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2021 MLB

More of an unknown is who will win NL MVP. Thoughts?
If Bryce Harper can finish the season strong, I think he should get it. He has the batting average, home runs, and the slash line. Insane doubles totals. He doesn’t have enough RBIs in my opinion, but if he finishes the season strong they will be good enough.

Tatis has made a strong case offensively but I’ve seen the kid boot far too many routine grounders early in the season. Plus the Padres have severely underperformed as a team. Machado and Tatis got into it yesterday. People think Machado is a jerk, but I think he was in the right here. Tatis is really good, but he’s young and arrogant. Kid needs to learn some humility.
 

HuskerWeatherman

Feral Cat
20 Year Member
If Bryce Harper can finish the season strong, I think he should get it. He has the batting average, home runs, and the slash line. Insane doubles totals. He doesn’t have enough RBIs in my opinion, but if he finishes the season strong they will be good enough.

Tatis has made a strong case offensively but I’ve seen the kid boot far too many routine grounders early in the season. Plus the Padres have severely underperformed as a team. Machado and Tatis got into it yesterday. People think Machado is a jerk, but I think he was in the right here. Tatis is really good, but he’s young and arrogant. Kid needs to learn some humility.

I agree. Granted, as a Phillies fan, I'm not without bias. Harper and Tatis are likely the main contenders. Soto has really solid numbers, but his team is done, which hurts his chances. Freeman also has solid numbers for a team in the playoff hunt -- but not quite to the level of Harper and Tatis. Nick Castellanos is a player who probably should be getting more attention than he is -- and the Reds are a great story. But I'd be surprised if it's anyone other than Harper or Tatis.

But the difference between Harper and Tatis is how much Bryce has carried his team this season -- especially late. Whereas the Padres could be the most disappointing team in baseball. At one point, it was a 3-team race in the NL West -- but San Diego has completely faded from that race and is 20 games back from LA and SF. Interestingly, Philly and San Diego have the exact same records -- but they have gotten there in completely different ways.

Also regarding Harper -- the Phillies pitching staff sucks. They have one reliable starter -- Zach Wheeler (who is actually in the thick of the Cy Young race) -- but garbage behind him and in the pen. Harper has had to carry his team to be where they are today.

Here's some numbers from mlb's website this morning: https://www.mlb.com/news/bryce-harper-worthy-of-mvp-consideration

Harper is now third in the NL in batting average, at .315. Second in on-base percentage, at .429. First in slugging, at .627 and first in OPS at 1.056. He’s tied for fourth in runs scored, tied for first in total bases, second in doubles, tied for fourth in home runs, with 33, while being second in walks and first in extra-base hits, with 72.

He may click more boxes than any batter in either league. Also, since the All-Star break, Harper is hitting .355! En fuego!

Also since the All-Star break, Harper's OPS is 1.247 -- by far the best in all of baseball. For comparison, Vlad Jr.'s OPS is .934, which is 16th. And Ohtani isn't even in the top 25. Also, Harper has hit 18 homers post All-Star game -- as many as Vlad -- but with 14 more RBIs. And again, Ohtani doesn't even make the top 25 in post-All Star homers (he's actually 49th). Actually, you look at all of Ohtani's numbers since the All-Star break, and they are nothing special (he's only hitting .226).

I actually think Bryce Harper is having the best all around season at the plate of any player in either league. And his star has definitely shined brightest during the late-season playoff race -- when it matters most.
 
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I agree. Granted, as a Phillies fan, I'm not without bias. Harper and Tatis are likely the main contenders. Soto has really solid numbers, but his team is done, which hurts his chances. Freeman also has solid numbers for a team in the playoff hunt -- but not quite to the level of Harper and Tatis. Nick Castellanos is a player who probably should be getting more attention than he is -- and the Reds are a great story. But I'd be surprised if it's anyone other than Harper or Tatis.

But the difference between Harper and Tatis is how much Bryce has carried his team this season -- especially late. Whereas the Padres could be the most disappointing team in baseball. At one point, it was a 3-team race in the NL West -- but San Diego has completely faded from that race and is 20 games back from LA and SF. Interestingly, Philly and San Diego have the exact same records -- but they have gotten there in completely different ways.

Also regarding Harper -- the Phillies pitching staff sucks. They have one reliable starter -- Zach Wheeler (who is actually in the thick of the Cy Young race) -- but garbage behind him and in the pen. Harper has had to carry his team to be where they are today.

Here's some numbers from mlb's website this morning: https://www.mlb.com/news/bryce-harper-worthy-of-mvp-consideration

Harper is now third in the NL in batting average, at .315. Second in on-base percentage, at .429. First in slugging, at .627 and first in OPS at 1.056. He’s tied for fourth in runs scored, tied for first in total bases, second in doubles, tied for fourth in home runs, with 33, while being second in walks and first in extra-base hits, with 72.

He may click more boxes than any batter in either league. Also, since the All-Star break, Harper is hitting .355! En fuego!

