Wednesday, October 1, 2008

MLB MVP Race - Albert Pujols and Kevin Youkilis

Since the season is over I was finally able to put the numbers through my ranking system to see who the AL and NL MVP's are. You can check out first and second rankings as well, which explain the whole system.

Here are the final MVP rankings for the AL:

As you can see, Kevin Youkilis comes out as the AL MVP and not his teammate Dustin Pedroia. I will touch on the whole Pedroia for MVP topic in a minute, but first let's look at the great season Youkilis is having.

Here are Youkilis stats for the season:

.312 AVG/29 HR/115 RBI/.390 OBP/.569 SLG/.959 OPS/145 OPS+

Definitely MVP worthy stats from Youkilis, who in my mind is a much better candidate than Pedroia for MVP. In fact, Youkilis grades out as the best hitter in baseball with RISP. Here are his stats in those situations:

.374 AVG/8 HR/78 RBI/.445 OBP/.646 SLG/1.091 OPS/181 OPS+

Certainly Youkilis has driven in a lot of runs for the Red Sox in key situations. He also bests Pedroia in runs created an average of 8.1 per game, while Pedroia is only averaging 6.9 runs created per game, so over a full run less than Youkilis. It would really be a shame if Pedroia was to win the MVP this season because in my mind not only is he behind Youkilis but also Morneau. In fact, Pedroia finished with a 123 OPS+, which would be the lowest for any MVP in the last 30 years:
So yeah, I think Dustin Pedroia should involved in the MVP conversation, but I believe pretty strongly that he should NOT be the MVP of the American League. He isn't even the MVP of his own team, nevermind the whole league. He would also be the least productive MVP of the last 30 years. I'm not really sure why he is getting so much consideration for the award and Youkilis is getting pretty much ignored.

Here's another fact to chew on: Pedroia is pretty much a singles hitter in the high leverage situations that have the most effect on each game. 14 of his 17 home runs have come in low leverage situations, which means they pretty much had no effect on the outcome of the game for his team.

Here is how they compare in the high/medium leverage situations:

Again Youkilis is clearly better in the situations where the outcome of the game is most on the line and I feel that he should be the MVP and not Dustin Pedroia. However, I fear that the writers will vote otherwise.

Here are the final MVP rankings for the NL:

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Albert Pujols is having the best season of his career and should be the MVP.

Here is the season that Pujols has put together:

.357 AVG/37 HR/116 RBI/.462 OBP/.653 SLG/1.115 OPS/190 OPS+

This is one of the historically great seasons in the history of baseball ranking in the top 100 all-time in OPS. If someone has that great of a season, I think you have no choice but to give him the MVP. He's so much better than anyone else and he certainly deserves the MVP despite the late push by the Phillies Ryan Howard.

More: MLB

1 comment:

  1. Your rankings just told you who the "most outstanding player" is in the american league. however, the award is called the "most VALUABLE player" therefore, I would conclude that Pedroia is WAY MORE VALUABLE than Youk, simply for two reasons. #1. With the injuries of Papi, JD Drew, Lowell, and the anemic hitting of Varitek. The Red Sox were already hurting, and losing major ground to the Rays. #2. Manny's value is more felt in the relative fear and respect driven into pitchers versus Jason Bay. The lineup is not the same. #3. Pedroia's explosion was not expected, and became the new x-factor in the lineup. He's 5-tool, and is to par in the field to Youkilis. Youk could get it and he'd deserve it, but most valuable would go to Pedroia. Boston doesn't get that close to Tampa without him, hell they might not make the playoffs.