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Monday, August 11, 2014

CAN CLAYTON KERSHAW WIN THE MVP?

Since Clayton Kershaw came back from the disabled list in May, he has been pitching even better than ever. His 2014 ERA (1.78) is even better than his 2013 ERA. He also hasn’t allowed an un-earned run, so his RA9 is also 1.78. Kershaw’s 1.76 FIP is the best of his career by over half a run. Johnny Cueto is still relatively close to Kershaw in adjusted ERA, and he has more innings. He might still win over voters in the Cy Young voting, based on how they have voted in the past (let’s face it, 99% of the BBWAA doesn’t care about FIP). Even so, Kershaw’s peripherals blow everyone else out of the water. Kershaw would be up there with the best in baseball in counting stats, too, if Felix Hernandez wasn’t also out of his mind and if Cueto didn’t have 40 more innings.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 11, 2014 at 06:11 PM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. The District Attorney Posted: August 11, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4769016)
I hope so!

Probably not, though.
   2. VoodooR Posted: August 11, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4769043)
I feel that if Pedro didn't get MVP that one year, we should stop the pretense of pitchers being "eligible" for what is usually a "Position Player of the Year"* award.
   3. BDC Posted: August 11, 2014 at 09:59 PM (#4769047)
What's Justin Verlander, chopped liver?
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: August 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM (#4769063)
Pedro had the same problem that Verlander is going to run into, a starting pitcher who misses 3-5 starts is going to have a problem. Whether the voters are right in that assessment is a debate, but I doubt you will see many starting pitchers with 3 weeks on the DL winning the MVP if there is a viable everyday player candidate. Fortunately for Kershaw, there isn't really a viable everyday candidate, McCutchen got injured, Stanton plays for a non-contender, Tulowitzki got injured....the best everyday player is probably Lucroy and he's a catcher, so there is a good chance his numbers will drop as the season progress's.

(let’s face it, 99% of the BBWAA doesn’t care about FIP)

Article seems to imply something like that is a bad thing.
   5. puck Posted: August 11, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4769069)
Wow, Ryan Howard is 3rd in the NL in RBI.
   6. Ziggy Posted: August 11, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4769077)
I've gotta think that Kershaw's chances are pretty good, actually. Pitchers can win it when there aren't any position players who are clearly ahead of the pack, and that sure describes this year. How long is Tulo out? He might win it despite missing some games. Stanton is the other obvious choice - maybe leading the league in HR and RBI would be enough to get it? Puig is another possibility, though he doesn't have any of the really shiny stats that gets sports writers' attention. I'd say it goes something like this at the moment:

Stanton > Kershaw > Tulo > Puig
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 11, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4769079)
Kershaw might lose the MVP to his own teammate- Puig.
   8. The District Attorney Posted: August 11, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4769080)
Wow, Ryan Howard is 3rd in the NL in RBI.
And yet even the Philadelphia Phillies clearly realize he's no good. I think it's official, sabermetrics won!
   9. Walt Davis Posted: August 11, 2014 at 10:59 PM (#4769102)
Nah, it's just proof that Howard is a clutch performer who puts the team ahead of his personal numbers by avoiding those rally-killing HR.

It seems to me historically that they love giving the MVP to a catcher when there's one available. I think it's probably LuCroy in front at the moment.
   10. OCF Posted: August 11, 2014 at 11:10 PM (#4769110)
I feel that if Pedro didn't get MVP that one year, we should stop the pretense of pitchers being "eligible" for what is usually a "Position Player of the Year"* award.

For me, that was Dwight Gooden, 1985, who didn't get the NL MVP. But whaddaya know, the very next year, they gave the AL MVP to Roger Clemens, on a case that was less clear-cut than Gooden's. (I know, different leagues = somewhat different voters.)

On the other hand: Gooden threw 280 some innings, and Bob Gibson had 300 innings when he won in 1968. Can you really rack up the same kind of value in 210 innings or so?
   11. Booey Posted: August 11, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4769112)
I feel that if Pedro didn't get MVP that one year, we should stop the pretense of pitchers being "eligible" for what is usually a "Position Player of the Year"* award.


Not really, cuz the AL in 1999 was an epic year for star hitters having career or near career years, even if you only focus on guys on playoff teams.

