The ball hit the bat of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at a speed of 114 mph. It had an absurdly low 15-degree launch angle, and it landed 356 feet above home plate, just over the fence in left field. And with that – his 45th home run of the year – Guerrero went into the sole possession of the American League lead. One ahead of Shohei Ohtani.
As of Monday, Guerrero leads the AL in batting average (.318), and currently bats only four runs behind the leader of the AL (from 103 to Jose Abreu’s 107), the 27th Triple Crown abruption in major league history. seems possible.
This would be the perfect range for the year in which got thin Guerrero has realized his immense potential, positioning his team for a second straight season after season, and has done it all even when the Toronto Blue Jays were forced to play musical chairs game To your home ballpark for most of the season. Yet despite his numbers and his team’s achievements, Guerrero should be considered a big underdog for Ohtani, the Angels’ two-pronged sensation, in the race for the American League Most Valuable Player award.
As hard as it may be to imagine, given the honor the Triple Crown continues to hold, there is a fair amount of historical precedent in voting such results. Just ask Ted Williams, who won the AL Triple Crown in both 1942 and 1947, coming second in MVP voting in both years.
This season, voters can hardly go wrong.
Guerrero is playing for a top team and was leading the league in runs, hits, home runs, batting average, base percentage and slugging percentage as of Monday. His 6.2 offensive win over replacement is second only to Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper in the majors, and he has a good narrative of being MVP of this year’s All-Star Game.
However, Ohtani is doing what no one has ever done. spread out From boundaries placed on him in the past, he has scored 44 home runs and stolen 23 bases as of Monday, and is 9-2 with a 3.36 ERA as a pitcher. Unsurprisingly, he leads the majors in WAR at 7.7.
The last time such a debate took place, voters got a little emotional, giving Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers the 2012 MVP after he won the Triple Crown, even though Mike Trout of the Angels had a significant advantage in the battle, his Thanks and defense for baserunning.
In 2012, despite the assumption that The Triple Crown Can’t Be Ignored In MVP Voting, historical precedent says the opposite.
In 1942, Williams led the AL with an average of .356, 36 home runs and 137 RBI. He scored 141 runs and had a 1.147 on-base plus slugging percentage. In more modern terms, they had a major league-leading 10.5 war. Yet for voters that year, second baseman Joe Gordon’s solid run for the Yankees in first place—though he outperformed Williams in nearly every offensive category—was more important, and Gordon won the MVP fairly easily.
Lightning struck twice in 1947. Williams led the AL with .343 average, 32 homers and 114 RBI. He scored 125 runs, had an OPS of 1.133 and produced 9.6 battles. Joe DiMaggio at the time was, you guessed it, the first-place Yankees, who beat Williams despite being behind in everything.
It felt particularly familiar to Williams, who in the 1941 MVP vote fell behind DiMaggio despite batting .406. For voters in 1941, the math was as follows:
First Place Team + 56-Game Hitting Streak Hitting .400
There are other examples of the MVP-less luck that Williams got twice, and could be for Guerrero this year. Lou Gehrig won the AL Triple Crown in 1934 and finished fifth in MVP voting He was not even among his peers in the first place. In 1933, Chuck Klein of the Philadelphia Phillies won the NL Triple Crown but lost the MVP to Carl Hubbell of the Giants. In 1912, Henny Zimmerman of the Chicago Cubs captured the NL Triple Crown and finished sixth in the MVP voting, well behind winner Larry Doyle of the Giants.
In some other Triple Crown years, no MVP was awarded. and 10 in the case of the Triple Crown Baseball Reference Affiliated to the Negro League, no MVP information provided.
For 2021, the decision is likely to be made by the majority of voters. Either Ohtani or Guerrero would be a good choice for MVP, but the historical oddity of Ohtani’s season is likely to tip the scale in his favor. A good way to offset potential disappointment for Guerrero would be to have a nice long playoff run – something that both Ohtani and Trout have not had, regardless of their greatness so far in their careers.