OT: Cabrera to win Triple Crown Tonight?

Submitted by Allin4Blue on October 3rd, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Cabrera will most likely make history tonight against the Royals. 

-Hamilton has to face one of the toughest pitchers in baseball right now (Griffin) who has only given up 10 HRs all year (three of them against the Tigers). Not to mention he would have to hit 2. 

-It's pretty much assumed he's won the RBI title. 

-Batting Average will most likely be won as well since 1 hit by Cabrera would nearly make it impossible for anyone to catch him.  He will most likely get 2-4 at bats tonight and would have to go 0-4 while Trout would have to hit 4-4 to catch him.  If Cabby hits 1 for 3, Trout would need 6 for 6 to catch him.  So it's likely that one hit or one out by Trout all but guarantees the Batting Average title.

(ESPN is going to Air every at bat from him.)

The Crazy thing is that he still might not win the MVP! 

Cabrera: 1st Triple Crown since '67, Playoff team, huge lead in OPS, SLG, and is 6th among 3rd baseman in Fielding percentage

Trout:  Tied for 34th in assists among CF, did not make the playoffs, 9th in Fielding percentage among CF. 

How is this not already handed to Cabrera and why is there even a debate... it's baffling.

Trout has four edges: stolen bases, runs, OBP, and WAR (which is the the most subjective Stat ever invented in baseball).

Not to mention Cabrera appeared in 161 of 162 games and trout only appeared in 139.





October 3rd, 2012 at 10:29 AM ^

Correction: Trout has appeared in 138 games. 

Although I'd like to see Cabrera win the MVP, I will have no complaints if Trout wins it. The Triple Crown is much more important to Cabrera's legacy anyway.

Todd Plate's n…

October 3rd, 2012 at 10:31 AM ^

Any talking head still discussing the mvp race is just filling time, Cabrera is a lock to win the MVP.

This is one of those 'will be the only time I see this in my life' sort of moments as a fan.  An incredible accomplishment. 

EDIT - I believe the Rangers play in the afternoon, so we'll know where Hamilton ends up before the Tigers play. 


October 3rd, 2012 at 10:31 AM ^

I'm a Sox fan (Ketchup, not Mayo), and while I grew up hearing about how Yaz was the last player to win the Triple Crown, I think it's about time someone else accomplished it. It's been generations since it has been done. The sport really needs something like this. 


October 3rd, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

Why is this a debate IMO?  Two words: Justin Verlander

I don't think the writers like giving out the award to players on the same team in back to back years - especially if they havent won the Series yet.


Monocle Smile

October 3rd, 2012 at 10:36 AM ^

Generally, the people who are pulling for Mike Trout (who aren't Angels fans) are white journalists who root for crappy NL teams. That's really the only way I can think of for them to compare the ludicrous "other Triple Crown" (SB, OBP, WAR) to the existing one.


October 3rd, 2012 at 11:03 AM ^

Well said.  Cabrera has had a bigger impact on his own team and how other teams approach the Tigers, especially down the stretch. 

I'm also tired of hearing how Cabby is terrible at 3rd.  Scouts have been surprised at how well he made the transition, after taking one for the team to switch from 1st.   His fielding precentage won't win any Gold Gloves, but it's been decent.


October 3rd, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

Exactly. And I am so annoyed that this whole debate has turned into "WAR IS FOR STAT NERDS WHO LIVE IN THEIR MOM'S BASEMENT" vs. "THE TRIPLE CROWN IS MEANINGLESS AND ONLY MOUTH-BREATHING LUDDITES CARE ABOUT IT." There are several elements to the game and several factors in value. WAR does a very good job of summing all of those, and should be paid attention to. However, there's a visual element to the game that is lost, and of course, no advanced statistic captures everything. People can make a convincing case for Trout based on things other than WAR. People can make a convincing case for Cabrera based on things other than the Triple Crown. The fact that the debate has been so minimized annoys me.