Pudge, a gold glove catcher, hit .332 with 35 homers, 113 rbi, 116 runs scored, and 25 steals for a division winner. Teammate Palmeiro hit .324/.420/.630 with 47 homers and 148 rbi (both 2nd in the league).

Jeter put up monster numbers as a shortstop on a division winning team - .349/.438/.552 with 24 homers, 102 rbi, 219 hits, and 134 runs, and Bernie Williams put up very similar numbers as the teams CF - .342/.435/.536 with 25 homers, 115 rbi, 202 hits, and 116 runs scored.

Nomar, Pedro's teammate for the Wild Card winning Red Sox, won the batting title and nearly matched Jeter's overall numbers at shortstop - .357/.418/.603 with 27 homers, 104 rbi's, and 103 runs scored.

Manny Ramirez for the division winning Indians hit .333/.442/.663 with 44 homers, 131 runs scored, and 165 rbi's (the most in over 60 years). Teammate Roberto Alomar hit .323/.422/.533 with 24 homers, 120 rbi, 37 stolen bases, and a league leading 138 runs scored as a gold glove 2nd baseman.

So yeah, all 4 AL playoff teams had at least 2 serious MVP candidates. There's no one in the current NL with numbers that pop out at you like any of the above. I'd say Kershaw has a better chance than Pedro did.

Man, I miss the late 90's...
   12. Scott Ross Posted: August 11, 2014 at 11:16 PM (#4769114)
LuCroy's gonna have a tough time winning MVP honors seeing as he's sure to be left off both ballots out of St. Louis.
   13. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 12, 2014 at 12:29 AM (#4769145)
#12. Why? What's the grudge?
   14. bobm Posted: August 12, 2014 at 12:30 AM (#4769146)
Wow, Ryan Howard is 3rd in the NL in RBI.

And yet even the Philadelphia Phillies clearly realize he's no good. I think it's official, sabermetrics won!


Per http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2014-situational-batting.shtml

Ryan Howard, among MLB batters:

 1st in BR                -- Total Number of Baserunners when batter at plate (all MLB batters)
 4th in BR per PA @ 0.737 -- 2nd place hitter is Encarnacion @ 0.741 (minimum 360 PA)
64th in BRS%              -- Percentage of all baserunners who scored on the batter’s play (not necessarily with an RBI); 
                          -- out of 163 batters with minimum 360 PA 


2014 Batters, Minimum 360 PA, Sorted by BRS%

             Name      Age  Tm  PA    Ptn%  BR  BR/PA     BRS     BRS%
   Miguel Cabrera       31 DET 492     29% 269  0.547      70      26%
       Ryan Braun       30 MIL 414     27% 218  0.527      54      25%
      Kurt Suzuki       30 MIN 373     30% 230  0.617      48      21%
       Jose Abreu       27 CHW 448     25% 263  0.587      56      21%
   Aramis Ramirez       36 MIL 365     22% 208  0.570      43      21%
   Robinson Cano*       31 SEA 484     62% 266  0.550      55      21%
  Justin Morneau*       33 COL 406     73% 261  0.643      51      20%
    David Murphy*       32 CLE 405     80% 247  0.610      50      20%
Michael Brantley*       27 CLE 495     69% 293  0.592      59      20%
     Omar Infante       32 KCR 407     28% 235  0.577      47      20%
[...]
     Ryan Howard*       34 PHI 483     76% 356  0.737      55      15%
[...]
 LgAvg per 600 PA              600     55% 359  0.598      49      14%


* = LHB
   15. jdennis Posted: August 12, 2014 at 01:14 AM (#4769153)
great post, #14. really insightful. very interesting how two guys are way ahead of everyone else. also good evidence that howard is completely average at driving in runners, though that might say he is slightly better than his slash numbers.
   16. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:01 AM (#4769159)
Miguel Cabrera 31 DET 492 29% 269 0.547 70 26%


If I'm not mistaken, Miggy is normally very high on this list. The dude does seem to consistently rake with guys on base.
Bobm, thanks for the chart, can you run an historical one? I'd love to see about guys like Musial, Aaron, Williams etc.
Maybe 5000PA minimum, sorted by BRS%
Who really was the clutchiest of the clutch type of random thing?
   17. zachtoma Posted: August 12, 2014 at 05:34 AM (#4769169)
What about Carlos Gomez? He looks like a legitimate MVP candidate to me that should be able to garner more broad-based support than Lucroy since he has more star power. He'd probably be my guy if I had to vote today.
   18. Lassus Posted: August 12, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4769186)
Gomez has too much fun to be eligible. Same with Puig. The writers would rather choke than vote for those two.
   19. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 12, 2014 at 09:04 AM (#4769189)
The National League MVP is obviously Mike Trout.
   20. JE (Jason) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4769207)
It seems to me historically that they love giving the MVP to a catcher when there's one available. I think it's probably LuCroy in front at the moment.

