Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Take on Clayton Kershaw's Case For the 2014 MVP Award

Fans and writers can and usually use whatever stat or resource to support their opinion or belief and I am not immune to that. First off, Clayton deserves the MVP and I believe he will pull it off in a close race. I just find it funny how people are reasoning on why and why not he should or shouldn't win.

I believe that pitchers should always been "considered" for the MVP but most times they will fall short. The theory that since they only play every 5th game and batters play at least 140 is valid most years. That's most years. This year there is no monster year being had by a batter and what Kershaw did was historic. If there was a batter that put up a line of 330 40hr 130rbi 1.000 ops then I would say give it to him unless Kershaw or some other pitcher went 25-0 with other ridiculous stats. Kershaw effects the team at least 3 out of 5 games as the bullpen can go deeper on the games that sandwich his starts.

The ironic thing that I have heard and to a point I believe is the main reason he is considered the MVP front runner is his win loss record and his win percentage. 21-3 is impressive considering he was out for over a month. I believe that if he did not cross the 20 win barrier, didn't have the most wins in the league or had lost just one game we wouldn't be having this debate. Now back in 2012 when Kershaw wrongfully lost the Cy Young Award to R.A. Dickey it was widely considered because of his win loss record which sat at 14-9 yet he lead or was near the top in every other category. People were upset that this "useless" stat was being held against Kershaw which I agreed with at that time and still do. But now we are supposed to factor that stat this year when we are talking MVP? So if he went that same 14-9 this year but with all other stats being the same would he still be considered the MVP front runner? I can confidently say no.

So us Dodger fans and various "experts" keep using the W-L record as proof that he is more deserving of the award and expect that to help now but back in 2012 these same people wanted the W-L record to not come into play. We can't have it both ways. I understand why he didn't win in 2012 (and I think that is more because of east coast bias and that he hadn't "earned" it yet which is not the case nowadays) and I can understand why he would win the MVP this year in large part because of that same W-L record now factoring into his favor.

This may or may not be a rant to you the reader but I just wanted to state that I believe that Kershaw should be a 4x Cy Young winner running (as this year is a foregone conclusion) and should win the MVP this year due to the lack of an offensive player having a great year. While I agree that we should now factor in all the new stats (WHIP, ERA+, ect) that we gauge performance into awards we can't leave behind all of the old ways as well. While flawed the win loss record should either enhance or diminish a player but should never be the end all when considering how good or how bad a year a pitcher had. It shouldn't have hurt Kershaw in 2012 (it did) and it should help him here in 2014 (I hope).


  1. I think the evolution of the WAR stat has helped people get away from the hitter having more impact than the pitcher. When it is all said in done it gives a great jumping off point on determining the MVP. The top two in the NL were Kershaw and McCutchen. According the Fangraphs Kershaw accumulated 7.2 WAR while Cutch was at 6.8.

    I personally think Kershaw should win it as well. McCutchen actually improved on his MVP numbers from the year before, but Kershaw's season was better. The only way McCutchen wins the award will be if enough voters don't choose Kershaw just because he is a pitcher.

    1. I agree on all points expect that I think Clutch would come in 3rd in balloting. Even with all the new ways for stats some people can and are set in their ways. HR and RBI still hold a lot of sway and Stanton in my eyes would come in second if he doesn't win. I think it comes down to CK and him with CK getting the nod due to the level of how he played game in and game out except for one game. Stanton I think would have won if not beaned and gotten to 40 HR but either way its going to be close.

      Hopefully we can watch the past two MVPS next year in PIT in Aug. I can wish right?