Most Major League Baseball fans love statistics. Who doesn’t like looking at the rankings and seeing who is leading the league in homers, RBI and batting average? Well, the ever-developing science of Sabermetrics turns statistic keeping into an art form so why don’t we use that to look at the American League MVP race and specifically Baltimore Orioles’ Chris Davis. You might be surprised at where he ranks among the three players we chose and who ranks first.
Using a series of statistics we can narrow down the overall estimated value of a player on both offense and defense. Offensive Value is determined by combining Base Runs and Batting Value which is Runs Above Average based upon wOBA (weighted On Base Average). Defensive value simply adjusts the player’s defensive stats based on their position and ranks it compared to the league average. Those will lead into the more well-known stats of RAR (Runs Above Replacement) and WAR (Wins Above Replacement). So, let’s take a look.
Davis has an offensive value of 54 and a defensive value of -13.5 which among other contributing factors leads to an overall replacement value of 19.2 (league average roughly 3.3). Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers comes in with a 63.5 offensive value but his defensive value is -14.8 bringing his replacement value down to 18.6. The leading vote getter should be the gentleman that comes in with an offensive 69.6 and defensive 3.3 with replacement of 20.5.
Davis had a great year but even looking at RAR and WAR puts him behind at 62.8 and 6.8 respectably. Miggy did him better at 70.4 RAR and 7.4 WAR while the best was at a whopping 96.6 RAR and 10.4 WAR. Davis is going to get a few MVP votes for sure but Sabermetrics suggests he will rank third in the overall voting just behind Cabrera and the man that should win; Los Angeles Angels’ star Mike Trout.