Jobu reviews Miguel Cabrera’s chances of winning the MVP.
Of the three candidates that I have profiled for this series of posts, Cabrera is probably the hardest one to argue against. The guy is by far the best hitter in baseball, and he’s proving it again this year. Also, he’s been snubbed before. Just what does Miggy have to do to bring home the Trophy?
Personally, I don’t think there’s much he needs to do at all. Cabrera has put up a slash line of .333/.398/.616, with 41 home runs and 130 RBI in the 147 games he has played. He’s also already over 100 runs (101) and has smacked 38 doubles. Before the year is out he’ll have 200 hits (currently sitting at 190) and his OPS will once again top 1.000 (1.014).
In case you’re wondering, Cabrera leads the league in hitting and RBI, but he’s currently one home run behind Josh Hamilton for the league lead in round trippers. You read correctly. Miguel is just one home run (technically two, I guess) away from winning the Triple Crown. If he can somehow pull it off (he’ll be the first player since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967 – .326, 44 HR, 121 RBI), it’s going to be hard to deny him the MVP this year.
In my Derek Jeter post, I touched upon the fact that Jeter was snubbed in favor of Justin Morneau in 2006. Well, Miguel is the King of the Snubs, because he should probably be winning this award every year. He finished fourth in 2009 (.324, 34 HR, 103 RBI lost out to Joe Mauer), second in 2010 (.328, 38 HR, 126 RBI – lost out to Josh Hamilton) and fifth in 2011 (.344, 30 HR, 105 RBI – lost to Justin Verlander and three other hitters somehow). That’s right, he’s in his fifth year int he American League and he’s finished in the top five in the MVP race three times (probably four counting this year). Talk about a contract paying off!
The things that has hurt Cabrera in the past might just hurt him this year too. For one, the Tigers don’t look like they’re going to make the playoffs this year. They are fighting for control of the AL Central with the Chicago White Sox, but their record isn’t good enough to win either Wild Card right now, so it’s going to be all or nothing for them. On top of that, I think Cabrera’s past legal issues may be hurting him too. I can’t imagine how else a 30+ home run guy who hits .344 for a team that makes the ALCS finishes fifth in an MVP race, unless the media has some kind of bias against him.
That being said, if Cabrera wins the Triple Crown, I don’t care if the Tigers lose the last ten games of the season and completely blow their playoff chase. A Triple Crown is special, and he should get the MVP if he can win one. If he doesn’t though, and the Tigers don’t make the playoffs, that could cost him some votes for sure. It is the same dilemma all three of my choices face this season. None of their respective teams (Yankees, Angels and Tigers) have a guaranteed post season spot.
I’ll be very interested to see how the playoff races, and the MVP chases play themselves out.
Check out Cabrera’s ridiculous stats for yourself – Miguel Cabrera’s Baseball Reference Page
Featured image courtesy of: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
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