The AL MVP race

Sabathia gives up five homers in loss to Rays
2011 Draft: Yankees will not sign 36th rounder Ryan Thompson

As it stands, there are likely five strong candidates for the American League MVP award. Three of them play on the Boston Red Sox: Adrian Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. The fourth is Jose Bautista. The last one is New York’s own Curtis Granderson. With a little more than forty games to go it’s looking increasingly like it will be a close race. Indeed, despite the fact that Bautista has hit the cover off the ball this season, a confluence of factors may open the door open for other candidates and create a real voting free-for-all.

Bautista’s offensive production really stands head and shoulders above the rest of the class. He’s batting .307/.444/.627 with 33 home runs, 76 RBIs and 83 runs scored. The batting average is nice, sure, but it’s really his on-base percentage (bolstered by a nearly 20% walk rate) and slugging percentage that stand out. Bautista currently has a wOBA of .447, tops in the American League by over 35 points, and a wRC+ of 188. By UZR‘s reckoning he’s 1 run below average on defense, but despite that his overall fWAR is 6.8, only one tenth below his 2010 mark. This is a reflection of a better BABIP (.233 in 2010), more walks and better defense this year as opposed to last year.

Despite the fact that he’s the preeminent offensive producer in the American League, Bautista’s case for the MVP award may be handicapped by several factors. For one, his RBI total is low. This isn’t his fault, but it’s still a statistic many voters will consider. The second is that there’s been a bit of controversy surrounding him last year with steroids and this year with sign-stealing. A lot of that is tremendously unfair, particularly the steroids accusations (and the sign-stealing accusations, if you ask Drunk Jays Fans), so it’s hard to know the extent to which voters will penalize him. Thirdly, Bautista is going through a bit of a slump right now. Since the All-Star Break he’s hitting .205/.355/.342, meaning that his early season heroics may fade in the minds of some voters by the time voting comes around, provided he doesn’t go on another hot streak. Lastly, he plays on a non-contending team and some voters will bizarrely refuse to vote for players on non-contending teams. For this reason there may be a some daylight for some of the other candidates to make their way to the top of the ballot.

One of those players is Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury is hitting .313/.367/.504 with 19 home runs, 72 RBI and 84 runs scored. Ellsbury has swiped 31 bases, most amongst American League MVP candidates. He’s sporting a .386 wOBA and a wRC+ of 143. His BABIP is .339, which explains his high on base marks despite a relatively meager 7.2% walk rate. Ellsbury also looks great in the field, scoring 7.5 runs above average by UZR’s reckoning. Overall, Ellsbury has accrued 5.7 total fWAR, bolstered no doubt by a high defensive score and his skill on the base paths. Since he’s not likely to lead the league or his fellow MVP candidates in any other category but stolen bases, Ellsbury doesn’t seem like a likely candidate to knock off Bautista, especially considering the possibility that other Boston candidates will syphon off votes from his candidacy.

Another member of the Red Sox in contention is Adrian Gonzalez, currently batting .350/.411/.553 with 18 home runs, 92 RBI and 79 runs scored. Gonzalez has a wOBA of .411, second only to Jose Bautista amongst the five potential candidates, and his wRC+ is 160. Gonzalez is currently rocking a .390 BABIP, which explains the inflation throughout his batting line. In fact, he’s actually posting the lowest walk rate and ISO since 2006. This isn’t meant to diminish his production. Like the Cy Young, awards should be given out based on what’s actually happened, not what one would expect to happen if given another 162 games. However, there is plenty of time for Gonzalez to see some regression on balls in play, which would make his batting line look a little less impressive. UZR grades Gonzalez well, 7.1 runs above average,which is the highest mark of his career, and his total fWAR is 5.3. Gonzalez’s case for MVP likely rests on his prodigious offensive production, whereas players like Ellsbury, Pedroia and Granderson bring a very well-rounded profile to the table. This isn’t to say that Gonzalez doesn’t play good defense, just that he would seem to need to go toe to toe with Bautista on offense to have a chance at knocking him off. Gonzalez is in the midst of a power outage by his standards (.427 SLG since the All-Star Break), so he’ll have to get going quickly if he’s going to make a move on Bautista.

