How was your week

Posted: September 30, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

There are just a couple of games left for each team in baseball’s regular season and while there’s not much left to decide as to which teams will go to the playoffs players still have a chance to put up some extra numbers for individual awards.

Now there are a couple of contenders for M.V.P. one in the American League and one in the National League that may have had their M.V.P. chances hurt by the way their managers handle them in the batting order. Now according to the sabermetric way of baseball you have to get your best hitter batting 2nd so they can get that extra at bat during a game, Now the issue with this is the fat that it takes away RBI chances for this batters not only early in the game, but through the game especially in the National League. Now not every team is string 1 through 9 in their batting order and in the American League the weaker hitters are at the bottom of the order of course; so as the line up rolls around there’s no one on base when that #2 spot in the order comes back up, In the National League on just about every team the pitcher hits in the 9th spot in the batting order and while it can be entertaining to watch a pitcher swing the bat and there are a few that are quality hitters, they’re not going to be table setters for the top of the batting order. So again there aren’t guys on base for that #2 hitter to drive in.

Now according to sabermetrics RBI’s as well as strikeouts don’t mean as much as they use to in baseball; so having guys in a position in the batting order to drive guys in has become less important in today’s game, but as you try and divide players for an individual award it’s going to be a stat that voters will look at.

Now neither of these players would ever come out and complain about that fact that they where cost an M.V.P. by their manager and where they hit in the batting order. They’d would tell you that winning the World Series is more important than an individual award, but what if your team didn’t make the playoffs. Again no player would admit it, but it would be nice to have your season recognized. Of course when you have a great season and you’re 40 plus RBI’s behind the league leader it’s going to cost you votes for those individual awards.

I’m sure by this point you’re starting to wonder which players I’ve been talking about. Well believe it or not the player in the American League that’s going to be hurt in the M.V.P. voting by his place in the batting order is Mike Trout.

Now there isn’t a real clear cut M.V.P. candidate in the American League with the exception of Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros; so Trout might’ve had a chance to pick up his third M.V.P. award in four seasons. Now trout did miss some time with an injury this season, but he’s still putting up good numbers. Trout is hitting .309 and leads the American League in OBP at .446, SLG at .638, OPA at 1.084 and OPS+ at 190. Trout also has 33 home runs and has more walks 94 than strikeouts this season 90. So as you can see by the numbers Trout has had a very good season and will get some M.V.P. votes when those votes are tallied, but will the fact that he has driven in just 72 runs this season be the thing that stops him from winning?

Now there appears to be more M.V.P. candidates in the National League, but there could be questions associated with any of them. In reality Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds has probably had the best season in the National League, but the Reds are in last place in the National League Central at 67-93; so that will rule Votto out. Now both Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies are both having seasons that will get them M.V.P. votes, but you have to wonder if voters will downgrade their numbers since they play 81 of their games in Coors Field.

Now there are a couple of players we could’ve mentioned as M.V.P. candidates, but you have to wonder if he had a better spot in the Chicago Cubs batting order if we’d be looking at Kris Bryant as a back to back M.V.P. winner. Now Bryant has played through some injuries this season, but is still hitting .295. Bryant’s numbers are right there with or better than the other National League contender for M.V.P. except for the fact that he has driven in just 73 runs this season. Bryant is actually 57 RBI’s behind the National League leaders. Blackmon is tied with Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins with 130 RBI’s this season. Bryant has a very positive sabermetric 6.2 WAR this season; so just imagine if he would’ve been in a position in the Cubs batting order to drive in over 100 runs he would be right in the middle of the conversation to be the first back to back National League M.V.P. since Albert Pujols did it in 2008 and 2009.

It looks as though Bryant is definitely out as a National League M.V.P. contender, but you have to wonder if Trout could find a way to win the American League M.V.P. award again. Remember Trout was voted M.V.P. last season and when you look at his completion he probably did deserve to win, but voters like him. You also have to remember that when Miguel Cabrera won the triple crown there where quite a few people who where advocating for Trout to win the award. I’m not sure that Bryant will have that kind of backing, but he is on a team that win it’s division and has a chance to defend it’s World Series title.

Will we ever see the voters focus more on the sabermetric stats that everyone seems to be in love with? As you know I’m not a huge fam of the sabermetric stats as I believe they’re more for fantasy players. I don’t need the assistance of sabermetrics to know that Bryant and Trout are great players in today’s game, but they do need to be looked at as M.V.P.’s this season.

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