How was your week

Posted: September 19, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Well this odd 60 game baseball season is in the home stretch; so I thought we’d take a look at who might win the American League MVP award when this is all said and done.

Let’s start with the American MVP.

There seem to be two guys who have been moved to the front of the pack for this award, but I think there might be more players in the running for this award than that. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Lately Luke Voit of the New York Yankees has been the hot name. Voit is leading Major League Baseball in home runs with 20. Not that’s a huge number, but it’s quite obvious that the baseball is juiced up; so how much do home runs mean? What I also find interesting in this case is Jorge Soler led the American League in home runs last season he only managed to get one 10th place vote for MVP. Now Soler wasn’t playing for a team that was competing for a playoff spot, but if you listen to the MLB Network that’s not supposed to matter. Now in Voit’s case the Yankees are in the hunt for a playoff spot and where where the pre-season favorites to got to the World Series out of the American League. It’s not that Voit hasn’t had a fantastic season and he’s one of the few Yankees that’s stayed healthy, but I think he’s getting this attention because of the team he plays for.

Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox is the other player that has surfaced as an MVP candidate with good reason. Abreu is second to Voit in home runs with 17 while hitting .327 and leading the American League in RBI’s with 51. While Voit was on a team that was suppose to win this season Abreu is leading a team that has been in the process of rebuilding and now is competing to the best record in the American League. Don’t be fooled by the MLB Network on Abreu since they’ll tell you that batting average doesn’t mean anything and RBI’s are lucky, but they’re tow main components of baseball. Don’t you need guys to get on base? And then don’t you need someone to drive them in? I’d say yes to those questions and that’s exactly what Abreu does. The question with Abreu is; will the voters see his numbers as important?

Now Voit and Abreu have been moved to the front of the American League MVP race, but they’re not the only players that are having MVP type seasons. The difficult part for these players is that once the MLB Network has focused on a candidate they constantly remind people that this player could be the MVP and sooner or later that resonates with voters. Let take a look at some of these other candidates and see if they can break through before the regular season ends.

Nelson Cruz of the Minnesota Twins is 40 years old and may be having his best or at least one of his best seasons. Cruz is third in the home run race with 16 while hitting .314. Of course baseball has turned into an offensive game the first thing people are going to say about Cruz is that he’s a Designated Hitter. I don’t believe that a full-time DH has ever won the American League MVP award. Frank Thomas did win back to back MVP awards in 1993 & 1994, but I believe he was still playing the majority f his games at 1st base then. I think being a DH will hurt Cruz’s MVP run, but he still deserves to be considered for the award and hopefully he’ll get some votes unlike Soler last season.

You might be surprised to learn that Voit and Abreu both have a teammate that should get consideration for the MVP award.

D.J. LeMahieu of the Yankees is having another very productive season wearing pinstripes. LeMahieu is currently leading the American League in batting average at .367, He also has 10 home runs and has driven in 24 runs. LeMahieu is also one of the few players in baseball today that walks as much as he strikes out. He has walked 15 times while striking out 17 times this season. LeMahieu is also 4th in the American League in runs scored with 37. LeMahieu has also been a versatile player for the Yankees this season. While he played the majority of his games at 2nd base LeMahieu has also played in 10 games at 1st and 3rd base this season. I’m not sure how many people consider LeMahieu an MVP candidate, but he’s another player who should get some votes.

Now Abreu also has a teammate that can be looked at for MVP consideration; that would be Tim Anderson. Now Anderson has grabbed some attention for his bat flips and other actions on the baseball diamond, but I hope that his play isn’t being overlooked because of that. Anderson is currently 2nd in the American League in batting average at .365. If he found a way to win the batting title this season it would be the second season in a row that he’s done that. Anderson is also the American League leader in runs scored with 41; who do you think Abreu is driving in? Anderson has added 8 home runs and 11 doubles to go along with 5 stolen bases and while that doesn’t sound like a large amount of stolen bases remember that it’s a shortened season and Anderson is in the Top 20 for steals. Anderson is the catalyst for the White Sox offense, but it would be difficult for me to vote him ahead of Abreu in the MVP race.

Now you can’t talk about the American league MVP award without adding Mike Trout’s name to the list; so here we go.

Trout isn’t having the kind of year that we’re use to seeing him have and his team the Los Angeles Angels have been a disappointment again he’s still putting numbers that should garner him some MVP votes.

Trout is hitting .294 with 16 home runs and 42 RBI’s. Trout is also 2nd in the American League in runs scored with 40 just one behind Anderson for the league lead. Trout has the 17th most hits in the American League with 52 and he’s also 5th in walks with 31. Now there’s nothing wrong with any of these numbers, but Trout is held to a higher performance level and you have to wonder when the MVP ballots are casted if they’ll look at Trout as a serious candidate. It’s also not going to help him that the Angels aren’t anywhere close to getting into the playoffs even though they’ve been expanded. In Trout’s first eight seasons he has won 3 MVP awards while finishing 2nd four times; in that other season he finished 4th in the MVP voting. You have to wonder if this is the first season he finishes out of the Top 5 in MVP voting.

Now there is one more serious MVP candidate and that would be Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians. Now I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Starting pitchers don’t appear in enough games and shouldn’t be consider for the MVP award unless they win 30 games and have an ERA under 1.00, but that’s not going to stop people from voting for Bieber and he has an outside shot at winning the MVP. To be fair Bieber has been great this season and should be the unanimous choice for the American League Cy Young award. Now I’ve always looked at the Cy Young as the MVP of pitching; so there’s his MVP award and he deserves that.

In case you’re wondering Bieber is 8-1 in 11 starts this season with an ERA of 1.74 over 72 1/3rd innings this season. He has given up just 44 hits while striking out 112 and walking just 18 hitters this season. Bieber has been flat out dominant and will easily win the CY Young award, but he shouldn’t be the MVP!

Alright now it’s your turn. Who do you have winning the American League MVP award?

I hope you’ve been remembering to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com. Now if you haven’t been listening live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want to.

If you’re interested I’m also on Twitter @Burketime

Comments
  1. I’m not being a homer but, if I were a betting man, I would pick Abreu to win the MVP this season. The Yankees were supposed to be a major contender to win the AL championship. Everyone knew that the White Sox were a much improved team, but nobody expected this kind of a resurrgence so quickly.

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