Sunday, October 09, 2011

Bankruptcy Boy vs. Brewery Basher

Like in the AL, the National League's Most Valuable Player race should, all things considered, be between two players, neither of whom are pitchers.

Matt Kemp
Ryan Braun

Like Bautista and Cabrera in the AL, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers and Milwaukee's Ryan Braun are head and shoulders above the rest.

The classical reasons:

Braun was second in the NL with a .332 average, Kemp was third at .324
Braun (.597/.994) and Kemp (.586/.986) were 1-2 in the NL in slugging percentage and OPS
Kemp (353) and Braun (336) were 1-2 in the NL in total bases
Kemp (39/126) and Braun's (33/111) homerun and RBI numbers were both Top-10 in the Majors; Kemp led the Majors in RBI
Kemp (115) and Braun (109) were 1-2 in the NL in runs
Kemp was one homerun shy of a 40-40 season, swiping 40 bags on 51 attempts
Braun (77) and Kemp (76) were 1-2 in the NL in extra-base hits

The Dorky reasons:

According to BaseballReference.com's figures, Kemp's Wins Above Replacement was a pretty stunning 10.0, and Braun's was 7.7, good for 1-2 in the National League
Kemp's OPS+ was third in the majors at 171; Braun was tied for fourth at 166
Kemp (141) and Braun (139) created more runs than any other NL player
A lineup composed of nine Ryan Brauns could be expected to win 79.9% of their games; nine Matt Kemps would win 77.1%
Kemp (39.5) and Braun (33.0) have the highest power-speed numbers in the NL

This race is considerably less murky than the AL - possibly because instead of one (Justin Verlander) pitcher having MVP-worthy(?) seasons, the NL had three (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Clayton Kershaw) - but it's still just a two-man race. Kemp hasn't gotten quite as much coverage as Braun has, despite playing in Los Angeles, but the man deserves the MVP this season.

I really wish I hadn't traded him.

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