Who Will Win NL and AL MVP?

September 15, 2008 at 11:04 am 25 comments


This is a question I was asked today and it really got me thinking. Who really will win the MVP for both the National League and the American League? Then it got me thinking. Who do I think are the National League and American League MVPs? I think my answers will vary with the actual winners.

There is still about two weeks left of the regular season and anything can happen so what I predict here is not set in concrete. But as it stands right now here are my MVPs for each league:

National League: This is an easy one for me. My pick is Albert Pujols. This is a no-brainer in my opinion. Pujols leads the majors in VORP at 91.0 (2nd in the majors is Lance Berkman at 76.8), OBP at .465, SLG at .650, BB/K rate at 1.90 (95/50), RunsCreated (RC) at 137.1, IBB at 32 (most with a runner in scoring position which is why is RBI total isn’t higher), 2nd in the NL in Total Bases at 316 and AVG with .360, 3rd in the NL in Extra Base Hits with 75, tied for 5th in homers with 33, tied for 7th in RBI with 101, tied for 2nd in walks with 95, tied for 4th in doubles with 42, and amongst the league leaders in all defensive categories.

There is no reason Albert Pujols should not win this award. He is by far the MVP of the entire leage let alone the NL.

American League: I am torn on this one. My top four candidates in my opinion are Dustin Pedroia, Grady Sizemore, Alex Rodriguez, and Aubrey Huff. Yeah, that’s right, Huff! Here is the case for each.

Dustin Pedroia is 4th in the AL in VORP at 60.5. He leads the AL in AVg at .327, hits with 200, doubles with 50, runs with 113, and he has 17 homers, 17 steals in 18 attempts, 78 RBI, 2nd in BB/K rate at 0.98 (47/48), 3rd in total bases with 305, 4th in RC with 114.1, and an .877 OPS which is 2nd among all middle infielders in the AL to Ian Kinsler. He is also a very good defensive second baseman and could garner some Gold Glove talk.

Grady Sizemore is 3rd in VORP at 61.0. He is tied for 6th in the AL with 31 homers, tied for 4th in stolen bases with 37 (only caught 5 times), 2nd in walks with 93, 3rd in XBH with 71, 1st in RC at 120.1, and he has 36 doubles, 5 triples, 91 runs, 87 RBI, and a he plays a premium position in CF and plays it at a plus level.

Alex Rodriguez leads the AL in VORP at 65.5. He is 1st in the AL in SLG at .592, 2nd in RC per 27 outs at 8.18, OPS at .989, and homeruns at 34, tied for 7th in RBI with 100, 5th in runs with 101, 4th in OBP at .397, 8th in RC at 106.9, and he has 17 steals (3 caught) and above average defense at 3B.

Aubrey Huff is 2nd in the AL in VORP at 62.6. He leads the AL in XBH with 81 and total bases at 320, tied for 6th in homers with 31, 5th in RBI with 104, 6th in AVG at .314, 3rd in SLG at .575 and RC27 at 7.83, 4th in OPS at .944, 2nd in doubles with 48 and RC with 115.7, and he has 4 steals in 4 attempts. The knock him is that he isn’t above average anywhere on the field and below average at most positions.

Who the writers will vote for:

National League: If the Astros pull off a miracle they will surely give the MVP to Lance Berkman. If the Mets win the East they might give it to 2nd half hot bat Carlos Delgado or to David Wright or Jose Reyes. They will shy away from Pujols because his team is out of playoff hunt and they will like the story of Ryan Ludwick and split thier votes.

The voters can go in any number of directions but one thing is for certain, they love MVPs to be on a playoff team.

American League: At least this league was a tough decision for me too. They won’t consider Huff thanks to his team (they don’t care about his defense though, this is an offensive stat award given to playoff teams by the writers), Sizemore because of his .270 AVG and the fact the Indians are out of it, and they won’t touch A-Rod either becuse the Yanks are out and they will throw some “clutch” crap into the discussion.

I see the writers narrowing the award down to Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, or Justin Morneau. Depending on where each team finishes. If the Red Sox win the East Pedroia or Youkilis will win. If the Twins win the Central I see no possible way the writers don’t give the award to Morneau who is tied for the AL lead in RBI with 124.

To me, the MVP is given to the most valuable player for the entire year to a given team (salary not included in the equation) wheter or not the team makes the playoffs or not. An injured player should not win it, and a pitcher or DH should not win it (unless they break records that are un-imaginable).

So I stick with my selection of Pujols in the NL and I will go with Pedroia by a hair in the AL thanks to his position and durability but I do exercise the right to change it in the coming weeks.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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25 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alex  |  September 15, 2008 at 11:22 am

    i say the pujols has to be the MVP. yes, he was hurt for 13 games, but i think that almost helps his cause, for had he played those games, his HR total, RBI total, almost everything would go up. im tired of all this crap about the season awards, like gold glove going to hitters with good defense, mvps being on playoff teams only, etc. even though pujols is hall-worthy already, in my opinion he should have 3 mvps by now

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 15, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I agree on Pujols. He should have, after this season, at least 3 MVP awards. I don’t agree that missing time helps one’s chances of winning but the fact he opted not to have surgery at the beginning of the season and led this team into contention for 4 months out of the season.

