case, but a case nonetheless, that Kershaw should win the 2011 NL Cy Young because Halladay is not way better than him and that he hasn’t won one yet. I will concede that my argument wasn’t compelling.

        I think previous accolades should a tertiary factor (or at best a secondary factor) in choosing Cy Young candidates (or MVP candidates). The primary factor should be their actual pitching performance (independent of outcome which is measured by ERA) which is quantified by defense independent pitching metrics, such as FIP. However, “previous accolades” should be considered a higher factor than the win-loss record which is influenced by a pitcher’s offense and luck.

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      • Bip says:

        Since I believe in the stats used by fangraphs and B-Ref, I won’t argue that Kershaw should win the Cy Young, but I really think he could win it considering he leads Halladay in every triple crown category and is tied with him in innings. If Kershaw finishes the season as the win and strikeout leader and remains ahead of Halladay in ERA, then I think the award goes to Kershaw. Barring an amazing September from Lee, Hamels or Lincecum, it’s between Kershaw and Halladay, and right now Kershaw has the edge in the categories that the voters look at.

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      • baty says:

        I’m still pretty dumb with this stuff, but I’m not understanding why Kershaw’s case should be so weak. If you believe DIPS to be the end all be all, then it makes the decision relatively easy. Kershaw will always be less favored when you limit the context of balls in play, but I think there’s something to be said about his relatively consistent and favorable triple slash against lines, BABIP, HR/FB%, etc…

        If you ignore park factors and include plays that involve defense, I think his numbers are stronger than Halladay. If you include park factors, and remove plays that involve defense, Halladay is a stronger candidate. Either way, each is still a blanket solution that doesn’t tell the complete story, even though the latter is a more viable form of evaluation.

        I don’t understand why it would be desirable, outside of it being easier, to continue limiting context when analyzing a sample size as small as a single season. We still ignore context that we don’t understand way too often because it’s cleaner to limit or remove context that is perceived as being minimally influential. I think it still blurs the line between expected performance and actual performance.

        With an opportunity like this, it’s carefully crafted context that can provide a robust solution. For one, in an ideal world, If we had a way to include factual pitching effects in regard to batted ball data and fielding allowances, we could decrease assumption, and I bet the decision between the two would not be as clear as some believe it to be. I still have a problem with trusting the accuracy and relevance of batted ball data. There has to be hidden BABIP skill sets that we are unaware of.

        Also, Do we have BABIP data broken into GB, FB, and LD categories? Or say team UZR related data within pitcher starts?

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      • My echo and bunnymen says:

        @baty: I’m not trying to be a smart ass, but the Cy Young and MVP awards are for a single year, whether or not we know the most about what makes an individual pitcher/hitter the most valuable doesn’t matter. Adding year to year data will eventually clear up this mess, but for now we only have so much information (just like GMs) and so we’re making a decision based on the tools at hand. I don’t know how to explain that we’re just doing our best and if in a year or two it turns out we were wrong, then we’ll look back and laugh, but at least we’ll know we used the best tools to do the best job we could.

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  35. Antonio Bananas says:

    Baseball awards, in the tradition of the sport, should be vague in a way that may or may not actually indicate how well a player has performed. I mean, why do you think people ever cared about RBI or a pitchers’ win? Yes, in a very small way those stats are attributed to the player, but it’s mostly just a vague generalization.

    TRADITION!!!!

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  36. Garrett says:

    lol @ a FIP based metric. WPA is complete shit. R/9 IMO.

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  37. Bip says:

    I think that MVP should consider all players and they should create a “Cy Young” for position players award. Let the MVP go to a player on a contending team, let it go to a relief pitcher, and let Jose Bautista win the hitters’ Cy Young.

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  38. UMMdidimisssomething says:

    I can’t believe in this long an MVP debate how few people have mentioned the returning NL MVP who currently leads all NL position players in WAR…Seriously what does Joey Votto gotta do to get some attention, play 1B while doing a handstand?

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