Matt Kemp Has Competition for NL MVP Race These Days
At the start of the 2012 season, Matt Kemp was one of the two hottest players in Major League Baseball. Through his first 10 games of the season, Kemp was batting .487 and racking up hit after hit.
He managed nine extra base hits out of his first 19 hits. Six of which were for home runs.
Magnificently, he drove in 16 RBI in that time as well.
Here it was, barely in to the season and it looked like Kemp would not and could not be slowed down. Then, all of a sudden, he was.
Kemp was placed on the 15-day-disabled list from May 14th through May 28th. In that time, his competition stepped up their respective games.
Now, there is competition across the board in several statistical categories that Kemp was previously running away with. Here is a look at a few key categories.
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Remember that .478 average Kemp posted after his first 10 games? Well, it's taken a bit of a dip since then.
Granted, .355 is nothing to be upset about, but he no longer is leading the National League in that category. Actually, he's got the fourth-best average now.
1. Melky Cabrera, San Francisco Giants .376
2. David Wright, New York Mets .370
3. Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies .366
4. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers .355
5. Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers .345
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Just barely 10 games in to the season and Matt Kemp had blasted six home runs. Most assumed he wouldn't be able to keep up that pace.
With his stint on the sideline, naturally a break in the hitting had to come about. Kemp went from first overall in long balls to being tied for third.
1. Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals 15
2. Ryan Bruan, Milwaukee Brewers 14
3. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers 12
3. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins 12
5. Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds 11
5. Hunter Pence, Philadelphia Phillies 11
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While Kemp was out, David Wright got red hot. He was raking the ball and his OBP is evidence.
1. David Wright, New York Mets .470
2. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds .460
3. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers .441
4. A.J. Ellis, Los Angeles Dodgers .435
5. Melky Cabrera, San Francisco Giants .420
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Kemp is still atop the competition when it comes to ripping the cover off the ball.
1. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers .719
2. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers .618
3. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds .595
4. Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals .592
5. Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies .592
On-Base Plus Slugging Percentage
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He still hits like a mad man, and hits for power. Thus, Matt Kemp tops the OPS category as well.
1. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers 1.160
2. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds. 1.055
3. David Wright, New York Mets 1.039
4. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers 1.013
5. Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies 1.010
Sure, he is technically a couple of weeks and roughly 15 games behind the competition, Matt Kemp is still a top-five player in several statistic categories.
Dodger fans have very little to complain about these days, all things considered. That said, fans can watch their team rip off wins and Kemp climb back on top of the MVP race.