  • 3. supremesportsjustice  |  September 15, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Great job…I will withhold my NL choice, as I think it will change from day to day, but in the AL, I do like Pedroia right now. No way A-Rod comes close this season because of his lack of clutch hits…something that I DO place alot of emphasis on.

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 15, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I know you’re not die hard Delgado for MVP but who are your narrowed down choices? I just can’t see anyone passing Pujols at all.

    The clutch thing is close meaningless to me. I don’t agree with what people term as clutch.

  • 5. supremesportsjustice  |  September 15, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I think it will change daily from now until the end of the season. Pujols is in the driver’s seat because he’s been the most consistent hitter, but as you know…stats aren’t the only factor for me when making a decision. My top 5 right now (in no particular order) would be Pujols, Wright, Delgado, Berkman, and Howard). Honestly, the next two weeks will determine which way I go…and though you don’t agree, I am one of those guys who think the MVP should go to a playoff or at least a playoff-contending team player.

  • 6. supremesportsjustice  |  September 15, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Oh…and on the cusp….something else you don’t agree with….I do think Sabathia should be a consideration…though not win it.

  • 7. Aaron Boynton  |  September 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Call me crazy or rational, but I refuse to believe that Pujols is the MVP. Pujols is the BEST player but he hasn’t been the most valuable player to his team this year. I’d give it to Delgado or begrudgingly Manny Ramirez (as I get struck down by lighting as a Red Sox fan).

    I’ll go with Pedroia and Delgado.

  • 8. supremesportsjustice  |  September 15, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Oh oh….be careful Aaron….I wrote my article about Delgado being a candidate, and had my hiney handed to me. Personally, I’d like to see Delgado win it, but he must perform these final two weeks. Personally, I would NOT give it to Pujols if the season ended today.

  • 9. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I just don’t see the reasoning a player should win if he is on a contender only. It helps that a player can lead a team but unlike other sports baseball is more of a team effort.

    I also don’t look only at stats. The fact that Pujols has played in pain the entire season and has made his team better with the losses of Ankiel for a while, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainright for a while, Jason Isringhausen, no hitting at short or second, and so on. Pujols has done it all.

    How has Pujols not been the most valuable? Why wouldn’t you give it to him?

    How can Manny Ramirez win it while playing two months for a team and the team he left was scoring 4.94 runs per game at the time he was dealt and they are scoring 6.22 since he left? Same thing with Delgado. A hot 3-4 months does not make him leap players who have done it for 6 months.

  • 10. supremesportsjustice  |  September 15, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Jonathan, I believe a player can do just as much for his team over a 3-4 month span as a player who spreads it out over a full season. If a player has 12 game winning hits over the full season, does that make him more valuable than a player who has 12 game winning hits in the final three months of the season? They both had the same amount of GWH, so what’s the difference? If both Delgado and Pujols end up with 120 RBI, what makes Pujol’s April RBI more valuable than Delgado’s September RBI? The award is for the most valuable player, not the most consistent.

    As for being on a contender, the most valuable player in the league should be the player who made the biggest positive impact in the league standings. I believe St Louis could have finished in 4th place with Pujols, or without him. To me, that suggests that he wasn’t the most valuable player in the league….to the Cardinals, yes…but not to the league. That is my reasoning, and of course, there’s no right or wrong here…just the way some view it as opposed to others.
    Pujols playing in pain is admirable, but should not be considered.

    As far as injuries go, most MVP candidates can make similar claims. We can say that Delgado helped the Mets improve despite the losses of Wagner, Maine, Alou, Castillo, Pedro, and Church.

    And I too would not vote for Manny, though he’s made a positive impact. He’s not a factor in the MVP voting this season.

  • 11. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 16, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Obviously, I disagree. The only way a player can do as much is if his season totals over that 3-4 month period match that of the player who played the entire season. Someone like Delgado has played 6 months and the first two months have to be accounted for. He was arguably the LVP those first two months.

    Game winning hits are fluff to me. Why are they more important than the hit a guy got to tie the game? Or to start the game? A game winning hit is based on the player’s team again. Someone has to be on base for the player to get the hit and the score has to be tied meaning the pitcher had a huge part in the game. First run scored is as important as the last run scored. You have to have the first run to set up the game winning run at the end of the game. If not for the first run or two the player in the 9th gets an RBI hit that still leaves the team behind.

