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  #1  
Unread 10-05-2012, 03:43 PM
Arlie Rahn Arlie Rahn is offline
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Default GDSBlog: Why Miguel Cabrera should be MVP and some College football picks!

I'm going to try and get back to doing a weekly blog for GDS. I will deal with a sports or game related topic and also give a few College Football picks each week (for those of you inclined to wager jelly beans). Today's blog is on Miguel Cabrera and why he should be MVP.

The case for Cabrera to be AL MVP

Most of the statistical community has come out in favor of Mike Trout for AL MVP. While I think it's a very close decision and would be fine with Trout winning, I feel like the stat community has gotten too embedded in "probability stats" (like wOBA, BABIP and WAR) and dismissed many of the performance stats (RBI, situational hitting, numbers down the stretch). When predicting which free agent to sign or who would be a better player in the future, the stats like BABIP (AVG on balls in play), wOBP (weighted on base)
and WAR (wins above replacement) are good data points to help in that decision. They tend to eliminate "fluke" events and focus more on the pure talent of a player.

However, when trying to choose an MVP, all events need to be taken into account. This is an award based on performance, not a decision to offer someone a 10-year contract. If pitcher A ends up with 18 wins and a 2.50 ERA based and outperforms his underlying stats (ie, xFIP) - he still deserves award consideration over another player who won 12 games with a 3.00 ERA, but who had a much lower xFIP. The same concept goes with RBI, AVG and situational stats that may not be a great sample size - but still happened and played a role in the player's team winning games.

With that said, here is my case for Cabrera to be the MVP:

1. Performance with 2 outs and runners in scoring position.

Cabrera - 57 plate appearances: .420 AVG, 1.211 OPS, 4 HR, 29 RBI, 7 Ks
Trout - 61 plate appearances: .286 AVG, .782 OPS, 0 HR, 16 RBI, 15 Ks

2. Performance in the final 3 innings + extras.

Cabrera - 212 PA: .421 OBP, 1.095 OPS, 38 R, 17 HR, 43 RBI, 26 Ks
Trout - 179 PA: .360 OBP, .837 OPS, 28 R, 8 HR, 18 RBI, 53 Ks


3. Performance in the 7th or later with the batting team tied, ahead by one, or the tying run at least on deck.

Cabrera - 102 PA: .422 OBP, 1.040 OPS, 17 R, 23 RBI, 13 Ks
Trout - 79 PA: .338 OBP, .784 OPS, 9 R, 11 RBI, 20 Ks


4. Performance with men on base

Cabrera - 333 plate appearances: .405 OBP, .993 OPS, 54 R, 112 RBI, 43 Ks
Trout - 214 plate appearances: .383 OBP, .917 OPS, 42 R, 62 RBI, 45 Ks

5. Performance after the All Star Break

Cabrera - 317 PA: .407 OBP, 1.074 OPS, 57 R, 26 HR, 68 RBI, 48 Ks, 192 OPS+
Trout - 349 PA: .401 OBP, .966 OPS, 72 R, 18 HR, 43 RBI, 82 Ks, 165 OPS+

6. Cabrera's team made the playoffs because of a final push that saw him hit a 1.080 OPS in his final 57 games. Trout had a .870 OPS in his final 57 games.

7. Cabrera won the triple crown.

There are many other arguments people could make for Trout. But, down the stretch and in the biggest at bats that could impact wins, Cabrera was simply better than Trout. Then, you add in that Detroit made the playoffs and the triple crown - and my pick in Cabrera by a nose for the MVP.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS FOR THE WEEKEND!