I would love to see LuCroy win, but if Molina doesn't get injured shortly before the All-Star Game, no casual fans outside the NL Central cities would even know who he is, let alone his awesomeness.
   21. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4769235)

The NL MVP should probably be a pitcher this year - Kershaw, Cueto and Wainright are all making pretty good cases given the lack of position players having standout seasons. The problem is, they are all sitting on 14 wins with 8-9 starts likely remaining, and it's hard for me to see a pitcher with fewer than 20 wins getting the MVP.

It will be a tight race for the Cy Young Award - Kershaw has the gaudy ERA and peripherals but may not reach 200 IP, in which case it may go to one of the other two guys. Depends how they all perform down the stretch.
   22. alilisd Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4769552)
What's Justin Verlander, chopped liver?


No, he's Kate Upton's Boy Toy.
   23. deputydrew Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4769557)
Lucroy would be one of the most surprising MVP picks of all time, or at least recent memory. Right? Who's at the top of the list? Jeff Burroughs? Ichiro? Terry Pendleton?
   24. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4769560)
Lucroy would be one of the most surprising MVP picks of all time, or at least recent memory. Right? Who's at the top of the list? Jeff Burroughs? Ichiro? Terry Pendleton?


Before the season, probably Pendleton. But Lucroy would still be a surprise at this point, as far as I'm concerned.

Stanton, Gomez or Puig, with Kershaw having a chance only if he keeps going just like this (he'd probably be the favorite if he had the innings pitched of the other top guys). Stanton's my guess, particularly if the Marlins finish over .500.
   25. toratoratora Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4769577)
For me, that was Dwight Gooden, 1985, who didn't get the NL MVP. But whaddaya know, the very next year, they gave the AL MVP to Roger Clemens, on a case that was less clear-cut than Gooden's. (I know, different leagues = somewhat different voters.)

Clemens won 14 straight to start the season, "leading" the Sox out of nowhere to an unexpected playoff birth. That made for great narrative. Then toss in the romanticism about the Sawx in those days. Mattingly had a great year but the Yanks weren't in the playoffs, Boggs was his usual terrific Boggsy self, which meant the writers wrote him off as a singles hitter and ignored him, Barfield failed to hit .300 which brings the choice down to guys like Puckett, Rice and Brett.
Right now I can see making a case that the award is Kershaw's to lose. Until recently I would have said the Dread Pirate, but his injury leaves the race wide open. Lucroy is going to get votes, but he's hurt because Yadi is pretty much seen as the best catcher in the league, Gomez is a hothead (Not giving my perception of him but how I think the writers see him)and Puig is a lightning rod on a team with tons of talent and the highest payroll in the league
Plus Kershaw's already got a terrific narrative going, the whole best Dodger pitcher since Koufax and best MLB pitcher since Pedro. He's had a nice run leading up to this year, lots of press, he's fashionably white and already has a shelf full of awards and accolades. If a pitcher can win it, he's primed.
It's a similar situation to Verlander a few years back.

I think that Pedro's losing the MVP opened some eyes, especially in retrospect as more and more people realize how badly he was robbed. I suspect Pitchers have a better chance now than they did then and receive more serious consideration than the previous instant dismissal
   26. Ziggy Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4769586)
Yeah Pendleton. I'd always been under the impression that Bonds was robbed, but, looking back over it, I realize that it may have been Glavine who got robbed. He was led the league 9.3 to (Bonds') 7.9 WAR.

Lucroy would surprise me. So would Gomez. Those are good players on a good team, but neither one is doing anything eye-catching. Lucroy is hitting 300, but Mauer hit 300 regularly and only got the one MVP award (in one of the greatest catching seasons of all time). Gomez doesn't hit for enough power or a high enough average (or steal enough bases) to get the writers on board. He does all of those things well, but nothing stands out for them to latch onto. (And he's pretty far down the list of people who actually deserve it, as well.)

