MLB MVP race: Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could join historic group if he doesn’t beat out Shohei Ohtani

We now just some weeks till the 2021 MLB playoffs start. There’s nonetheless loads of jockeying to be carried out within the standings and we monitor that on a daily basis with the playoff picture.

We have been working a weekly MVP watch and we’re set to try this once more, however this time let’s stray somewhat from my conventional format. 

Often I speak about how my evaluation is not going to be essentially how I’d vote proper now, however as an alternative the place I consider the vote would fall if it occurred proper now, primarily based upon years of finding out BBWAA voting tendencies and monitoring closely late in every season for the previous decade-plus. 

Once I have a look at the AL aspect proper now, I consider it’s just about over. Shohei Ohtani is rightfully going to win the MVP as a result of he is having a once-in-a-lifetime season. He is the most effective hitters within the league whereas additionally having stolen 23 bases and put collectively an All-Star-caliber season on the mound. To have the ability to put this all collectively flies within the face of what baseball has been for a century. 

This implies Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. is about to complete second and his offensive season could be the most effective ever to not win MVP, as long as we examine him to his friends. That’s, try the place he ranks in these classes. 

  • Hits: 1st
  • Runs: 1st
  • House runs: 1st
  • RBI: third
  • Whole bases: 1st
  • Batting common: 1st
  • On-base share: 1st
  • Slugging share: 1st
  • OPS: 1st
  • OPS+: 1st
  • Walks: third
  • Instances on base: 1st
  • Additional-base hits: 4th

Holy smokes, proper? He is dominating fee and counting stats. 

Maybe the best method to kind this out could be to discover a checklist of the gamers to steer their league within the triple-slash (AVG/OBP/SLG) and work from there. That’s the easiest way to inform how good an all-around hitter is. The very best hitters hit for common, get on base at a excessive clip and hit for energy. It is all proper there in these three fee stats. 

We’ll go in reverse chronological order, as that is how I am manually wanting all this up. And bear in mind, I am solely wanting up gamers who led their league in all three slash stats and didn’t win MVP (utilizing solely years there was MVP voting). 

2019 Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers): There is a little bit of a caveat right here, as a result of Yelich may’ve received the award if not for a damaged kneecap in September. He ended up second and had absurd stats, however with solely 130 video games, he ended exterior the highest 10 in hits, runs and RBI whereas ending fourth in residence runs and seventh in complete bases. 

2000 Todd Helton (Colorado Rockies): How about these pre-humidor Coors numbers? Helton hit .372/.463/.698, main the league in hits, doubles, RBI, instances on base, complete bases and WAR. He was second in runs, seventh in residence runs and third in OPS+. He nonetheless solely managed fifth in MVP voting. There’s an argument this season was higher than the one Vlad is at present placing collectively, however there’s the Coors issue and, take be aware, Vlad, Jr. has a greater OPS+ (which adjusts for ballpark circumstances). Talking of pre-humidor Coors … 

1999 Larry Walker (Colorado Rockies): The Corridor of Famer hit .379/.458/.710, but solely completed tenth in MVP voting, thanks partly to solely taking part in in 127 video games. Meaning damage saved him exterior the highest 10 on just about each counting stat (he was precisely tenth in residence runs and RBI). 

1979 Fred Lynn (Boston Pink Sox): A “Corridor of the Very Good” participant from the ’70s and ’80s, Mr. Lynn paced the AL within the triple-slash, OPS and OPS+ (176) and WAR amongst place gamers. He was fourth in runs, third in complete bases, third in doubles, second in residence runs, fourth in RBI, third in extra-base hits and fourth in instances on base. He ended up ending fourth in AL MVP voting. They used totally different stats again then to find out the winner, however in hindsight he was positive robbed. 

1957 Ted Williams (Boston Pink Sox): Prepare for lots of Teddy Ballgame. First up, 1957, when he completed second in MVP voting to a historically-great Mickey Mantle. Mantle 11.3 WAR was one of many best in historical past by a place participant (tied for 14th). Williams was fifth in runs, ninth in hits, seventh in doubles, second in residence runs, ninth in RBI and third in complete bases. Regardless of Williams sweeping the triple-slash, this was a wonderfully defensible vote. 

