Forget the upcoming presidential debates, the best debate going right now is the one regarding the American League MVP award. As I wrote just the other day, it’s baseball’s “holy war“. You have Mike Trout, who is the sabermetric God, and Miguel Cabrera, who is the traditionalists’ favorite because of the potential triple crown season.
Depending on who you ask, you will get a different opinion on who should win the award. If you ask someone over the age of 50, the choice is Cabrera. But if you ask someone who has the basic understanding of advance statistics, it’s Trout in a landslide. However, last year’s MVP Justin Verlander, thinks us SABR nerds are indeed that – - just nerds:
“Bull (expletive). That’s ridiculous. When was the last time there was a Triple Crown winner, ’67? OK.”
“That would be a joke in my opinion. Come on. Even the fact he’s one home run away is just absolutely absurd. Just watch him. And watch him when we need him, down this home stretch. Oh my god. You want to talk about MVP … Compare their numbers the last two months of the season. Big difference.”
This is why it’s very, very hard for me to like Verlander. I just find Verlander to be one of the most obnoxious people in the game today, plus it doesn’t help he’s allegedly dating Kate Upton. I get defending your teammate, but it is not “BS” that Trout would be the MVP over Cabrera.
Here’s the funny thing about the Trout and Cabrera debate: Trout is ahead of Cabrera in wRC+, which is basically a better metric than OPS+. And if you don’t know about OPS+, then there’s no reason to pontificate why Trout is MVP over Cabrera because your mind is already made up.
Another bit of irony about this ordeal is Verlander is criticizing potential MVP-voters when he shouldn’t have won last year to begin with, but that’s a whole other story.
It will be interesting to see if the award is given to the player whose team reaches the playoffs (if either do). Maybe we can just 1979 NL this beast and reward co-MVPs.
One can only hope…
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