Stanton's 2014 looks, in some ways, like Dawson's 1987. Leading the league in HR and RBI for a non-contender, with no one else really standing out as a good candidate. Of course Dawson also had a GG and the blank contract thing, which does give him a better story line.
   27. Ziggy Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4769604)
Fangraphs has a story about Felix and the MVP: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/felix-hernandez-and-the-al-mvp/
   28. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4769605)
Lucroy would be one of the most surprising MVP picks of all time, or at least recent memory. Right? Who's at the top of the list? Jeff Burroughs? Ichiro? Terry Pendleton?

I didn't follow the AL as closely back then, but I remember Pudge Rodriguez's MVP being completely out-of-the-blue. The conventional wisdom today is that Pedro got robbed, but I remember thinking there were 5 or so guys (Pedro, Jeter, Alomar, Manny, Palmeiro) who all seemed like reasonable candidates. Pudge just wasn't on my radar screen.
   29. Booey Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4769617)
I think that Pedro's losing the MVP opened some eyes, especially in retrospect as more and more people realize how badly he was robbed. I suspect Pitchers have a better chance now than they did then and receive more serious consideration than the previous instant dismissal

Think so? Pedro deserved to win, of course, but I don't remember it being surprising that he didn't. I know that I didn't expect him to. Considering how few pitchers even come close to winning, I remember being surprised at how many people were surprised. After Maddux didn't win in '95, I pretty much accepted that the standards must have changed and starting pitchers just probably weren't going to win anymore.

Lucroy would surprise me.


Ditto. I don't see the writers having a preference for catchers that some seem to. Piazza put up ridiculous offensive numbers for a decade and never won (and he coulda/shoulda in at least one of 1995-1997). Berra and Campy won a bunch of times, but that was back in the 50's. Voting was different. Bench was obvious, as were Mauer and Posey, IMO. All 3 had much better numbers than Lucroy. Carter and Fisk never won. Other than the one season (where again, he had much better tradional numbers than Lucroy), Pudge Rodriguez never came particularly close.
   30. Booey Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4769625)
I didn't follow the AL as closely back then, but I remember Pudge Rodriguez's MVP being completely out-of-the-blue. The conventional wisdom today is that Pedro got robbed, but I remember thinking there were 5 or so guys (Pedro, Jeter, Alomar, Manny, Palmeiro) who all seemed like reasonable candidates. Pudge just wasn't on my radar screen.


That's how I remember it too. I didn't expect Pedro to win, but I didn't expect Pudge to either. Considering the writers obsession with ribbies at the time - Mo Vaughn and Juan Gone (twice!) won in the previous few seasons for no reason other than having a bunch of rbi's for a playoff team - I expected the MVP to be either Manny or Raffy.
   31. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4769645)
Technically, yes he can.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4769653)
I don't see the writers having a preference for catchers that some seem to


I don't think the voters have a preference, but they will elevate a catcher with less offensive stats by narrative over nearly any other position, but if he has the offensive chops, then he doesn't get a narrative bonus, it's weird in that way, but it seems true to me.

If Lucroy finishes the season at the same rate (including games played pace) and the Brewers make the post season(or are close) I do think he gets the Brewers spot for reasons mentioned about Gomez and his relationship with the writers. But if that is the case and nobody pulls away with it, then I wouldn't be shocked if Kershaw(sub 2.00 era required) wins it. Obviously there is a lot of season left and two bad games from Kershaw would torpedo his chances. Or a 10 homerun/30 rbi September from Matt Adams or McCutchen or Heyward etc(anybody on a playoff bound team). and it could pretty much eliminate anyone from competition.

Heck in the end, this might be 1987, with Giancarlo Stanton being Andre Dawson.(only difference, is that Stanton might at least be top 3 deserving)

   33. Srul Itza Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4769661)
Lucroy is having a great year, but in mid August his "triple crown numbers" are .306 12 HR 53 RBI; and he is 5th in WAR among position players. I don't see that combination drawing a lot of voters to him.

Stanton's having a fine year, but I don't think he has the "stand out from the crowd excellence" necessary to draw a lot of voters to a player for a team under .500.

