Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why Justin Verlander Should Win the AL MVP

I know the baseball season isn't over yet, but that hasn't stopped anyone from arguing about who should win the American League MVP award. Clearly, at this point in the season, Justin Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball. This is where JV ranks in the crucial pitching categories (via

• 1st in AL in W (19)
• 1st in AL in IP (209.2)
• 1st in AL in SO (212)
• 2nd in AL in ERA (2.28)
• 1st in AL in WHIP (0.88)
• 1st in AL in W% (.792)
• 2nd in AL in CG (4)

That's Cy Young material, no doubt about it. But what about MVP material? That's the hot debate at the moment. Should a pitcher win the MVP award? Starters only pitch in about 35 out of 162 games, so why should they be taken seriously as MVP candidates?

I think, at this point, Justin Verlander should be given strong consideration for AL MVP. Not only is he more valuable to the Tigers than any other player is to their team, but he has also dominated the other MVP candidates this year. Take a look at how he's performed against the leading AL MVP candidates in 2011:

Adrian Gonzales (BOS) 0-6, BB, GIDP, 2 KO
Michael Young (TEX) 2-4, 2B
Jose Bautista (TOR) Hasn't Faced
Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS) 1-7, BB, KO
Curtis Granderson (NYY) 0-4, BB, 2 KO
Dustin Pedroia (BOS) 0-7, KO

Total 3-28, 2B, 3 BB, 6 KO

The leading MVP candidates in the American League are hitting a combined .107 against Justin Verlander with six strikeouts. Their on-base percantage is a combined .194, and their combined slugging percentage is .142. Add those two last numbers up and you get a combined OPS of .336.

Justin Verlander has dominated--and that's an understatement--the best hitters in the league. In 28 head-to-head matchups with the leading MVP candidates in the AL, Justin Verlander has blown them away. If you're looking for a reason to vote Justin Verlander the American League MVP of 2011, look no further than his stats against the other candidates for the same award. Give that man the trophy!

1 comment:

The Sasquatch said...

Maybe. But you know they're gonna give it to Granderson. Because he's a Yankee.

I hate the Yankees.