The strongest MVP candidate on the Red Sox has won the award before. Dustin Pedroia is currently in the midst of a career year, batting .311/.403/.478 with 15 home runs, 60 RBI and 76 runs scored. His wOBA (.390), wRC+ (145), stolen bases (23), on-base percentage and walk rate (13.6%) all represent career highs for the second baseman. He’s also grading out very well by UZR’s standards, 14.6 runs above average. Pedroia has always been regarded as a good fielder, so this isn’t a surprise. All told, Pedroia has accrued 6.8 fWAR. Last night he passed Jose Bautista and currently holds the lead in the American League. As such, he probably has the best chance of anyone in the American League to beat out Bautista for the award. He has a lot going for him: his offensive game is superb and well-rounded, he runs the bases well and he plays great defense. He’s also won the award before and is currently getting loads of media attention from national publications like Sports Illustrated. If voters are willing to buy into the all-around aspect of Pedroia’s game, and they’ve done so before, and are looking for someone other than Bautista to support, he may take home the award for the second time.

The final candidate for MVP is Curtis Granderson. After last night’s game, Granderson was hitting .273/.364/.577 with 32 home runs, 93 RBI and 105 runs scored. His wOBA is .405, his wRC+ is 157, and he’s swiped 22 bases. Not that it really matters, but his BABIP stands at .306 and his walk rate is 11.7%, the latter a touch above his career average of 9.8%. One of the weaknesses in Granderson’s candidacy is the way the fielding metrics grade his fielding. This year he has a poor -8.0 UZR, which explains why his fWAR is only 5.2. His career total UZR is 17.0, and for most seasons of his career he’s graded out average or above. In 2008 his marks were bad, and in 2009 he was essentially even. Not to be that guy, but a poor fielding score for Granderson doesn’t really pass the smell test. Granderson is fast, athletic, seems to get great reads on the ball and throws the ball well. Jay Jaffe at Pinstriped Bible had some choice analysis on this very subject:

Given the nature of defensive statistics, it’s tough to take any one of these too seriously, particularly given that they can be 10-15 runs apart in a given year; last year Granderson was at -1, +6.4, -12 according to the aforementioned trio, and +1.8 according to FRAA. The consensus of the numbers is more compelling, as it does raise some eyebrows about Granderson’s defense, particularly given that the Yankees have a choice of center fielders between him and Brett Gardner, whose numbers over the past two seasons have been off the charts: +16 FRAA, +42 TZ, +41 UZR, +32 DRS. There’s always an issue with defensive stats when it comes to adjacent fielders; if both of them can get to the ball but one routinely lets the other handle it, that will skew the stats, but so long as one of them does the job, everything is copacetic from a team defense standpoint. That may be what’s happening here, but in any event, it could be worth revisiting the choice of which of the two outfielders plays left field and which plays center field, if not now, then next spring. Until then, it’s worth keeping an eye on who gets those balls in the left-center gap.

The race for the top appears to be shaping up to be quite the dogfight. Jose Bautista has been the front-runner for the American League MVP all season is probably the premier offensive threat in all of baseball. Yet there are a lot of reasons voters could turn elsewhere. Some of those reasons are unfair, or they could just prefer the excellence of Pedroia’s all-around game. Pedroia does seem to be the primary threat to Bautista. Every part of his game is excellent, and he’s a well-known player on a contending team. Curtis Granderson could be the darkhorse in this race. It’s conceivable that he could finish with some very nice round numbers – 40 home runs, 30 stolen bases, 125 RBI and a wOBA north of .400 – and like Pedroia he is a well-liked player on a contending team. The MVP ballot is going to be very tricky for voters, and will be fascinating to watch. There are a lot of different scenarios that could play out. Bautista could finish strong and win the award easily. He could continue to sputter and Pedroia could continue to shoot his way up the fWAR leaderboard and gain more and more momentum. In another scenario, the superb seasons of Ellsbury and Gonzalez could actually syphon off votes from Pedroia, helping the candidacy of someone like Curtis Granderson. With six weeks or so to go on the season, it promises to be a very interesting race.

email
Sabathia gives up five homers in loss to Rays
2011 Draft: Yankees will not sign 36th rounder Ryan Thompson
  • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

    I got Gonzalez as my number one candidate.

    • http://www.simdynasty.com/index.jsp?refer=Jeety Jeety

      There has to be some added value in the fact that Granderson is a CF and a pretty good one, and Gonzalez is a 1B, as good as he may be defensively, CF is a much greater premium position defensively…

      • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

        Of course, but Gonzalez is having the better season in his first year with a new team, so the writers are going to give him some points for that.