October 3rd, 2012 at 12:16 PM ^

I think the fogeys vs. sabernerds argument is one of the best things baseball has going for it.  Baseball more than any other sport lends itself to debate, statistical quirks, not-since-19-dickety-three accomplishments....it's one of the greatest traditions ever in a sport that's absolutely loaded with tradition and lore.  Sabermetrics opened up a whole new world of statisticizing and a whole new world of debate.  It's fantastic.


October 3rd, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

I should say that I think the debate is a good one to have, but I don't like the way that it is being had. I know in our society debates often turn to extreme one vs. the other scenario, without people being able to see or understand gray areas. I don't think the debate needs to be framed as nerds v fogeys. The assumption that saber people don't watch games is annoying to me, yet this MVP debate has just perpetuated that stereotype. When someone goes on an internet rant about Trout > Cabrera because of WAR, it shows how some stats people are truly disconnected from the game. There's context. If he is truly better, WAR is simply an indication, not a justification. You can find other ways to say and show that.


October 3rd, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^

I just think there are way too many variables at play to get a good value for WAR

If a player goes down, there's more likely to be shuffling than straight replacing him with the "average" replacement.  For example if Trout goes down, they'll shuffle around their outfield and put the "average" guy in Left.

Then instead of "losing" 10 wins you lose 4 from Trout to the shuffle, and another 3 from the shuffle-ee to the "average."

And would Cabrera's be higher if he were still at 1B?  He changed positions 6 weeks before the season.  How can that be taken into account?

Just too many "What if's" with WAR.  You don't get those with OPS and WHIP.


October 3rd, 2012 at 4:04 PM ^

Sabermetrics are fun, and add an exciting element to sports discussion.  However, sometimes you find things that are just so funny to say aloud, you can't help but laugh while reading them.

For example, sabermetrics would tell us that Michael Bourn has a higher Replacement Value than all but 6 players in MLB?  Not THAT'S funny.  Michael Bourn would be a burden in any hitting lineup, unless you favor someone who strikes out once a game.  It also might be an indication that the weights for the stats are slighted in favor of defensive players, which Bourn certainly is.



October 3rd, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

Gator on Karsh & Anderson was railing against WAR yesterday about how ridiculous it is, and made what I thought was a good point. He was complaining about how WAR is based on a fictitious, average replacement player, whereas if you looked at each player's actual replacement you can understand their value better. Trout's replacement would be Peter Bourjos, who is a pretty decent player and offers similar skills as Trout, whereas Cabrera's replacement at third is some hybrid of Don Kelly, Brandon Inge, Ramon Santiago, who are garbage offensively and aside from  Inge, only modest improvements over Cabrera defensively.


October 3rd, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

If you want to use some advanced fielding statistics, Mike Trout has the second best UZR among CF (11.7). Cabrera has the second worst UZR among 3B (-10.6).

UZR = ultimate zone rating. The number of runs above or below average a fielder is in both range runs and error runs combined.

Defensive metrics and base running is why many sports writers have Trout over Cabrera. Ultimately, I think it comes down to the fact that the Tigers made the playoffs, and the Angels did not.

If the Angels had called Trout up before the end of April, the Angels probably make the playoffs, and Trout ends up with even more ridiculous numbers.


October 3rd, 2012 at 12:32 PM ^


If the Angels had called Trout up before the end of April, the Angels probably make the playoffs, and Trout ends up with even more ridiculous numbers.


Not going to agree with this. Trout's numbers have significantly gone down as pitchers have figured him out.

Have a look see -


APRIL 0.091 0.167 0.348 0.182
MAY 0.324 0.385 0.941 0.556
JUNE 0.372 0.419 0.950 0.531
JULY 0.392 0.455 1.259 0.804
AUGUST 0.284 0.366 0.866 0.500
SEPTEMBER 0.257 0.380 0.836 0.455

August and September have been pretty "pedestrian" for Trout.  Here's Cabrera's for comparison -


APRIL 0.298 0.368 0.940 0.571
MAY 0.331 0.371 0.839 0.468
JUNE 0.311 0.387 0.990 0.604
JULY 0.344 0.409 1.086 0.677
AUGUST 0.357 0.429 1.092 0.663
SEPTEMBER 0.308 0.378 1.032 0.654



October 3rd, 2012 at 4:30 PM ^

Here's a chart showing those 4 stats for both players from May to September -

Trout had one really outstanding hitting month, and that's what it really boils down to.  He has seen a decline in his hitting from the beginning of the season.  Cabrera is hitting better now than he was at the beginning of the season. You can't say the same for Trout.


