Before anyone takes the wrong view and accuses me of defaming Vladimir Guerrero Jr., let’s be clear: He’s great. He’s one of the best young stars in the game, and he’s had a sensational season. The Toronto Blue Jays’ first baseman deserves all the accolades he has received.
But he is not the American League MVP.
not this year.
While some are inclined to push the statement that Guerrero is attending the MVP awards, which appear to have wrapped up by Ohtani over the summer, nothing has changed from my point of view.
Guerrero is just in second place.
I have voted for MVP many times, but I am not this year, so I am able to share my opinion now instead of keeping it with me till the result is declared on November 18.
Normally, I pick the player I think had the best season. Period. I don’t buy that being “valuable” has nothing to do with being nice to your peers, and I’m not sure how the term came to mean so many people.
Suppose you are looking at two piles of cash. One has a $1 bill and a bunch of $20 bills. The other has a stack of $5 bills and $10 bills. You get to get the most “valuable” bill out of those piles. which one do you want?
Has $20 somehow gotten cheaper because it’s sitting around with a bunch of $1s? It is still the most valuable bill.
Does a car become more valuable based on the car parked next to it? Does the watch become more valuable based on the shirt you are wearing?
Given this, I completely reject any idea that Guerrero is worth more than Ohtani because Guerrero’s teammates have been better than Ohtani’s teammates.
I also reject the “triple crown argument”. The value Guerrero made doesn’t change if he ends up with one more home run or one less home run than Salvador Perez.
Also, Perez is 10 RBI ahead of Guerrero, so he’s not going to win the Triple Crown. He is tied with Perez in homers and two points behind Yuli Guriel in batting average.
We can forget the Triple Crown.
So now that we’ve eliminated the noise in the debate, the only question is whether Ohtani had a better season than Guerrero.
While I don’t believe war is an innocent situation or that should be used blindly, it is still a good starting point. According to Baseball-Reference, Ohtani’s Warfare is 8.9, well ahead of Guerrero’s 6.7. Ohtani in FanGraph has a smaller, but still significant, gain: 7.9 to 6.6.
The reason Ohtani has the edge over Guerrero, who has been a slightly better hitter, is that… Ohtani pitches.
Yes, Captain is the clear point you’ve been waiting to read at the moment.
The simple fact that Ohtani has done something no player has done in over 100 years should be enough to get him an MVP.
In the All-Star Game, Ohtani was the primary subject for all the best players in the world because they all know how incredible it is for him to do what he has done.
It’s not just some gimmick. A person who is a hitter and can pitch well enough to work in an innings here or there is a curiosity. The same goes for a pitcher who finds a way to hit some homers from time to time.
He’s not an officer.
Ohtani is one of the best hitters in the majors. And he’s one of the best pitchers in the majors.
If he was mediocre, or even average, on one side or another, then there would be a better case for awarding the MVP to a player who is the best daily player.
But it is not like that.
He is second in the league with .966 OPS. Guerrero is leading with 1.006 points. Ohtani has an ERA of 3.18, which was the seventh-best in the league for pitchers with at least 130 innings on Sunday. He is 67 innings behind league-leader Robbie Ray, who also leads the league in the era as the Angels gave Ohtani more rest than other pitchers to adjust his hitting.
It is only fair to count against him when only he is compared to other pitchers, which is why he was never a candidate for a Cy Young Award. But when he is compared to all the players, the fact that he pitches and hits at a high level is a huge plus.
This is a plus that no one else has.
It’s worth the MVP.
Angels (LHP Packie Naughton, 0-3, 5.23 ERA) at Rangers (RHP AJ Alexi, 2-1, 5.00), Tuesday, 5:05 pm, Bally Sports West, 830 am