Dewan: Who are the 2014 MVP candidates?

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on August 8, 2014:

It’s never happened before, but could pitchers win the MVP award in both leagues? Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez are posting some gaudy pitching numbers. The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best record in the National League, and Kershaw’s MLB-best 13-2 record and MLB-best 1.82 ERA have a lot to do with it. Over in the AL, King Felix has a 12-3 record with an AL-best 1.97 ERA, and the lowest Opponent OPS in all of baseball. That puts the Seattle Mariners right in the thick of the Wild Card hunt.

Jose Abreu and Mike Trout beg to differ with the King. Abreu is pretty much a lock for the Rookie of the Year award and could be just the third player in history to win ROY and MVP awards in the same year (Fred Lynn, 1975 and Ichiro Suzuki, 2001). He leads all of baseball with 31 home runs and 86 RBI despite a DL stint because of a foot injury. He has been particularly excellent lately with a .352/.447/.549 triple slash (Batting Average/On-Base Percentage/Slugging Percentage) since the All-Star Break. Meanwhile, Mike Trout is enjoying another superb season, and after finishing second in the MVP voting two years in a row to Miguel Cabrera, this could finally be the year he breaks through. He leads all of baseball in WAR (6.1 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference).

In the NL, the best contenders are skiing off the course. Troy Tulowitzki was running away with it as he still leads the league in WAR and leads baseball in OPS, batting average, and on-base percentage, but his recent hip injury along with playing for the worst team in baseball adds some doubt to his chances. Other players now watching from the sideline include reigning MVP Andrew McCutchen (broken rib) and Paul Goldschmidt (broken hand). These recent injuries have opened the door wide for Clayton Kershaw.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 8, 2014. Last Updated: August 8, 2014.