Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
||Votes (1st place)
||.338/.437/.574, 23 HR, 32 SB, 9.8 WAR
||.353/.446/.667, 43 HR, 3 SB, 7.3 WAR
||.295/.378/.652, 48 HR, 3 SB, 6.5 WAR
||.293/.323/.447, 13 HR, 6 SB, 5.9 WAR
||.295/.353/.456, 14 HR, 20 SB, 5.3 WAR
30 voters will give their top 10 picks for the MVP Award. First place votes are worth 14 points. The second ballot spot is worth nine points with each successive spot being worth one less, finishing with the 10th place votes worth one point each. In total, there are 1,770 points available. A unanimous winner would receive 420 votes.
Here we go again.
If WAR says that the NL MVP race is a blowout, then the AL MVP race is nothing short of a TKO...by Mike Trout.
Trout is 2.5 wins ahead of every other player in baseball.
Of course, Trout was also 3.1 WAR ahead of Miguel Cabrera during last season's heated AL MVP race, so why should this result be any different? Also, didn't I just argue less than a month ago that Cabrera was clearly the MVP and it would take something of a miracle for Trout to win?
Well, the past two weeks have changed things.
Fourteen days is a pretty small sample size over the course of a six-month season, but this past eight percent of the season has given Trout the upper hand.
Since August 26
Miguel Cabrera: .227/.370/.227, 0.597 OPS, 0 SB
Chris Davis: .204/.278/.388, 0.666 OPS, 2 SB
Mike Trout: .431/.545/.614, 1.159 OPS, 4 SB
Cabrera doesn't have an extra base hit since August 26. At the end of play on August 21, Davis was averaging a home run for every 11.4 plate appearances; since then, he has hit two in 67 plate appearances.
While those former favorites have played their way back to the pack, Trout is once again separating himself from the world.
Could either Cabrera or Davis get back to form, hit 50 home runs and win the AL MVP? No doubt. But Trout is on pace to finish the year with a WAR of 11.2, which would merely be the 19th greatest season in MLB history.
In the last 70 years, only 12 times has a player posted a WAR of 10.6 or better. All 12 won the MVP that year. Say what you want about WAR, but 12 for 12 is a pretty good batting average.
Player outside my top five most likely to make the final cut
Jason Kipnis (.282/.367/.462, 17 HR, 26 SB, 4.1 WAR)
This would be dependent upon the Indians getting the second wild card in the AL, but I could see him coming in as high as number four on the list.
Regarding Evan Longoria and Josh Donaldson, I'm starting to get the feeling that 2013 WAR is fundamentally flawed to favor third basemen. Allow me to demonstrate with a blind resume comparison:
If you like slugging, Player A is your man. If you prefer fielding at the cost of batting average and base running, then you love Player B. Player C has a little more pop than Player D, but Player D also has considerably better base running skills.
Feel free to guess who is who and/or which player deserves the highest WAR before reading on.
Players B and C are Longoria (6.0 WAR) and Donaldson (6.4 WAR), respectively. Player A is Paul Goldschmidt with a WAR of 5.2, while Player D is Hunter Pence with a WAR of 4.5.
If you can rationally explain to me why Donaldson is worth two more wins than a player like Pence, then and only then will I consider him a candidate for MVP.