The year Verlander got the MVP, he had 24 wins and was second in WAR to Ben Zobrist, a lot of whose value came on defense. Starting pitchers who get the MVP often pile up a large number of wins. I don't know if Kershaw has the starts left to really do that.

At this point, any of the top players who get hot from here to the finish, and whose team does well, could walk away with it, a la Chipper Jones in 1999.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4769672)
Lucroy is having a great year, but in mid August his "triple crown numbers" are .306 12 HR 53 RBI; and he is 5th in WAR among position players. I don't see that combination drawing a lot of voters to him.


I think the writers are idiots, but if he still has that pace in September, then I think the hometown writers will push articles for his narrative. Great pitch framer, great game caller, great defender, has helped improve the pitching staff, while providing good offense.

Stanton's having a fine year, but I don't think he has the "stand out from the crowd excellence" necessary to draw a lot of voters to a player for a team under .500.


Stanton will probably lead the league in homeruns, rbi's and top three among position player in WAR, he doesn't need to stand out, there just has to be no stand out contenders on a contending team. All you have to do to find a comparison is go back one year ago to Goldschmidt. If the voters are split on their choice, and consistently pick Stanton second or third on the ballot, then he could eke into the winners circle with few first place votes. (you know those writers who won't vote for a guy unless he is on a contender, at least in the first slot, but then never have a problem voting for a non-contender in the second spot)

The year Verlander got the MVP, he had 24 wins and was second in WAR to Ben Zobrist, a lot of whose value came on defense. Starting pitchers who get the MVP often pile up a large number of wins. I don't know if Kershaw has the starts left to really do that.

Agree, last year Kershaw came in 7th(despite having 8.4 to 7.9 war lead...although arguing about war to the decimal is a fools errand, still Kershaw was very good last yer, but only had a 16-9, 1.83 era last year...this year he reasonably gets 19-6? do those 3 wins pull him up in the voting? I think there will be articles trying to shame writers to vote for him, not sure it will have any impact on the final tally though)

At this point, any of the top players who get hot from here to the finish, and whose team does well, could walk away with it, a la Chipper Jones in 1999.

Absolutely agree here.
   35. stanmvp48 Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4769678)
Without looking, who leads major league catchers in home runs?

   36. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4769682)
Devin Mesoraco?

   37. stanmvp48 Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4769692)
Correct. In about 300 plate appearances.
   38. Ziggy Posted: August 12, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4769720)
Is Tulowitzki all the way out of it? (When is he due back?)

I was wondering if he could win it if he got into 30 more games. (Which would give him about 120 for the year.) The answer is: probably not, but maybe.

In recent years, the lowest games played total by a winner (non-strike year) is Willie Stargel, with 126 in 1979. Bonds won with 130 once (but slugged .749 that year). Hamilton won in 133 games just a few years ago. Things were different in the early days, but I don't know that we can draw any conclusions from Roger Peckinpaugh's 1925 award. (BB-Ref lists MVPs going back to 1911, but, if memory serves, it's not in fact the same award all the way through. It makes no mention of when the current award began - wikipedia says 1931.)
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4769733)
Is Tulowitzki all the way out of it? (When is he due back?)


I would say so. He's on a non-contender and is not going to have unworldly numbers to impress the voters.

I was wondering if he could win it if he got into 30 more games. (Which would give him about 120 for the year.) The answer is: probably not, but maybe.


No. He would have to post a Bonds 2003 type of season to enter the discussion. Willie Stargell(1979), Mickey Mantle(1962)and Joe Dimmaggio(1939) are the only non-catchers(non-strike seasons) to win the mvp with less than 130 games, and all three were on playoff bound teams. If the Rockies were contenders, Troy would be in the discussion, without that, his great year is going to be overlooked because of his injury.
   40. toratoratora Posted: August 12, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4769738)
Think so? Pedro deserved to win, of course, but I don't remember it being surprising that he didn't.

I wasn't surprised either and maybe this is a smidgen of hopeful thinking, but it seems to me that in the years since pitchers have received more attention than prior to Pedro.
Course I could just be projecting...
   41. OCF Posted: August 12, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4769746)
but I don't know that we can draw any conclusions from Roger Peckinpaugh's 1925 award. ..., but, if memory serves, it's not in fact the same award all the way through.