        • http://www.simdynasty.com/index.jsp?refer=Jeety Jeety

          How is Gonzalez having a better season? Granderson has more HR (by a lot), RBI, R, SB and is Slugging at a higher percentage, and plays a better defensive position…

          • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

            Better UZR, Better wOBA, Better Batting Average, Better WAR.

            • Tom O

              Better defense….. at first base. And while it would be unfair to simply discount a poor UZR score for a player you like, as Mike said, it doesn’t pass the smell test when almost everyone agrees Granderson has been an excellent fielder.

              • Mike HC

                Defense, and UZR in particular, is dependent on a how many chances you get to make plays in your “zone.” I think everyone agrees that Granderson is still an above average centerfielder, but this year, for whatever reason, his defense has not been that valuable.

                • MikeD

                  As Keith Law said when discussing Granderson, he does not put much faith in four months of UZR data, adding that UZR liked Granderson last season, but disliked Ellsbury. Now after four months of data we’re supposed to believe something else?

                  He, of course, uses defensive data, inlcuding UZR, but he’s just reminding everyone to not put too much emphasis on a few months. Means little, although people sometimes think it does.

                  Granderson is probably what most think he is. A good defensive CFer, but not a great defensive CFer. He’s a plus. Ellsbury is rating out better defesnively this year, but it’s unlikely he his a better defensive player.

                  • Mike HC

                    I think UZR correctly identifies Gardner as a monster in the field this year, and also correctly identifies Granderson as not really have such a monster impact with his glove, whether that is because he has not had the opportunities, and/or because Gardner has been so good he is taking all his chances.

                    Agreed that a negative UZR does not mean he is having a poor year in the field, it just means that due to a number of different circumstances, many other centerfielders have made more plays this year.

                    • Mike HC

                      Just anecdotedly, most teams corner outfielders defer to centerfielders and/or are slower than centerfielders, so the centerfielder takes most to all of the balls in the farthest parts of his zone.

                      On the Yanks, I see Granderson defer to Gardner all the time, at least partly because Gardner has a better beat on the ball, and because they are both centerfielders out there, so one shouldn’t just inherently defer to the other.

                      Meaning, the Yanks centerfielder might not be as important to his team defense as other teams centerfielders becuase Gardner is so damn good.

                      Disclaimer: None of this might be happening at all. Just giving an example really.

                  • Peter

                    I’m am all for Sabres but any stat that rates Grandy poorly and regularly rates Tex poorly doesn’t pass my sniff test. I believe UZR still needs some work…

                    Also are we going with the pitchers have their own award thing? I would take verlander or weaver over AGon any day.

  • Brandon

    I think Gonzalez wins it. But if Granderson goes on a hot streak abd gets his BA up at the end of the season, he’ll probably have to win it by default, IMO. A good average, likely 40+ HR’s, likely 120+ RBI’s, and could have 30+ steals. Kinda hard to deny that an MVP.

    Quietly, Robbie is starting to come along, and maybe he can get also get a vote or 2.

  • Jedile

    Favorite: Jose Bombtista
    Under dog: Curtis Granderson

    I don’t think granderson can win, unless he really tears it up the second half. If he gets his average +300, maybe clubs 45 dingers and scores more runs and drive in runners, I think he has a legitimate shot at almost winning.

    • Mykey

      Haha, what does a “legitimate shot at almost winning” mean?

  • Jericho Spade

    My guess, traditional writers, write off Bautista because the Jays are not contending and other reasons. The Red Sox players split the votes, and Granderson sneaks in.

  • Jim in Bingo

    Let’s imagine that Grandy nips Tex and Bautista for the home run lead (he’s only 1 behind now), squeaks by Gonzalez for the rbi lead (he’s 1 ahead now), and continues to lap the field in runs scored — combined with what he’s done re stolen bases, triples, total bases.

    How do you not give it to him then?

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      Because only one of those values speaks to the quality of Granderson’s performance, and not the lineup he’s in? Voting the MVP based on who has the most RS or RBI is about as inane as disqualifying someone just because he’s on a bad team.

      • Jim in Bingo

        Well, yes. But when has that ever stopped MVP voters?