1948 Ted Williams (Boston Pink Sox): One other one which WAR says the voters bought proper. Lou Boudreau topped Joe DiMaggio and Williams. Regardless of the lead within the triple-slashes and OPS+, Williams was second in WAR, third in runs, fifth in hits, sixth in homers, third in RBI and third in complete bases. He did lead in doubles, however he isn’t throughout first place like Vlad Jr. in 2021. 

1947 Ted Williams (Boston Pink Sox): The Yankees beat the Red Sox for the AL pennant by 14 video games and I assume that was what occurred right here, as a result of different Williams blew DiMaggio away. Williams had 28 extra factors in common, 108 extra on-base share, 112 extra in slugging (sure, which means over 200 extra in OPS) whereas topping DiMaggio by 13 hits, 28 runs, 12 homers and 17 RBI. Williams led the league in all the speed stats, runs, complete bases, homers and RBI. He was third in hits and second in doubles. 

Oh and Williams greater than doubled DiMaggio’s WAR. I put it final as a result of they did not have it then. Look at them side by side if you want

1942 Ted Williams (Boston Pink Sox): This one can also be horrible, in looking at the numbers side by side. Joe Gordon was a superior defender who had a fantastic offensive season — after all, he additionally led the league in strikeouts and double performs — however I assume his staff being 9 video games higher meant he was extra invaluable than Williams. Teddy led the league in WAR, the speed stats by a mile (he had a 1.147 OPS and .930 was second place), runs, complete bases, residence runs, RBI, walks, extra-base hits, instances on base, was third in hits and seventh in doubles. 

1941 Ted Williams (Boston Pink Sox): Yep, one more runner-up end for Williams. We will chalk this one as much as DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, but it surely nonetheless seems to be outrageous to see {that a} participant hit .406/.553/.735 and did not win MVP. Williams led in WAR, runs, homers and instances on base, however DiMaggio led in complete bases, RBI and extra-base hits. Williams’ 235 OPS+ dwarfs DiMaggio’s 185 and is likely one of the greatest marks in MLB historical past. At the very least DiMaggio had an all-time season, too, this time round. 

1935 Arky Vaughan (Pittsburgh Pirates): The Corridor of Fame Pirates third baseman by no means received MVP, however he had a hell of an effort right here, slashing .385/.491/.607 (190 OPS+). He is additionally probably not a contender on this dialogue. He was eighth in runs, tenth in hits, seventh in complete bases, tenth in doubles, tenth in triples, eighth in residence runs and sixth in RBI. 

1934 Lou Gehrig (New York Yankees): The Iron Horse led the AL — along with the triple-slash fee stats like everybody else on this checklist — in WAR, complete bases, residence runs and RBI. He was third in runs, second in hits, ninth in doubles, second in walks and first in OPS+. He hit .363/.465/.706. He finished fifth in AL MVP voting

1933 Chuck Klein (Philadelphia Phillies): The MVP runner as much as a Corridor of Fame pitcher with a stupid-good season (Carl Hubbell had a 1.62 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 308 2/3 innings). On condition that this was pre-Cy Younger days, it is sensible. Klein led in position-player WAR, hits, doubles, residence runs, RBI, complete bases and was second in runs. 

NOTE: We did not return additional than 1930 as a result of previous to that, a participant may solely win the MVP as soon as and was ineligible after that one win. Only for enjoyable, try Babe Ruth’s 1927 season and make phrases with him getting zero MVP votes. 

In a cursory look right here, it seems Vladdy is coping with some Ted Williams seasons, maybe a classic Gehrig and doubtless Klein’s 1933 for the perfect offensive efficiency from a non-MVP winner in trendy MVP historical past. 

As for the NL aspect of issues, we’ll do a deeper dive on that league subsequent week. For now, it seems to be prefer it’s nonetheless Fernando Tatis, Jr. with Max Muncy and Bryce Harper proper there whereas Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman are within the combine. That will likely be our fundamental focus right here subsequent week. | MLB MVP race: Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. may be a part of historic group if he would not beat out Shohei Ohtani


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