October 3rd, 2012 at 5:32 PM ^

No, you can't, but who cares?

The games are weighted the same, whether they happen in May or September.

The end numbers are all that matters, placing a greather emphasis on games played later in the year is ignorant.


October 3rd, 2012 at 7:10 PM ^

He's pointing out that breaking Trout's season down shows one extraordinary month and then a descent into less than stellar at the plate. Now Trout's final numbers are still good, there's no question. But at this point there's nothing he can do to catch Cabrera in BA except hope that Miggy plays and goes 0-fer while Trout has an incredible night at the plate.

Further, Trout is barely above Cabrera in OBP for the season and behind him in BA. Cabrera is a run producer batting third (hence his significant lead in RBIs and HRs). Now tell me how a leadoff hitter can win the MVP without having the league best batting average nor the league best OBP?

Steve Lorenz

October 3rd, 2012 at 6:12 PM ^

A. How do you know Cabrera has had a bigger impact on his own team? Because you watch them more than you watch the Angels? 

B. Cabrera is terrible at third. I don't care if you're a saber nerd or not, fielding percentage is an awful indicator of how good of a defensive player you are. His range is next to nothing and it's easy to have a good fielding percentage when you aren't a good enough defender to put yourself in a position to make plays that some players can't. 

The goal of baseball is to outscore your opposition and win games. You do this by scoring runs on offense and preventing runs on defense. The argument could easily be made that Trout has been the best player in baseball at producing and preventing. I love Cabrera, I love the Tigers, but to me it's Trout. It's closer than it was a few weeks ago, but to me it's still a comfortable decision. 


October 3rd, 2012 at 7:37 PM ^

I'm a lover of small ball, so i like speedy, quality defenders that hit for average. The fact of the matter is that Trout does not (and will not) lead the AL in BA or OBP. Sorry, WAR it to death, but a leadoff hitter not leading the league in BA is not the MVP, especially considering the decline his hitting has gone through in August and September.

And rarely is the MVP about defense, especially in the AL. Most of the AL winners over the last decade or so have had low dWARs. Giambi's MVP season in 2000 saw him with a -0.2. In 2010, when Cabrerra came in second he had a -1.2 (Hamilton had a 0.8, a career best by a long shot). 

The argument that Trout has been the best player in baseball at producing and preventing is moot because it's the Most Valuable Player award, not the best player. And by your reasoning for Trout, an AL pitcher could never win the award since they don't produce runs.

Steve Lorenz

October 3rd, 2012 at 7:51 PM ^

Again, where did I say WAR once? Please, stop placing me into a certain group to fit your argument. 

I know the MVP is rarely about defense. That's my issue. It's a major part of the game for a position player. It rightfully needs to be considered. 


October 3rd, 2012 at 12:20 PM ^

Had the Angels managed to squeak in, Trout would've had a better case.  I don't under the WAR calculations that put the Tigers as only 6 or 7 wins worse without Miguel, but regardless, we clinched at Game 159, so those 6 or 7 wins mattered a LOT.  Miguel had the bigger year statistically and he is about to set a career milestone that hasn't been achieved since Lyndon Johnson was president.  Media types who are still pimping for Trout just sound stupid.

French West Indian

October 3rd, 2012 at 6:08 PM ^

The Angels may have more wins than the Tigers at the moment but frankly that doesn't really hold in merit because those wins need to understood in context.

The first goal is not to win more games than teams in other divisions, the primary goal is to win your division.  The Tigers acheived this and the Angels failed.  Getting into caught up in overall won-loss records isn't a good comparison because of the different contexts within which the teams operate and it's too conjectural to figure what might have happened if the Tigers and Angels were in different divisions...or even the same division. 

The bottom line is that Cabrera led his team to a title while the Angels (including Trout) failed.  In that sense,it's advantage Cabrera as far as the MVP is concerned.