        I think it would be unprecedented to give it to Bautista if Grandy has hit more homers, has more total bases, has driven in more runs, and scored way more. B’s advantage would all be in average and walks. I can’t see the voters doing that.

  • Winston Smith

    I’ve got Curtis Granderson and it’s not even close. Granderson plays a much more demanding position than 1B or RF and he plays it well. With A-Rod missing time, Cano and Swisher slumping early on it was Granderson who carried the Yanks. The Red Sox players are 3-4-5 after Granderson and Bautista.

  • nedro

    Wait, isn’t a “dirt dog” just a hot dog with meat sauce on it?

  • Will

    I am totally biased but Grandy deserves it. He may not have a great batting average but his home runs, rbis, and runs scored show how important he has been to the Yankees. Especially with Tex having a down year (by his standards), Arod missing time/not being himself in the first half, and also Jeter/Swisher/Gardner’s horrid first halves. If Grandy wasn’t in the lineup for a month I know the Yankees would feel it and have trouble compensating for his abscence. Where if Adrian, Ellsbury, or the Elf were out for a month the Red Sox could find ways to still construct a formiddable lineup and win. Grandy carried and continues to carry the Yankees to wins with his speed, power and defense. Thats my AL MVP.

  • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    Gonzalez was really strong in the first half but his power’s going away. Since July first he’s hit 2 HR.

  • Adam B.

    Furthermore Swisher is slightly above average with the glove this year, as well. Seems to me like there’s a good chance Granderson is having balls taken away from him

  • Bavarian Yankee

    should be a tough choice this year, right now I think it’s Bautista’s MVP-award to lose. Everyone behind him is about the same level (imo). I just looked up everybody’s stats and was very surprised that Ellsbury hit more homers than Gonzo.

  • Mike R.

    To be honest, I think Pedroia is the front runner.

    But anyway, why are people saying Granderson over Gonzalez because of position? They have the same WAR where positional value already is factored in.

  • OldYanksFan

    There is a difference between a ‘Silver Slugger’ and an ‘MVP’. If not, middle of the diamond guys (premiere D positions) would be at a disadvantage. And since players on winning teams are usually in favor, then RBI and RS do have value. After alls, RUNS is what make a team win and a player valuable.

    I don’t think there’s a stat for it, but I look at Runs Produced [RP] (RS + RBI). A lot of lead-off guys on good teams have great RS. A lot of sluggers on high scoring teams have great RBI. To be a league leader in RP is quite an accomplishment in terms of value to a team.

    In terms of Triple Slash lines, Miggy Cabrera is on par with Gonzo, Cano is just behind Mighty Mouse, but Grandy is 70 pts ahead of the #2 (Ellsbury) and 120 pts ahead of the #3 (MELKDUD!)

    It is indeed close. Bautista is having a Bondsian year. But when middle infielders and CFs are around the .900 OPS mark, I think the nod goes in that direction.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    I think Gonzalez will win it. I think a lot of writers who did “Pre-Season Award” articles that picked Adrian will pick him. It helps them feel good about themselves.

    /sarcasm
    /or am I?

  • http://riverave.blues Erik

    Has Robby Cano set the bar that high for himself? More Xtra base hits, More RBI’s, Identical runs scored. While Predroia hits in front of Gonzalez and Pappi. Cano had a slow starting Swisher and Posada batting behind him. I am tired of this Predroi love fest. Please dont tell me about WAR and all that crap. See the ball hit the ball.

  • ItsATarp

    Grandy according to Fangraphs, last year made 55 plays out of the normal zone of a CF with making 90.9% of plays in the normal zone of a CF. This year he’s made 52 plays so far out of the normal zone of the CF, while only 88.7% of the plays in the zone of a CF. what this tells us is that his range is most likely there, seeing as that he’s making a hell alot f plays out of the zone, but a few misplays within his normal range (Ex: Tampa dome game etc) or letting someone else get the ball has skewed his defensive rating.

  • Mike HC

    Really nice write up about the candidates.

    Trying to predict who the MVP is going to be is more about trying to get into the baseball writers heads and trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing and the perceptions out there, more than who has been the best player.

    I would say Bautista has been the best player this year so far though.

