OT: AL MVP Race - Cabrera/Trout

Submitted by Ron_Lippitt on August 8th, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Interesting debate on 97.1 going on regarding who the stronger MVP candidate is today:  Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout. 

My immediate (homer) response was that Cabrera is the obvious selection.  But in looking at the numbers as of today:

The contrasting elements in Trout's favor is the speed (base stealing), combined with his possible Gold Glove defense.  Trout has higher on-base and slugging %.  Cabrera's RBI totals are staggering, however.

I think it'll come down to how their respective teams finish that'll determine the vote.  Very close call today.



August 8th, 2012 at 5:29 PM ^

Is more dangerous right now. I think opposing pitchers would rather face trout than cabby with the game on the line. However if trout wins MVP it would be deserved.


August 8th, 2012 at 5:45 PM ^

The voters also love cumulative stats, which was a big reason why Morneau won the award in 2006. Looking at advanced metrics, it's clearly Trout, but voters don't, so Cabrera's still very much in it, although Trout still has a slight advantage due to his SB number and position.


August 8th, 2012 at 6:11 PM ^

Trout's having a better season in rate stats/ per game, but the Angels have played as many games as the Tigers (techinically one more at the moment) and Miguel has been there for everyone of them.  Trout has not.  He missed 23 Angel games so far.

The WAR gap is 2.1 wins over a full season (7.1 vs 4.9), but Cabrera has played in 22 more games.  The WAR stat says Cabrera only added 1 extra win to the tiger total in that span, but that takes a significant slice off the WAR gap...and that's if you're going to be slavishly devoted to that one stat (any reasonable Tiger fan knows that if they played Inge or Kelly in those early season games the Tigers would have lost several more games.)

Given that the defensive WAR is not a very reliable number (nor are any other defensive stats), I'd put more focus on the offensive WAR, where the gap is much smaller - 1.3.  Now you see that the 22 games difference makes the applied WAR value very negligible.

We're talking about a statistical measure of 1 win over the course of a full season?  A measure that any reasonable person agrees has pretty significant flaws??  I think in that situation there's a good chance that you start looking at non-statistical considerations (like the fact that Cabrera changed positions for Fielder and hits at the heart of the order, like the fact that Dirks and Jackson have benefited from hitting above him, and the universal respect for his offensive ability.)

I think Cabrera's going to win it and I don't think I'm being a homer in saying that it's fair if he does.


August 8th, 2012 at 6:24 PM ^

If Trout keeps up his pace, he will win because he is more "valuable" than Cabrera.   However, I think his numbers will drop as teams go into overdrive for playoff contention.  If you ask me, I would bet on one of the greatest hitters of this generation sustaining his numbers over a rookie.

Conclusion:  If Trout can keep going strong, he wins.  Realistically, Cabrera wins. 


August 8th, 2012 at 6:38 PM ^

Trout is a completely sick, unbelievable mix of speed and power.  I get that he can get on base and steal bases.  Lots of guys can do that.  But guys with most of the numbers he has don't hit that many home runs.  Cabrera is insanely good and has been crazy productive during this stretch, but Trout seems like he's once-in-a-lifetime.  He's Ty Cobb good.


August 9th, 2012 at 12:35 AM ^

Anyone have any idea why Cabby's walks have been so far down this year?  108 last year, only 48 this year.  He is going to be down considerably.


August 9th, 2012 at 8:01 AM ^

The guys in PTI were talking about this yesterday. Tony said that voters could think about giving Trout the Rookie of the Year and giving Miguel the MVP. Any thoughts about that?