On Monday, voters selected Justin Verlander as the American League MVP. I'll give it to Verlander, he did have a great season, but giving him the AL MVP is more of a joke than Kim Kardashian's wedding.
Justin Verlander, who was also the 2011 AL Cy Young winner, had himself a great season. He posted a 24-5 record with a 2.40 ERA while striking out 250 batters in 251 innings pitched. He beat out Jacoby Ellsbury, Jose Bautista, and Curtis Granderson for the MVP honors, and I would rather have any of them over Verlander.
Ellsbury should have won the award this year in a tight vote over Bautista and Granderson. Ellsbury hit .321 with 32 home runs and 105 runs batted in. Those are pretty good numbers, especially when you factor in he stole 39 bases, had 212 hits, and scored 119 runs.
Bautista also had a great year as he led the league in home runs with 43 and drove in 103 runs while hitting .302. Bautista looked to be the runaway winner at the All Star break, but a horrendous stretch right after the break cost him. Bautista went 13 games after the All Star break until he hit his next home run, a span of 45 at bats which also saw his batting average dip from .334 to .324.
Granderson also had a great year for the New York Yankees. Granderson hit .262 with 41 home runs and a league leading 119 RBI. He also swiped 25 bases and scored a ridiculous 136 runs.
The last time a starting pitcher won the MVP was 1986 when Roger Clemens beat out Don Mattingly, which was also a joke of an MVP race. Yes, Clemens had a great year as he went 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA and struck out 238 batters, but Mattingly had an even better year. Mattingly hit .352 with 31 HR and 113 RBI that year to go along with his 238 hits and 53 doubles. Donnie Baseball also won a Gold Glove at first base.
I get that Verlander helped his team make it to the playoffs and some voters put stock in that, although I don't know why, but Boston would have been worse off had they not had Ellsbury out there. The voters got this wrong.
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