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    If Granderson does not win it, this be prime example of discrimination in our country. Play centerfield, and has best combination of speed and powah. Take him off the roster and the Yankees would be sunk. Bautista won’t make playoffs so he’s not important. And if Gonzalez go down, youkilis and iglesias would take over; take out ellsbury and you can move

    • Tyrone Sharpton

      In all seriousness though, I think Grandy deserves it the most…NYY would have collapsed without him

    • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

      I agree that Grandy carries this team and that the Yankees would not be where they are without him. But the rest of that is just is just as crazy as why the msm thinks Gonzalez should automatically win the award. “Prime example of discrimination in our country”? Two of the other frontrunners for MVP are Hispanic!

      • Tyrone Sharpton

        i’m not being serious about the racism part haha

        • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

          ok

  • BGrider85

    As much as I hate to say it, Granderson has almost no chance because he’s a Yankee. There is so much Sox nut hugging that goes on with these writers that I bet anything one of them gets it. To these writers, the fact that Granderson is a Yankee will be points against his #’s. In their minds, Yankee players all make so much money they’re just doing what’s expected and nothing more…

    • Frank

      I don’t necessarily agree that he won’t win because he’s a Yankee. There is a lot of Red Sox hugging in the media though. Every article I’ve read on ESPN mention Adrian Gonzalez as if he’s already won the MVP.

      Agonz will finish first, Pedroia second, Bautista third. The media are fickle and also love the Sox. They also won’t dare vote against a player who wins the batting title and leads the league in RBI (if he gets there).

  • http://riverave.blues Erik

    No one has yet to explain to me how Pedroia is always mentioned in the conversation and Cano is not.

    • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

      Because in 2011, Pedroia>>>>>Cano.

      Not close, either.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Sickening but true.

        • Erik

          More xtra base hits, More RBI’s, Same runs scored and thats’s hitting in front of AGon and Pappi. Managers rate Cano better defensively. Yet everyone is saying how great Pedroia is and Cano isn’t in the argument. Can I get a valid reason other then Pedreoia>>>>Cano this year Please!!!!

          Oh You are going to tell me On Base Percentage. Well how many more runs did he generate? Pardon the sarcasm.

          • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

            Pedroia has the major advantage in GRIT Factor.

      • K

        Ummm… No…

        Cano is batting .304/.351/.527

        Pedroia is batting .310/.402/.482

        They’re having very different seasons, Pedroia is doing a better job setting the table by getting on base and stealing while Cano is tearing the cover off the ball, going for extra base hits much more frequently. One’s scoring runs, the other is driving them in. Their OPSs arent even 10 points apart, for all intents and purposes they are having different but very close seasons. Arguing over defense is pointless, all sabermetric defensive measurements are flawed so all we have to go off of is what we see. Pedroia seems to hustle a lot harder while Cano has his standard relaxed play style, but when you look at the results they’re producing it’s hardly different. Cano had a rough patch when he made a bunch of errors in the couple of weeks after getting beaned, but since he’s been stellar.

        I’d accept someone saying Pedroia is having a better season than Cano, but to say it’s not even close is ridiculous. Cano is outplaying Pedroia handily this month, if it persists he’ll easily end up more valuable.

        I’m surprised at how much support Pedroia gets for MVP, I don’t think he has a chance. Ellsbury is hitting for a high average and displaying tons of speed and power, Bautista is crushing the ball, Gonzalez is playing all around great ball, and Granderso leads the league in runs, RBI, home runs, and triples and is on pace for 30+ steals. Those 4 are the deserving ones.

        • The Lazzeri Scooter

          IETCVM

          By the end of the year- Cano = Pedoria

  • MikeD

    The fact that the MVP race has tightened illustrates how pointless it is to declare who the MVP is in June, July or even August.

    Any of the players mentioned here, including Granderson, can win the award based on what they do the remainder of the way.

    I do wonder if having three players on one team, the Red Sox, all with strong cases, might work against those players as they may end up splitting votes. I suppose that’s a different question. Who is likely to win the award as opposed to who is the most deserving.

    WAR, UZR etc. aren’t used to determine the MVP, although those who follow it in the media will use it to support their cases, so it will have some impact.

    Pedroia’s case is built on his league-leading fWAR, which is heavily influenced by defensive stats that have legitimate questions around them. Granderson is hurt to some degree by his WAR because of those same defensive numbers.

    I’d rather have Granderson over Pedroia. I think Ellsbury so far is the most valuable Red Sox player this year. Not sure who I’d vote for for MVP of the league. Too close and too much time left.

  • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    BEN ZOBRIST FOR AL MVP

  • Peter

    I’m am all for Sabres but any stat that rates Grandy poorly and regularly rates Tex poorly doesn’t pass my sniff test. I believe UZR still needs some work…
    Also are we going with the pitchers have their own award thing? I would take verlander or weaver over AGon any day.

  • Mike R.

    idk, you have to grasp at straws to say that Pedroia’s not an MVP candidate.

  • Andrew518

    Has anyone created a metric to determine grit? If so Pedroia would win in a landslide. That said, despite his media darling status, I just don’t see the amount of attention given to him in this race. Undeniable that he’s having a great year but I’d consider Gonzalez’s and Elsbury’s to be supperior. Does grit count for that much?

    Early on I thought Gonzalez was going to run away with it but I’d have to give it (reluctantly) to Ellsbury.

    Considering that they have a similar skill set, + deffense, speed, avg. etc I can’t see the Pedroia over Ellsbury thing especially since Ellsbury’s rather suprising power this year and game changing speed.

    • Andrew518

      Upon further thought:

      graded scale:

      0 clean shaven
      + 1 mustache
      + 2 beard
      + 3 5’oclock shaddow
      + 4 wolfman beard
      + 0 nothing in mouth
      + .5 gum chewer
      + 1 seeds
      + 3 tobacco
      multiplied by avg # of foul tips per ab
      divided by avg # of innings to get full frontal uniform dirt

      + 25 mixed race
      +100 white
      – 25 latino
      -50 black as we all know black/latino’s can’t be gritty.

  • http://riverave.blues Erik

    More xtra base hits, More RBI’s, Same runs scored and thats’s hitting in front of AGon and Pappi. Managers rate Cano better defensively. Yet everyone is saying how great Pedroia is and Cano isn’t in the argument. Can I get a valid reason other then Pedreoia>>>>Cano this year Please!!!!

    Oh You are going to tell me On Base Percentage. Well how many more runs did he generate? Pardon the sarcasm.

    • Andrew518

      No doubt Cano is great player, but I’m not convinced he belongs in MVP conversation this year. That said I agree to an extent as I stated above I don’t think Pedroia is candidate this year either. Still believe Cano has potential to be better player than Pedroia if he can pull it all together.

  • Guest

    I am intrigued by this idea that one of the reason’s Granderson rates so poorly defensively is that Gardner is stealing his put outs.

    Now that I think about it, it does seem like there were a few times where he and Gardner would converge on a fly ball and Grandy would defer to Grandy. Most CFers NEVER defer to the other fielders (heck, Mantle ripped up his knee deferring to DiMaggio).

    I wonder how differntly both of their UZRs would be if Grandy always called of Gardner whenever he could get to a ball.

  • Andrew518

    Somewhat overlooked in the argument in favor for Granderson is his speed on the bases. He’s got a very good shot at 30/30 which in today’s less power more speed era should mean something again.

  • Fren123

    Check out Carlos Lee’s UZR this year and then realize WAR is kinda flawed.

  • espn succs

    Cano is a way better player this year .everybody is riding pedrioas nuts..if u cud picc a player to start a team today u are not takin pedrioa over cano……mvp pedrioa not even in the top five please don’t make me throw up

  • espn succs

    Cano is a way better player this year .everybody is riding pedrioas nuts..if u cud picc a player to start a team today u are not takin pedrioa over cano……mvp pedrioa is not even in the top five please don’t make me throw up

  • BigLoving

    Nobody takes into account all the Sox inflated numbers by playing in Fenway. All 3 – Pedroia, Agon and Ellsbury bat about 20 points lower on the road. Pedroia is a career .288 hitter away from Fenway. Curtis has been almost an identical player at home and on the road. Cano’s BA is also about 15 points higher on the road for his career. Take Yankee stadium away from Cano and he still puts up the same numbers….take Fenway away from Pedroia and he is a .285 Hitting, under .800 OPSing “gritty” 2b

    Can we seriously stop the Pedroia vs. Cano argument. ESPNs bromance for him got him his MVP

  • Patrick

    Jacoby Ellsbury!

  • Yankey

    Verlander PERIOD

    • http://twitter.com/sprotster Stephen R

      Oh, ok.