Also since the All-Star break, Harper's OPS is 1.247 -- by far the best in all of baseball. For comparison, Vlad Jr.'s OPS is .934, which is 16th. And Ohtani isn't even in the top 25. Also, Harper has hit 18 homers post All-Star game -- as many as Vlad -- but with 14 more RBIs. And again, Ohtani doesn't even make the top 25 in post-All Star homers (he's actually 49th). Actually, you look at all of Ohtani's numbers since the All-Star break, and they are nothing special (he's only hitting .226).

I actually think Bryce Harper is having the best all around season at the plate of any player in either league. And his star has definitely shined brightest during the late-season playoff race -- when it matters most.
I agree. As big as Soto fan as I am, his team being out of contention should kill his chances. His numbers are impressive given that he has missed time with an injury and after Turner was dealt, nobody pitches to him. Colorado did today and he hit a 454’ bomb.

Harper deserves it in my opinion. I would put Castellanos second.
 

HuskerWeatherman

Feral Cat
20 Year Member
I agree. As big as Soto fan as I am, his team being out of contention should kill his chances. His numbers are impressive given that he has missed time with an injury and after Turner was dealt, nobody pitches to him. Colorado did today and he hit a 454’ bomb.

Harper deserves it in my opinion. I would put Castellanos second.

Yeah, I thought I saw 126 walks for Soto through yesterday. That's insane. But when there's no one worthy in the lineup now, there's no need to pitch to him, as you say. He is an absolute beast -- and I almost feel bad that the rest of the stars from the team that started the season are gone. Such is life in the business of professional sports. Hey -- at least you may finally have a centerfielder on the Nats.

And while I'm obviously not a fan of Washington, I absolutely hate the Dodgers -- so that trade made me ill.
 
Yeah, I thought I saw 126 walks for Soto through yesterday. That's insane. But when there's no one worthy in the lineup now, there's no need to pitch to him, as you say. He is an absolute beast -- and I almost feel bad that the rest of the stars from the team that started the season are gone. Such is life in the business of professional sports. Hey -- at least you may finally have a centerfielder on the Nats.

And while I'm obviously not a fan of Washington, I absolutely hate the Dodgers -- so that trade made me ill.
It killed me as well. Like the Dodgers needed help. Two elite players with plenty of post-season experience. Yikes.

I think the Nationals will be a doormat again next year while they figure out what they’ve got. They will contend for the NL East again in 2023 if their scouting is on point. Their scouting was off several years ago but has since been revamped. They emptied the talent tank they did have to get the pieces for their 2019 run. They got a really good catching prospect in the Dodger trade that should lock down that position for the next 6-7 years. They also got a young pitcher in that deal with good stuff, not sure what he will be yet. They have 2 pitchers about to hit the bigs, one is going to be really good and the other should be a #3 or #4 rotation type. They got a really good SS prospect (Trevor Story type) in the draft and will have the #6 pick next year I think. They still have a long way to go though.

Have you been watching the 1986 Mets 30 for 30 doc? Lol
 

HuskerWeatherman

Feral Cat
20 Year Member
It killed me as well. Like the Dodgers needed help. Two elite players with plenty of post-season experience. Yikes.

I think the Nationals will be a doormat again next year while they figure out what they’ve got. They will contend for the NL East again in 2023 if their scouting is on point. Their scouting was off several years ago but has since been revamped. They emptied the talent tank they did have to get the pieces for their 2019 run. They got a really good catching prospect in the Dodger trade that should lock down that position for the next 6-7 years. They also got a young pitcher in that deal with good stuff, not sure what he will be yet. They have 2 pitchers about to hit the bigs, one is going to be really good and the other should be a #3 or #4 rotation type. They got a really good SS prospect (Trevor Story type) in the draft and will have the #6 pick next year I think. They still have a long way to go though.

Have you been watching the 1986 Mets 30 for 30 doc? Lol

I haven't seen the 86 Mets 30 for 30. I have no doubt it's entertaining. I've read a book about that team from a couple of NY sportswriters that covered them all season -- in the locker room, behind the scenes in their nightlife, etc -- wild stories!
 

HuskerWeatherman

Feral Cat
20 Year Member
For me, HuskerWeatherman, it would be hard at this point not to give the nod to Scherzer. 2.08 era, 15-4 with a .81 whip and 227 k's. I suppose Tatis and Harper might scratch the debate as well, but I'm inclined to have a hard on for pitchers.

While Scherzer is definitely in the race for NL Cy Young -- and no doubt great numbers -- it takes a historical year for a pitcher to also win the MVP.

The last NL pitcher to win both the Cy Young and MVP was Kershaw in 2014 -- but his numbers were significantly better than Max's this season -- and there weren't many dominant offensive players in the NL to compete with him. Prior to that, it was Bob Gibson in 1968.

