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Breaking down the MVP races

Why Joey Votto won the NL MVP:

Votto was the first Red to win the award since 1995. That also was Cincinnati’s last playoff appearance before this year, and the reason for the Reds’ return to postseason was Votto’s emergence. In his third full season, Votto led the NL in slugging and OPS. He also was second with a .324 average, third in home runs (37) and RBIs (113). He also ranked high with 106 runs, 177 hits and 91 walks. Another thing helping Votto was home and road splits, especially in power. Great American Ballpark is considered a bandbox but Votto’s home run splits were nearly identical and his .349 road average led the league.

Why Albert Pujols didn't win:

Albert Pujols was bidding to be the second player to win at least four MVPs and three in a row. That would have put him in Barry Bonds’ territory, but it was not meant to be for the first baseman, especially since the Cardinals missed the playoffs by five games. Pujols batted .312 and led the league with 42 home runs and 118 RBIs, but he might have lost out when Votto posted nearly identical home and road splits. In terms of advanced statistics, Pujols ranked higher in a few things. The voting came down to team performance and each player’s impact pushed Pujols to a distant second.

Why Josh Hamilton won the AL MVP:

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Even missing most of the final month with a
rib injury, Josh Hamilton was hands-down the AL’s best player. If Texas had
been in a closer race, he might not have sat but Hamilton’s standout performance ensured the
Rangers had that luxury. Texas never trailed after June 8 and Hamilton’s
numbers were a big reason why. From June 8 until Aug.31, Hamilton’s numbers were insane. He won the
batting title with a .359 average and in that period, his numbers were .393, 20
home runs and 63 RBI. That pretty much sums up his candidacy, which led to 22
first-place votes.


Why they didn’t win:


Robinson Cano:

Cano’s performance was nothing to sneeze at
as he batted .319 and established career highs in home runs (29), 109 (RBI) and
OPS (.914). What might have hurt Cano’s candidacy was that he batted over a
hundred points less than Hamilton
over the final three months. Cano did generate a first-place vote but did get
12 second and third place votes. In many other seasons, Cano might have been
the MVP, but Hamilton
put on a show most of the year and that was tough to match.


Miguel Cabrera:

Cabrera generated five first-place votes and like Cano did a
number of MVP-type things. Cabrera batted .328, led in RBI (126) and on-base
percentage (.420). He was a Silver Slugger at first base and pretty much
carried a team that had little else in the lineup. If the Tigers had been much
better than their 81-81 showing, Cabrera could have been the MVP since the
talent around him was worse than what Hamilton
has.

 
 
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