Rutgers -7 over UCONN
Ball State +2.5 over Northern IL
Cincinnati -20 over Miami (OH)
Missouri -7 over Vanderbilt
Clemson -10.5 over Georgia Tech

Upset Special
Texas Tech over Oklahoma
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  #2  
Unread 10-05-2012, 03:50 PM
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BHK1978 BHK1978 is offline
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Trout had a great year but to me the bottom line is Cabrera did something that has not been done since 1967. That in and of itself should be the reason why he gets the AL MVP. I have never been into the Bill James stats, to me Cabrera had a historical season and that is that.
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  #3  
Unread 10-05-2012, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BHK1978 View Post
Trout had a great year but to me the bottom line is Cabrera did something that has not been done since 1967. That in and of itself should be the reason why he gets the AL MVP. I have never been into the Bill James stats, to me Cabrera had a historical season and that is that.
Mike Trout did something that nobody has ever done, with 30 home runs, 45 stolen bases, and 125 runs scored. How is that less important than leading in RBI, which itself is about as relevant as wins?

The fact is Trout is far superior defensively and on the bases. That's two of the three facets of baseball. Obviously, Cabrera had a historic season, but so did Trout.

Last edited by soxfan93 : 10-05-2012 at 06:53 PM.
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  #4  
Unread 10-05-2012, 07:01 PM
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So give Trout the Rookie of the Year award that he deserves and give Cabrera the MVP that he deserves.
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  #5  
Unread 10-05-2012, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Rone Rivendale View Post
So give Trout the Rookie of the Year award that he deserves and give Cabrera the MVP that he deserves.
Because that would mean that Trout doesn't deserve the MVP award, which is incorrect. They both equally deserve it.

And to be fair, Cabrera wouldn't be the first player to hit for the triple crown and not win the MVP award. In fact, of the 13 previous modern-era triple crown winners, only 5 won the MVP award that same year.
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  #6  
Unread 10-06-2012, 01:23 AM
Arlie Rahn Arlie Rahn is offline
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Trout had a great season, but he had so many low pressure ABs. 70% of his plate appearances were with no one on base and Hunter, Pujols and Trumbo waiting in the wings. Cabrera had over half his plate appearances in pressure situations with men on base and actually did better in those than when the bases were empty. Those include facing a reliever, getting pitched around (Cabrera had over 4-times the intentional base on balls as Trout and struck out 30-40% less than Trout) and many situations where a walk didn't help much. 50% of the time Trout came up with a guy on 3rd and two out, he either struck out or walked. Only 18% of the time did he get a hit. Compare that to Cabrera who got a hit almost 40% of the time in those situations.

Trout scored 20 more runs and had 45 more SB. Cabrera had 23 more hits, 41 fewer Ks, 36 points higher in SLG, 14 more HR and 56 more RBI. I'm not sure that SBs are enough to tip the scales. IMO, Cabrera had the better offensive season while Trout was the better defender. When you throw in how Cabrera hit in key plate appearances, that his team made the playoffs and that he won the triple crown - I think that's enough to earn him the MVP.

Last edited by Arlie Rahn : 10-06-2012 at 01:30 AM.
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  #7  
Unread 10-08-2012, 11:14 AM
Arlie Rahn Arlie Rahn is offline
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Originally Posted by Arlie Rahn View Post
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS FOR THE WEEKEND!

Rutgers -7 over UCONN
Ball State +2.5 over Northern IL
Cincinnati -20 over Miami (OH)
Missouri -7 over Vanderbilt
Clemson -10.5 over Georgia Tech
Rutgers won 19-3 (W)
Ball St. lost 35-23 (L)
Cincy won 52-14 (W)
Missouri lost 19-15 (L)
Clemson won 47-31 (W)

3-2 first weekend - not too shabby. I'll be shooting fro 60% this season.
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  #8  
Unread 10-11-2012, 09:07 AM
juggaloninjalee juggaloninjalee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soxfan93 View Post
Because that would mean that Trout doesn't deserve the MVP award, which is incorrect. They both equally deserve it.

And to be fair, Cabrera wouldn't be the first player to hit for the triple crown and not win the MVP award. In fact, of the 13 previous modern-era triple crown winners, only 5 won the MVP award that same year.
I think the OP by Arlie proves that Cabrera should be the MVP and Trout doesn't deserve it this year. Most normal years I would say Trout does but Cabrera had a better year. Simple as that.
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  #9  
Unread 10-11-2012, 10:02 PM
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Such a close call. Both guys are really deserving, but I'd give it to Miggy ever so slightly.
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  #10  
Unread 10-13-2012, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soxfan93 View Post
Mike Trout did something that nobody has ever done, with 30 home runs, 45 stolen bases, and 125 runs scored. How is that less important than leading in RBI, which itself is about as relevant as wins?