The League Award (which is what we're talking about) had a rule that any one player could only win the award once. The Senators won the pennant by a goodly margin, so the voters were looking for a Senator. Walter Johnson was ineligible - he'd already won a League Award. (And he'd also won the previous-generation Chalmers Award once, not that that matters.) No Senator position player really stood out. I suppose you could have gone for Covaleski (also a Senator pitcher), but Johnson was still the star of the team.

If you drop down to the second place A's, there's Al Simmons; from the fourth place Tigers, there's Goose Goslin. No one in the league had even a 7.0 WAR. (Part of that was the self-immolation of Babe Ruth for the season. Of course, Ruth wasn't eligible either, having won in 1923.)

The case for Lou Gehrig for the 1927 League award was made simple because Babe Ruth was ineligible. But I think that even under modern rules, Gehrig would still have won that one. The same basic narrative elements are there as in picking Kevin Mitchell over Will Clark in 1989.
   42. bobm Posted: August 12, 2014 at 10:13 PM (#4769891)
[16] Bobm, thanks for the chart, can you run an historical one? I'd love to see about guys like Musial, Aaron, Williams etc.
Maybe 5000PA minimum, sorted by BRS%
Who really was the clutchiest of the clutch type of random thing?


Pct of Baserunners driven in (excluding batter-runner), 1973-2014, min 5000 total PA and min 900 BRBI, sorted from greatest to least but shown rounded to 2 digits

           Player    BR BR/PA BRBI% BRBI
   Miguel Cabrera  5081  0.67  19%  963
    Juan Gonzalez  5236  0.73  19%  970
    Manny Ramirez  6995  0.72  18% 1276
     Larry Walker  5148  0.64  18%  928
      Dave Parker  6486  0.64  18% 1154
     George Brett  7204  0.62  18% 1279
    Albert Pujols  5959  0.66  18% 1057
   Carlos Delgado  5871  0.68  18% 1039
  Magglio Ordonez  5330  0.69  18%  943
Vladimir Guerrero  5933  0.65  18% 1047
     Frank Thomas  6706  0.67  18% 1183
 Andres Galarraga  5869  0.66  17% 1026
  Keith Hernandez  5210  0.61  17%  909
   Aramis Ramirez  5535  0.67  17%  965
     Jose Canseco  5431  0.67  17%  945
       Carlos Lee  5777  0.66  17% 1005
       Will Clark  5299  0.64  17%  921
      Todd Helton  5985  0.63  17% 1037
      Moises Alou  5516  0.70  17%  955
    Harold Baines  7204  0.65  17% 1244
   Carlos Beltran  5799  0.62  17% 1000
      Mike Piazza  5266  0.68  17%  908
      David Ortiz  6128  0.70  17% 1056
      Ted Simmons  5624  0.69  17%  967
      Bobby Abreu  6256  0.62  17% 1075
   Alex Rodriguez  7666  0.68  17% 1315
     Wally Joyner  5264  0.65  17%  902
     Jeff Bagwell  6312  0.67  17% 1080
     Steve Garvey  5798  0.66  17%  991
       Tony Gwynn  5869  0.57  17% 1003
  Garret Anderson  6328  0.69  17% 1078
       Mark Grace  5765  0.62  17%  973
   Ken Griffey Jr  7202  0.64  17% 1206
    Miguel Tejada  5942  0.65  17%  995
       Joe Carter  6267  0.68  17% 1049
    Dave Winfield  8132  0.67  17% 1359
     Paul O'Neill  5946  0.71  17%  988
         Jim Rice  6435  0.71  17% 1069
        Jeff Kent  6872  0.72  17% 1141
    Chipper Jones  6957  0.66  17% 1155
     Bill Buckner  5807  0.63  17%  962
      Raul Ibanez  5455  0.66  17%  902
     B.J. Surhoff  5867  0.64  16%  965
      Scott Rolen  5917  0.69  16%  971
     Jason Giambi  6100  0.69  16% 1001
   Gary Sheffield  7112  0.65  16% 1167
   Edgar Martinez  5813  0.67  16%  952
     Torii Hunter  5880  0.66  16%  961
     Eddie Murray  8651  0.67  16% 1413
       Sammy Sosa  6481  0.65  16% 1058
     Andre Dawson  7063  0.66  16% 1153
     Julio Franco  6256  0.64  16% 1021
     Paul Molitor  6582  0.54  16% 1073
    Tino Martinez  5740  0.71  16%  932
     Ruben Sierra  6279  0.71  16% 1016
  Rafael Palmeiro  7917  0.66  16% 1266
    Luis Gonzalez  6821  0.65  16% 1085
      Barry Bonds  7771  0.62  16% 1234
     Mike Schmidt  6581  0.66  16% 1045
      Robin Yount  7309  0.60  16% 1155
        Jim Thome  6889  0.67  16% 1087
     Paul Konerko  6165  0.65  16%  972
      John Olerud  6213  0.69  16%  975
      Chili Davis  6514  0.65  16% 1022
     Fred McGriff  6783  0.67  16% 1057
  Bernie Williams  6249  0.69  16%  970
   Roberto Alomar  5974  0.57  15%  924
   Ivan Rodriguez  6639  0.65  15% 1021
      Gary Carter  5870  0.65  15%  901
    Adrian Beltre  6387  0.65  15%  976
       Cal Ripken  8272  0.64  15% 1264
      Gary Gaetti  6440  0.66  15%  981
     Carlton Fisk  6067  0.65  15%  911
       Don Baylor  6128  0.68  15%  906
     Johnny Damon  6144  0.56  15%  904
      Derek Jeter  7045  0.57  15% 1033
     Dwight Evans  6948  0.66  14%  994
   43. bobm Posted: August 12, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4769893)
For selected batters, Pct of Baserunners driven in (excluding batter-runner), 1973-2014 seasons only, min 5000 total PA, sorted from greatest to least but shown rounded to 2 digits

