MLB MVP 2013: Breaking Down Chances for Each Finalist to Win AL, NL Awards

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVNovember 6, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 01:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an infield single in the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds during the National League Wild Card game at PNC Park on October 1, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Now that the finalists for both the American League and National League MVP awards have been announced, there's never been a better time to figure out each contender's chances of winning the award.

On Tuesday night, MLB Network announced three finalist for each of the league's top awards (h/t CBS Sports). However, some favorites possess noticeably better chances of bringing home the hardware.

Let's take a look at each player's chances of winning their league's respective award. 


American League

Angels OF Mike Trout: 45 percent

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 29:  Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels runs the bases after hitting a solo homerun against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 29, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

He didn't play in as many games with playoff implications as his competitors, but what Mike Trout was able to do throughout the second half of the season was unheard of.

As a 21-year-old for much of the 2013 season, Trout hit .324/.479/.539 after the All-Star break. Regardless of how many homers or RBI Miguel Cabrera racked up, Trout's stats stand out the most. 


Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera: 40 percent

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 19:  Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers reacts after getting struck out by Clay Buchholz #11 of the Boston Red Sox in the third inning during Game Six of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park on October 19, 2013
Al Bello/Getty Images

Despite the injury that set back his numbers a bit during the end of the regular season, Cabrera had yet another historic campaign. At one point, it looked like he could repeat as a Triple Crown-winner. 

Cabrera only ended up leading the AL in batting average and trailed by one to Chris Davis in total RBI (ho, hum). But considering his .348 average was more than .20 points higher than the player with the No. 2 batting average in the AL (Joe Mauer), his efficiency was quite an accomplishment. 

I've been splitting hairs about whether Trout or Cabrera deserves the MVP for this season, and I have to give Trout a leg up considering that he finished better than he started. 


Orioles 1B Chris Davis: 15 percent

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 28:  Chris Davis #19 of the Baltimore Orioles breaks his bat on a pop out in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 28, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Ima
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Chris Davis notched one of the best batting seasons that the MLB has seen in the past half-decade, but he didn't boast the complete package that both Cabrera and Trout did.

Davis hit 53 homers—the best in the AL by nine—but finished outside of the top 20 in batting average at .286. It's tough to argue that the Orioles were happy with that average from their clean-up hitter, no matter how many home runs he jacked.

The Orioles first baseman should get some kind of award for the show he put on this season, but he didn't have the all-around season that his opponents did. 



National League

Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen: 50 percent

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 09:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after striking out in the firts inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 9, 2013 in St Loui
Elsa/Getty Images

McCutchen can't boast the ridiculous numbers that Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks can, but he's better in the field and is a slightly more valuable asset to his team overall.

McCutchen knocked in 84 RBI this season and finished seventh in the NL in batting average, all while stealing the sixth-most bases. He does all of that while covering centerfield better than nearly any player in the majors.

This has been McCutchen's year, and it's hard to doubt that when you consider his team's success in going deep in the NLDS. 


Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt: 40 percent

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 29:  Paul Goldschmidt #44 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the Washington Nationals during the MLB game at Chase Field on September 29, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Diamondbacks defeated the Nationals 3-2.  (Photo by Chri
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Even though he isn't the favorite, it would be far from surprising if Diamondbacks first baseman Goldschmidt took home the hardware for league MVP.

He hit an incredible 125 RBI—16 more than the second-place finishers (Jay Bruce and Freddie Freeman)—to lead the NL, and his 36 homers were tied with Pedro Alvarez atop the league. Those are undoubtedly impressive numbers and make him an instant contender in the MVP race. 

However, Goldschmidt has a slightly worse batting average than McCutchen and is far from being a weapon in the field. That's enough for McCutchen to stick his neck out for the win, but it's awfully close.


Cardinals C Yadier Molina: 5 percent

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28:  Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws to first for an out on Jon Lester #31 of the Boston Red Sox in the third inning of Game Five of the 2013 World Series at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri
Elsa/Getty Images

There's no doubting the value of Molina to the Cardinals during their epic run to the World Series in October, but he wasn't the year-long stud that both Goldschmidt and McCutchen were.

Molina's .319 batting average ranks up there, and his 80 RBI are nothing to scoff at. However, when you think of Molina, you think of power, and he only hit 12 home runs on the season.

It should be an honor for Molina that he was selected as a finalist because he has no real chance of winning it all in 2013.