Steve Lorenz

October 3rd, 2012 at 6:14 PM ^

How does that not hold merit? Especially when you consider the Angels A. played in a tougher division and B. played in a smaller division, meaning their rotation of games included more matchups with Tampa Bay, New York and Baltimore among others. 

To say the Angels wouldn't have won the AL Central is naive at best. The AL Central sucks; anybody who denies this is crazy. 


October 3rd, 2012 at 6:50 PM ^

Yes the primary goal of a team is to win their division. Independent of context teams do that by winning as many games as possible whether it's against their own division of against others. Put in context the Angels were 25-20 against the AL central. The Angels play in debatably the best division in baseball. Hell, the worst team in the AL west, the Mariners, were 25-16 against the AL central. To say wins need to be understood in context actually weakens your agrument. The Tigers aboslutely feasted on the AL central at 42-29 as of today but were a paltry 13-20 against the west. The Angels played 56 games against the AL west and the Tigers played 33. That's 23 extra games against a more difficult division that the Angels had to deal with. Conversely the Angels only got to play 45 against the Central and the Tigers played a whopping 71 as of today. If you place the Angels in the Central they are probably the top seed in the America league by a hefty margin. There are a lot of arguments in favor of Cabrera for MVP saying Cabrera gets the advantage in the MVP voting because he made a crappy division look even worse shouldn't be one of them. 


October 3rd, 2012 at 10:40 AM ^

Leyland said on the radio that Cabrera will be a game-time decision and he'll be watching the Texas game to help make the decision. If Hamilton doesn't hit a HR, don't expect them to play Cabrera.


October 3rd, 2012 at 11:03 AM ^

I heard that. I just did the math, if Miggy gets 3 or fewer ABs, Trout needs to go 5 for 5 or better to catch him. 4 for 5 wouldn't do it, so as soon as Trout gets one out (or likely a walk, sac fly, HBP) it's over.

If I were the Seattle pitcher, I wouldn't throw Trout a single strike. He knows a walk all but kills him, so he'll be swinging at everything. He should be an easy K today.


October 3rd, 2012 at 10:50 AM ^

Texas will be done playing before the Tigers start.  The Angels start at 6:40 and the Tigers start at 8:10.  For those playing along at home here are the possible batting averages based upon tonight's potential performance.


CURRENT 180 556 0.3237   205 620 0.3306
0/1 180 557 0.3232   205 621 0.3301
0/2 180 558 0.3226   205 622 0.3296
0/3 180 559 0.3220   205 623 0.3291
0/4 180 560 0.3214   205 624 0.3285
0/5 180 561 0.3209   205 625 0.3280
0/6 180 562 0.3203   205 626 0.3275
1/1 181 557 0.3250   206 621 0.3317
1/2 181 558 0.3244   206 622 0.3312
1/3 181 559 0.3238   206 623 0.3307
1/4 181 560 0.3232   206 624 0.3301
1/5 181 561 0.3226   206 625 0.3296
1/6 181 562 0.3221   206 626 0.3291
2/2 182 558 0.3262   207 622 0.3328
2/3 182 559 0.3256   207 623 0.3323
2/4 182 560 0.3250   207 624 0.3317
2/5 182 561 0.3244   207 625 0.3312
2/6 182 562 0.3238   207 626 0.3307
3/3 183 559 0.3274   208 623 0.3339
3/4 183 560 0.3268   208 624 0.3333
3/5 183 561 0.3262   208 625 0.3328
3/6 183 562 0.3256   208 626 0.3323
4/4 184 560 0.3286   209 624 0.3349
4/5 184 561 0.3280   209 625 0.3344
4/6 184 562 0.3274   209 626 0.3339
5/5 185 561 0.3298   210 625 0.3360
5/6 185 562 0.3292   210 626 0.3355
6/6 186 562 0.3310   211 626 0.3371



October 3rd, 2012 at 10:53 AM ^

Then it should be impossible for him to lose the batting title if he sits out, correct? Trout would have to go 5-5 just to tie him, and he'd just be hoping that Hamilton doesn't hit 2 HRs.