          Player    BR BR/PA BRBI% BRBI
   Kirby Puckett  4799  0.61   18%  878
     Ryan Howard  3975  0.72   18%  706
   Don Mattingly  5085  0.66   17%  877
    David Wright  4156  0.65   17%  702
   Mark Teixeira  4770  0.68   17%  805
    Mark McGwire  4954  0.65   17%  831
      Tony Perez  4445  0.71   17%  743
     Chase Utley  3886  0.63   17%  643
  Reggie Jackson  5477  0.66   16%  877
    Johnny Bench  3938  0.72   16%  629
Carl Yastrzemski  4109  0.67   16%  654
       Pete Rose  4340  0.49   16%  677
   Ryne Sandberg  5128  0.55   15%  779
       Rod Carew  4465  0.59   15%  670
    Barry Larkin  5090  0.56   15%  762
      Wade Boggs  6261  0.58   14%  895
Rickey Henderson  6301  0.47   13%  818
     Ozzie Smith  6009  0.56   13%  765
    Omar Vizquel  6866  0.57   13%  871
   44. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: August 12, 2014 at 11:28 PM (#4769921)
Agree, last year Kershaw came in 7th(despite having 8.4 to 7.9 war lead...although arguing about war to the decimal is a fools errand, still Kershaw was very good last yer, but only had a 16-9, 1.83 era last year...this year he reasonably gets 19-6? do those 3 wins pull him up in the voting? I think there will be articles trying to shame writers to vote for him, not sure it will have any impact on the final tally though)


Kershaw is going to go 5-4 in his final 9 starts? That seems... quite unlikely. 5-1 or 5-2 seem much more likely.
   45. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 12, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4769929)
He would have to post a Bonds 2003 type of season to enter the discussion. Willie Stargell(1979), Mickey Mantle(1962)and Joe Dimmaggio(1939) are the only non-catchers(non-strike seasons) to win the mvp with less than 130 games, and all three were on playoff bound teams.


In recent years, the lowest games played total by a winner (non-strike year) is Willie Stargel, with 126 in 1979.

Brett won the 1980 MVP with 117 games played. That was not a strike year.
   46. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: August 13, 2014 at 08:38 AM (#4769982)
For me, that was Dwight Gooden, 1985, who didn't get the NL MVP. But whaddaya know, the very next year, they gave the AL MVP to Roger Clemens, on a case that was less clear-cut than Gooden's. (I know, different leagues = somewhat different voters.)

