The ball soared from Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s bat at 114 mph. It had a tremendously low launch angle of 15 degrees and landed just above the leftfield fence, 356 feet from the home plate. And along with that — his 45th home run this year — Guerrero now owns the American League lead exclusively. One ahead of Shohei Ohtani.
Guerrero leads the AL with a batting average of (.318) by Monday and currently has only four RBIs behind the AL leader (103 to 107 in Jose Abreu), suddenly making the 27th triple crown in Major League Baseball history possible. became.
It’s all, even when the slimmer Guerrero realizes his great potential, his team aims for a second consecutive appearance after the season, and the Toronto Blue Jays are forced to play the game. It will be the perfect cap for the year you have achieved. Of music chairs for most home stadiums of the season. But despite his number and the achievements of his team, Guerrero must be considered a significant vulnerable to Otani, the Angels’ two-way sensation, in the American League’s most valuable player award race. It didn’t become.
It may be hard to imagine, but given that the Triple Crown continues to be in awe, there is considerable historical precedent for such voting results. Ask Ted Williams, who won the AL Triple Crown in both 1942 and 1947, that he only finished second in the MVP polls of both years.
Voters rarely made mistakes this season.
Guerrero played for the top team and led the league with runs, hits, home runs, batting averages, on-base percentages and slugging percentages until Monday. His 6.2 offensive win has the wonderful story of being the second major after Bryce Harper in Philadelphia and the MVP of this year’s All-Star game.
Otani, however, is doing something that no one has ever done. Unleashed from past restrictions, he hit 44 home runs and stole 23 home runs by Monday, with ERA 3.36 to 9-2 as a pitcher. Not surprisingly, he leads the WAR major at 7.7.
When such a debate last happened, voters became a bit sentimental and gave the 2012 MVP after Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera won the triple crown, but Angels Mike Trout was his runner. And defense.
Despite the idea that triple crowns cannot be ignored in the 2012 MVP poll, historical precedents say the opposite.
In 1942, Williams led AL with an average of .356, 36 home runs and 137 RBIs, scoring 141 runs and a 1.147 on-base plus slugging rate. In more modern terms, he had a major league-leading 10.5 WAR. But for voters that year, it was more important for second baseman Joe Gordon to run the first baseman Yankees steadily, and Gordon won the MVP fairly easily.
In 1947, there were two lightning strikes. Williams led AL with an average of 0.343, 32 home runs and 114 RBIs, scoring 125 runs, an OPS of 1.133 and a WAR of 9.6. At that time, it was Joe DiMaggio, you guessed it, the Yankees in 1st place defeated Williams despite chasing him at all.
This was especially familiar to Williams, who finished behind Di Maggio in a 1941 MVP vote with a batting average of .406. For voters in 1941, mathematics became:
1st place team +56 consecutive hits> .400 hits
There are other precedents for the MVP-free fate that struck Williams twice and could occur in Guerrero this year. Lou Gehrig won the AL Triple Crown in 1934 and finished fifth in the MVP vote. He didn’t even rank first among his teammates. In 1933, Philadelphia Phillies’ Chuck Klein won the NL Triple Crown, but lost the MVP to the Giants’ Carl Hubbell. In 1912, Chicago Cubs’ Heinie Zimmerman won the NL Triple Crown and finished sixth in the MVP vote, well behind the winner Larry Doyle of the Giants.
In some of the other triple crown years, no MVP was awarded. Also, if the Baseball Reference recognizes 10 triple crowns from the Negro league, no MVP information will be provided.
For 2021, it is very likely that most voters have already made a decision. Either Otani or Guerrero would be a good choice for MVP, but the historical quirks of Otani’s season could scale in his favor. A good way to offset Guerrero’s potential frustration is to perform a great long playoff. This has been avoided in both his careers, regardless of the greatness of Otani and Trout.