Scherzer has a few knocks against him. In his 28 starts this season, 18 were quality starts -- meaning 10 games did not meet quality start criteria. I'm not really a fan of wins and losses for pitchers as stats -- because it relies very heavily on your offense creating run support. DeGrom from the Mets is very familiar as he's notorious for pitching lights out but getting no run support and a lack of wins because of it.

Scherzer only has one complete game this season (way back on May 2). He doesn't have a single shutout (and of course, not a single no hitter). Max hadn't pitched beyond 7 innings until two of his most recent starts with the Dodgers. Of his 28 starts, only 11 have gone for 7 innings or more.

Scherzer has also given up 20 homers this season. That's more than his teammate, Buehler -- who has pitched more innings -- and Zach Wheeler has pitched a lot more innings.

Just not a truly dominant, historical season for Scherzer. He's outstanding, no doubt. But not enough to win both Cy Young and MVP -- that's a generational type of feat.

I also am not so sure he'll even win the Cy Young. Difficult to do when pitching for two different teams in the same season.

I won't be shocked if Scherzer finishes 3rd or 4th in the Cy Young -- and behind Buehler (who has been with the Dodgers all season). Buehler has 26 quality starts out of 30 games started -- far better than Scherzer.

Zach Wheeler also has a very strong case. His WAR is the best of all NL starting pitchers. He's pitched a couple complete game shutouts. He's gone 7 or more innings 16 times. And he leads the NL in strikeouts. He's just much more of workhorse than Scherzer.

Corbin Burnes is also very much in the discussion.

I can't clearly say when you analyze all of the numbers that Scherzer has had the best season among all NL starting pitchers. As a result, he really has no shot at NL MVP.
 

Finn Mertens

Recruit
Excellent stuff @HuskerWeatherman ! I honestly had no idea about Buehler having 26 QS out of 30. In addition, I didn't realize it had been 7 years since a pitcher won the MVP.
Honestly I have always been bullish on Scherzer, So I've watched him solely through a vacuum and what he has been able to do since the trade. Spot on with insight on both Scherzer and DeGrom. Great post.
I suppose if it's kept strictly to offense, in response to you inquiry, are there any real viable contenders outside of Harper and Tatis Jr.? Granted, Harper's OPS is excellent, 1.052, his average is solid as well at .313. I have always internally pushed back against Harper. I really love small ball and contact guys, but even Tres Turner is just a smidge above him with average. I really don't know, there is no clear cut favorite whereas Vlad Jr. may very well have the AL MVP locked up. Not that Salvador Perez shouldn't receive a hard look...but much like small ball guys, catchers aren't sexy.
 

Finn Mertens

Recruit
I also biffed it on the last remark regarding AL MVP. 46/.326 over Ohtani's 44/.257-however, if the pitching is included, not to mention the excitement and revitalization of baseball, Ohtani could take it. I feel Vlad has done enough to separate himself. But, it's certainly debatable.
 

Black41FlashReverse

Recruit
2 Year Member
More of an unknown is who will win NL MVP. Thoughts?
I agree with the takes between you and @Scarlet Ripper, I think Austin Riley for the Braves is a long shot at this point, but the dude has had a great year at the dish and at the hot corner. Freeman is the model of consistency and is always one of the best players in the majors let alone the NL, but I don't think he's a likely candidate.

Harper is hated way too much. Especially mature Bryce as opposed to early Bryce. Juan Soto is one of the best hitters in the league, but MVP seems like a bridge too far. As a Braves fan it will be interesting to see who wins an MVP first Soto or Acuna Jr. They are both MVP caliber players.

Personally I'd like to see Trea Turner get more MVP love. I loathe the Dodgers and hate that he went there, but he is a special player that puts pressure on the defense in more ways than just about any player and his defense is good enough that it doesn't invalidate him being in the conversation for MVP.
 

Black41FlashReverse

Recruit
2 Year Member
I also biffed it on the last remark regarding AL MVP. 46/.326 over Ohtani's 44/.257-however, if the pitching is included, not to mention the excitement and revitalization of baseball, Ohtani could take it. I feel Vlad has done enough to separate himself. But, it's certainly debatable.
I think Shohei is the clear AL MVP. Vlad is having a monster year and a triple crown winner would normally be a shoe in for MVP, but what Shohei is doing is literally unlike anything that has happened for 100 years. I'm a big Braves fan which is about as far removed from the Angels as possible, but I've enjoyed following his season from the senior circuit. This is probably partly sports media setting up the narrative this way but Vlad Jr. just feels like another AL hitter having a monster year, whereas Shohei feels like something truly special.
 

HuskerWeatherman

Feral Cat
20 Year Member
Also the Giants winning the way they have, and likely not having anyone in the top 5 vote getters for MVP is scary.

It is amazing. That's a team that is either very well coached or full of overachievers or both. And it's not like it's a fluke -- they've been consistently great all season. Most casual baseball fans would probably struggle to name more than one or two of their players --- and maybe none of their pitching staff.
 
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