I think the Mets losing out to the Cards played a factor in McGee over Gooden. Also, Tudor going 21-8, 1.93 and matching Gooden down the stretch after a 1-7 start made Gooden's dominance stand out less. I think how well Cueto and Wainwright do may affect Kershaw for MVP
   47. OCF Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4770049)
Sure. Tudor was a near-unanimous second in the Cy Young vote, and in most years he'd have been a Cy Young winner. But everybody knew you couldn't make Tudor the MVP because you could make a straight comparison to Gooden and Gooden was better. To extend the comparison to the high-BA teammate of the pitcher in question: McGee's '85 case wasn't as strong as Boggs's '86 case.

Possibly another factor was Gooden's youth. The story line that year about Gooden seemed to be "He's so good SO YOUNG." Even then, I thought that was misplaced - the story should really have been "He's SO GOOD (so young)." That emphasis made it about potential, about the future and not the present. And that took a little of the appreciation away from what Gooden's '85 year was in the present.
   48. AROM Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4770063)
McGee's '85 case wasn't as strong as Boggs's '86 case.


They both come out right around 8 WAR. There was no fluky, Heywardian defensive rating driving that either. McGee was +5, while winning a gold glove, Boggs was +8, same exact number as 1985 and 1987. Both hit .350 with 8 or 10 homers, playing good defense at important positions. Boggs led the league in walks, but Willie made up by being 12 runs better than Boggs on the bases, including 56/16 in basestealing.

Mattingly had a better season than he did in 1985, when he won the MVP. Yankees were second place both years. Big difference is his RBI total went from 145 to 113. Not his fault, his OPS with RISP went up in 86, from 846 to 943. Just not as many favorable RBI situations.
   49. Ziggy Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4770076)
Kershaw, Wainwright, and Cueto splitting the "no one really stands out, let's give it to a pitcher" vote had occurred to me. But Wainwright has been slipping lately, he's quickly working his way out of a position where he could steal some of Kershaw's MVP votes.
   50. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4770082)
The NL MVP should probably be a pitcher this year - Kershaw, Cueto and Wainright are all making pretty good cases given the lack of position players having standout seasons. The problem is, they are all sitting on 14 wins with 8-9 starts likely remaining, and it's hard for me to see a pitcher with fewer than 20 wins getting the MVP.

It will be a tight race for the Cy Young Award - Kershaw has the gaudy ERA and peripherals but may not reach 200 IP, in which case it may go to one of the other two guys. Depends how they all perform down the stretch.


I'd give it to Kershaw, since the only thing holding him back is that early season injury that cut down his innings.

Here's my favorite Kershaw stat: On May 17th, the Diamondbacks knocked him out in 1.2 innings. He had a game score of 16 and his ERA jumped to 4.53.

Other than that, his lowest game score is 56.
   51. BDC Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4770090)
I remember Pudge Rodriguez's MVP being completely out-of-the-blue

In Texas, understandably, the media was talking up his candidacy continuously in the second half of the season. Somebody must have been listening :)

WAR is so tough on catchers (possibly with reason, as it's a playing-time thing) that only three (in the MVP era) have ever led a league: Johnny Bench in 1970 and Buster Posey in 2012 (both MVPs), and Gary Carter in 1982 (he was way down the ballot). Carter did miserably in MVP voting in 1982 and '84, and I remember thinking at the time that he was getting shafted, penalized for his team's mediocrity. Heck, in 1984 he led the league in RBIs, what does a catcher have to do.

So I tend to be OK when the occasional catcher wins an MVP award, even if he's not an obvious choice, because you do kind of need a catcher and rating them against other players is so difficult. In 1997-99, little Pudge had three seasons that rank between 25th and 30th all-time in catcher (B-Ref) WAR. That's a phenomenal level of play (even accounting for my hometown bias!)
   52. Baldrick Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4770392)
It will be a tight race for the Cy Young Award - Kershaw has the gaudy ERA and peripherals but may not reach 200 IP, in which case it may go to one of the other two guys. Depends how they all perform down the stretch.

I mean, yes it depends how they do down the stretch. But if the season ended right now Kershaw would (rightly so) win the Cy Young. And it wouldn't be close. Yes, Cueto has 43 more innings. But in those 43 innings he's given up 21 more runs, only struck out 18 more guys while walking 28 more, and given up 9 more home runs.

And he's the best pitcher in baseball, so I don't see any reason to expect the other guys to overtake him. Obviously they could. But I wouldn't bet on it.

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