Unconventional Wisdom: Crowded AL MVP race had no favorite
The American League MVP was announced on Tuesday, and like its NL counterpart (
Statheads view player valuation more objectively. There's no shortage of metrics to quantify a player's offensive, defensive and/or pitching contributions in runs or wins relative to the league average or a theoretical replacement level, and the context of ballpark and league scoring environments can be incorporated. BP's preferred route is via Wins Above Replacement Player (
WARP illustrates the disconnect between objective and subjective notions of MVPs. Since 2000 NL voters have made "correct" calls, according to WARP, in six out of nine years (
Here's a thumbnail guide to the AL's top 10 finishers in WARP and their MVP cases, along with those of two popular lower-ranked candidates:
Pedroia won, and it was the right decision. Starting pitchers have a long history of being overlooked in the voting, and Pedroia, as the top-ranked hitter on a playoff team, thus had the edge as well as a nice little "stepping up" narrative that likely satisfied the storytelling set.