The fact is Trout is far superior defensively and on the bases. That's two of the three facets of baseball. Obviously, Cabrera had a historic season, but so did Trout.
First, outside of the sabermetrics community, people don't tend to value SBs and defense. Before you protest, look at who owners give big money to. The Triple Crown is composed of the three stats baseball has always revered. Mike Trout is not going to carry a team on his back for any stretch of time, much less the home stretch. Did Cabrera do that this season? Yes, he did.

I'm not slighting Mike Trout at all. He's a phenomenal player with a tremendous upside. But the 'he's done what no one has ever done' thing kinda rings hollow when your team isn't even in the playoffs. I should note that Rickey Henderson has approached the line you cite on a few occasions, falling short in the home run category. But Rickey Henderson took over entire games (and playoff series as well) so those fewer homers weren't really that big a deal. Lineup protection should also be considered but often isn't.

Cabrera should win the MVP, unless the sabermetrics coalition of the baseball writers manages to form a majority. Cabrera is an integral part of a World Series contending team and performed better in the most clutch situations. THAT is a Most Valuable Player. Trout will do well with Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove.
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  #11  
Unread 10-13-2012, 01:55 PM
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soxfan93 soxfan93 is offline
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There are certainly cases for Miguel Cabrera, which you all are making, but somebody has to, apparently, be the "bad guy" and make a case for Mike Trout, which is just as easy if you look at real stats and not just "Triple Crown" and "Playoffs."

Why isn't anyone taking into account that, while the Tigers made the playoffs, the Angels had the better record? Or that Mike Trout is the lead-off hitter (hence the RBI disparity), not the 3 or 4 guy? Or that Trout had a higher OBP, which is a far better statistic than batting average - even though he struck out 50% more, he got on base more often than Cabrera. Or that Trout did all of this while playing 22 fewer games than Cabrera, and if the numbers were projected out for 161 games, he would have ended up with 35 home runs, 96 RBI, 149 runs scored, and 56 stolen bases?

And Remi, maybe you're right in saying SBs and defense don't matter in baseball. But they damn-sure should. An offensive player does three things throughout a game: he hits; he runs the bases; and he plays defense. If somebody does all three at an MVP level, why would we give it to somebody else who barely does two of those things at all, and hits a little bit better, just because he led the league in three categories?
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  #12  
Unread 10-13-2012, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soxfan93 View Post
And Remi, maybe you're right in saying SBs and defense don't matter in baseball. But they damn-sure should. An offensive player does three things throughout a game: he hits; he runs the bases; and he plays defense. If somebody does all three at an MVP level, why would we give it to somebody else who barely does two of those things at all, and hits a little bit better, just because he led the league in three categories?
I agree with you. However, running the bases doesn't put fannies in seats. Winning and big towering bombs do. But I didn't say that SBs and defense don't matter. I said they're not valued nearly as highly as HRs, RBI, and BA. I patterned my game after Ted Williams and Rickey Henderson (and even got my mother to pay for me to go to Walt Hriniak's hitting camp years ago). Home runs are a feast or famine proposition but good baserunning and defense produces consistent performance every game. An exceptional baserunner/base thief can change the entire complexion of the game. All of a sudden, the pitcher has to throw far more fastballs than they might like, which is good for everyone behind that thief. But the casual fan (the people who can't tell a slider from a sinker without being told by the announcers) doesn't know or care about that. "Triple Crown" and "championship contender" hold a ton of weight with these folks.

If the players who star on the back pages in the biggest media markets don't win the awards, people stop caring about the awards. It's like when the World Series features two small market clubs. MLB and their network sponsors lose their minds worrying over how bad the ratings will be. The MVP award typically goes to the guy with the gaudiest stats, even if he's a starting pitcher (once every five days? No problem!). That's why I'd be shocked if Trout won or even if the vote was close.
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