Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Odds Are Against Delgado for MVP

This is an unbelievable sentence that I'm about to write, especially if I think back to my feelings in April:
Carlos Delgado is the Mets MVP this year.

It's a fact and it's hard to argue. The Mets turnaround this season coincides with two events. First the firing of Willie Randolph and promotion of Jerry Manuel to manager, and secondly the resurgance of Carlos Delgado.

While Delgado might be the Mets MVP (just sneeks past Johan Santana), the odds of him being the NL MVP are unlikely.

Here's why, history is against him. The last time an NL MVP had a batting average below .300 was back in 1989 when former Met, Kevin Mitchell, won the prize. Voters excused Mitchell's average because he pounded 47 home runs and 125 RBI while slugging .635.

The .300 mark seems to be a cutoff in NL MVP voting over the past 18 years. However, including Mitchell the NL MVP's from 1986-1989 all batted under .300.

Delgado's stat line is not MVP-like. Delgado is currently batting .261 with a .504 slugging percentage. He has 33 home runs and 100 RBI with 19 games left in the season. While Delgado is behind Ryan Braun, Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman in average and slugging, he is outperforming them in the home run and RBI category.

If Delgado were to win NL MVP this year, two things have to absolutely happen. The first is the Mets have to win the division. No wild card. No being left out of the postseason. If the Mets don't win, Delgado's chances are gone.

The second thing is the MVP voters have to look at what player had the biggest impact on their team's performance. Some might argue that it should then go to CC Sabathia, but because Delgado effects the team every day, as opposed to every 5th day, I think he gets the edge.

The other thing that Delgado has in his corner is the fact that there isn't a clear cut MVP from a playoff team. The Cubs don't have a statistical standout. The Brewers have Braun, but he gets shadowed by Sabathia. The Astros stink so Berkman isn't playing for a contender. And the MVP was Chase Utley's for the taking until he fell off the face of the earth.

This would be quite a story if Delgado were to win the MVP title. But more importantly I hope he continues his hitting ways so the Mets can make a playoff run. I have a feeling Delgado would prefer that over an MVP trophy.

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