Game 2011.135: Royals at Tigers
Ignoring the last two games…
There’s a great debate brewing over Verlander’s candidacy for the AL MVP. MLB.com weighed in with a yay and a nay, and Buster Olney recently wrote that JV would get his vote if he had to vote today (you’ll need insider). One of the key contentions is that pitchers should not be considered with hitters because pitchers only pitch every 5th day. In fact, even Ol’ Jimmy argued this a few days ago when he said “I’m not looking for arguments or controversy I just think when a guy goes out there 158 times or 155 times and has a big year, an MVP type year I don’t think the guy that goes out there 35 times should be named over that guy.”
Well, Olney responds to the every 5th day argument with a clever # of plate appearances argument. ”But here’s a number worth thinking about when considering how integral a great starter can be to success: Verlander has been involved in 830 plate appearances this year; the AL leaders, among position players, are at about 600.” The problem with this argument is that it does not take into account the defensive value of a hitter. It would be interesting to see how many fielding plays a pitcher is involved in versus each of the other positions.
FanGraphs weighed in yesterday and argued that while JV’s core stats lead the league, his WAR is marginally ahead of Weaver and Sabathia, and thus perhaps he has not been as dominant as perceived. Their argument is that in a year when he’s not head and shoulders above the rest of the pitchers, how can he be considered for MVP?
Perhaps the strongest argument for JV 4 MVP is his value to the Tigers. The Tigers are 21-8 on days when he climbs the hill, and 52-53 on every other day. You take out Granderson or Gonzalez, and the Yankees and Red Sox are most likely not any worse off record wise.
Oh yeah, Fister looks to be the new stopper tonight at CoPa.
Tonight’s Regular Lefty Lineup:
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Magglio Ordonez, RF
3. Delmon Young, LF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Alex Avila, C
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Ryan Raburn, 2B
9. Brandon Inge, 3B