Saturday, February 25, 2012

MVP Snubs

Now this is a little late, but it needs to be said. 2011 was the year of MVP snubs. First off Justin Verlander definitely didn't deserve to win MVP. I can name the reason. For starters Verlander's season wasn't even close to one of the greatest seasons of all time. You look at his ERA+ and yes it is above average, but so was Clayton Kershaw, so was Roy Halladay, but they didn't win MVP. In my opinion Kershaw had a better season. He had a lower ERA, a higher strikeout per nine innings. The reason Verlander won was because he had 24 wins, but Kershaw had 21 wins on a bad team. Don't get me wrong Justin Verlander deserved Cy Young, but If Pedro Martinez couldn't win it in 1999, then Verlander shouldn't have won it in 2011. Now if you look at the two position players that deserved it, it was Jose Bautista or Jacoby Ellsbury. Jose Bautista had the highest WAR and OPS+ in the AL. He led the MLB in home runs and walks. If I recall Barry Bonds did that on multiple occasions and he won MVP for doing it. My personal pick though is Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury had a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger and the Comeback Player of the Year. He was also the first Red Sox to go 30-30. Also he had the 2nd most hits, the most total bases and most extra base hits. Two years ago he was a premier base stealer, now he's a five tool player. He had an MVP year, but they gave it to a pitcher.
Second, Ryan Braun shouldn't have won either. Before Braun tested positive he still wasn't the best player, but I'll get into the Braun/PED situation another time. Ryan Braun had a fantastic season, but he had another MVP quality player on his team in Prince Fielder. Now if Prince wasn't on the team and the Brewers made it to the playoffs, Braun would have been MVP. Now take into account Verlander won MVP, which he shouldn't have, then Claton Kershaw or Ian Kennedy should have won MVP. If you look at Brauns numbers and the fact that he had Prince hitting behind him, he shouldn't have won. Now Matt Kemp, he should have won MVP. Matt Kemp was on the verge of the triple crown and a 40-40 season. Matt Kemp made the Dodgers hard to beat. On a statistical stand point, Matt Kemp was better than Ryan Braun in almost every category. Ryan Braun had a higher batting average, but Matt Kemp had a higher WAR, more home runs, more RBIs, more steals, the highest OPS+ in the NL and the most total bases in the NL.
So why did Verlander and Braun win MVP? Because their teams made the playoffs. The writers missed the fact that it was Most Valuble Player in their respective leagues, not Most Valuable Player on a playoff team.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cubs 2012 Chances

2012 is a rebuilding year for the Cubs. Contrary to that the Cubs have an okay team. So what are the Cubs chances? Very slim. Can they take the Wildcard? Not likely. Can anything happen in baseball? Absolutly. The NL Central has lost it's two biggest power hitters in Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. The Brewers are also about to lose Ryan Braun. That leaves Joey Votto as the premier offence in the Central. That's why the Cubs can't be counted out. If you look at their rotation the have Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Chris Volstad and Travis Wood, Likely in that order. That put Randy Wells and Andy Sonnanstine in the Bullpen and Casey Coleman in AAA. That's the pitching depth they need. If Dempster and Wood have bounce back years and Garza and Maholm have the years they had last year you have a very good rotation. All they would need is solid defence behind them and run support and if they get that they have a potential of at least three starters with 15 win. Run support is something they will get. Starlin Castro, David DeJesus and Marlon Byrd will start off the lineup. They are all get on base guys with a little power, but like Moneyball says get on base. Then you have the anchor of the lineup in Bryan LaHair. It does not matter if Alfonso Soriano is on the team or not, they have to play Bryan LaHair in left field. He had over 100 extra base hits in AAA, MLB and winter league ball. It does not matter if you're paying the other guy out the ass, when someone get over 200 hits and over 100 extra base hits they get to play. After LaHair you have newly aquired Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo has amazing potiental, the potiental to hit 30-35 homeruns. Hit him behind LaHair and you have a devastating 4-5 combo. Follow them up with Geovany Soto, who can hit 20-30 homeruns. He's a power hitting catcher, who needs to wait for the ball to come to him. He has shown he can do it, when he hit 3 homeruns in one game. Newly aquired Ian Stewart will hit next. He's a strickly power guy. He'll give 20-25 homeruns but he will hit for a low average and give you about 100 hits. But that power is good to have when you're batter seventh. Finally Darwin Barney will bat eighth. Originally used for defence, he showed he can hit. He has no power but he can get at least 150 hits. He probably could've got more but he had a stint on the DL. You add that offence with that pitching and you have a winning team, in my opinion. Now they still have to get through the Reds, Brewers and Cardinals and you never know about the Pirates, but anything could happen.