    RBI is valuable but not in measuring an individual player. RBI is based on players being on base in front of a hitter. Trying to equate a player’s value you have to take all outside forces out of it and RBI and runs scored for that matter are taken out. Are they valuable? Sure. But not in evaluating an individual player. I would rather see a player’s AVG with RISP than RBI. Or his OBP in the same situation.

    Making an impact on league standings is value. The Cardinals would probably be in last if not Pujols. The Astros might be the same without Berkman and so on. The reason I like VORP is because it stands for Value Over Replacement Player. Pujols is 20+ more points valuable than any other player in the league. Meaning, if you put a league average player in his shoes the Cardinals have a player with a value around zero not Pujols who has a value in the 90’s.

    I agree most can use the injury report as a claim for MVP but Pujols also doesn’t have another Delgado, Beltran, Wright, or Reyes in his lineup. He has Ludwick who is playing well above his level and I’m sure a ton of it has to do with Pujols.

    Like you said, we value the term value in different ways but I just wanted to explain a little of where I am coming from. It probably didn’t make sense the way I wanted it to but it made sense to me in my head when I was tyoing it. Haha!

  • 12. supremesportsjustice  |  September 16, 2008 at 11:40 am

    You made sense 🙂 We just get to the finish line taking different routes. When all is said and done, Pujols will probably win the award anyway.

  • 13. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 16, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Really? You think he will win? I hope so but I don’t think the writers will vote for him. They tend to lead more towards your view and not mine.

  • 14. supremesportsjustice  |  September 17, 2008 at 1:01 am

    I think his reputation helps his cause as well. Yes, I think it the season ended troday, he’d get it…much to my chagrin.

  • 15. tim  |  September 18, 2008 at 6:41 am

    I definitely think that Pujols should get MVP. He such a beasty player but never gets recognized. All those years when that stupid pumpkin-head Barry Bonds got MVP, it should have been Pujols. His numbers are phenomenal. Nobody else in the NL can match him (or AL for that matter).

  • 16. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 18, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Pujols shold’ve won over Bonds in one year (arguably) and definitely should’ve beaten Ryan Howard.

  • 17. Gorman  |  September 18, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I feel the MOST valuable player in the AL in Justin Mourneau. The Twins would be with the Royals without him.
    The NL MVP should go to Ryan Howard. The hits he collects are all clutch! He only misses when it is not crucial, but when there is something on the line he pulls thru.
    I also like Pujols, but the Phils are still in it.

  • 18. alex  |  September 18, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    mvp and delgado being mentioned in the same breath? if he wins it, i swear i will boycott baseball forever. marty marion hit .267 with 6 homers and 63 rbis in 1944 when he won mvp. i dont care how clutch delgados been, you cannot tell me that you can absolutely hit like a 5th grader the 1st half of the season then finally start to hit good and win the mvp. espicially if they claim pujols didnt win it because he was hurt for 13 games.

  • 19. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 19, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Gorman – So I’m guessing you believe an MVP should be on a contender then? There are a lot of people who believe that and most the writers do. Pujols’ Cardinals are only 6 back in the Wild Card while the Twins are 6.5. Morneau is slightly below average on defense and I think Joe Mauer is more valuable to that team but I won’t be mad if Morneau wins.

  • 20. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 19, 2008 at 7:49 am

    Alex – I am with you 100% but most of America seems to be on the Delgado bandwagon. People seem to think an August or September RBI is more valubale than an April one. Or that the RBI is a measurement of individual value in the first place.

  • 21. supremesportsjustice  |  September 19, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Seems to me that people seem to think April stats are more valuable based on what I’ve been reading here and on the other thread. Delgado and Howard seem to be getting dissed because they weren’t consistent like Pujols was in April and May.
    No arguing that Pujols is the best player in the NL…just can’t seem to call him this year’s MVP.
    Nonetheless, I still think he’ll win it. I wouldn’t be upset if he did either, but he’s simply not my choice.

  • 22. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 19, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    I’m not saying that April stats are more important, I’m trying to state that they are just as important as August or September stats. I think every stat is as important wheter 1st inning or 9th inning, April or September. They all count and they should all be accounted for.

  • 23. supremesportsjustice  |  September 20, 2008 at 1:13 am

    stale-mate 🙂

  • 24. Jimmy  |  September 26, 2008 at 9:45 am

    My choice for NL MVP goes to Ryan Braun. What he has done since being called up is phenominal. He has held up the Brewers most of the season.

    My AL MVP goes to Carlos Quentin of the WhiteSox. Since coming from Arizonia, he’s been putting up MVP type numbers.If Josh Hamilton wasnt on the Texas Rangers. You’d have to put his name in there as well. He’ll likely get comeback player.

  • 25. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 26, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Braun? Really? He’s very very good but not MVP. His slam last night doesn’t give him the award. He was called up last year but he has been impressive since then for sure.

    Quentin has been injured and his defense is barely average. Hamilton is a decent choice but not my first. I don’t think he gets Comeback POY either, that will go to Cliff Lee.


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