Why playing time is not an argument against voting a pitcher MVP

A hitter plays every day and hits once every nine spots in his team’s lineup.

A pitcher plays every fifth day and faces all nine spots in the other team’s lineup.

For example:

Albert Pujols has had 21 plate appearances in the last five games. For the season, he averages 21.3 PAs per five games.

Tim Lincecum had 29 plate appearances against him in his most recent game. For the season, he averages 28.6 PAs against per game.

Joe Mauer has had 20 plate appearances in the last five days. For the season, he averages 22.1 PAs per five games.

Zack Greinke had 29 plate appearances against him in his most recent game. For the season, he averages 28.2 PAs against per game.

By the way, the actual runner-up to Lincecum in NL MVP voting should be Chase Utley (22.2 PA/5), whose 7.3 WAR are a higher total than any other position player in the game.

Here are my MVP ranks, by the way (click to embiggen):

AL

NL

(all stats are as of Sept 1st — WAR data from Fangraphs)

So here’s some advice from the Ladies…. If you ever find yourself in the BBWAA, please, please, please vote for MVP, Cy Young, and RoY based on WAR, and not on home runs or RBI or team favoritism or anything like that.

Next week, I’ll tell you all just how good at baseball Chase Utley really is. For now, enjoy your graphs. And this photo of The Most Valuable Man In Baseball.

4 thoughts on “Why playing time is not an argument against voting a pitcher MVP

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