2013 MLB MVP Winners

MLB announced their MVP winners for 2013 awhile ago and I forgot to make a post about it. In the previous post this data model correctly picked the two best players from the two Japanese baseball leagues, Japan Central and Japan Pacific. How did this model fare with the two MVP picks? The AL winner was Miguel Cabrera and the NL winner was Andrew McCutchen who plays for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Since this model treats both AL and NL as one bowl of soup so to speak all my rankings mix NL and AL players so you’ll have to discern them on your own. I posted a list of the top ten MLB players according to this model back in mid October. Below is a repost of that table which not only combines AL and NL but also BATters and PITCHers. The way WAA is calculated batters can be compared numerically with pitchers.

Rank WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
1 11.8 236.0 1.83 33 16 9 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH
2 11.6 0.348 0.442 652 137 103 Miguel_Cabrera_DET BAT
3 10.6 0.286 0.370 673 138 103 Chris_Davis_BAL BAT
4 8.8 0.302 0.401 710 125 103 Paul_Goldschmidt_ARI BAT
5 7.6 0.300 0.389 602 94 103 Matt_Holliday_SLN BAT
6 7.0 172.7 2.19 28 12 6 Jose_Fernandez_MIA PITCH
7 7.0 0.309 0.395 600 103 84 David_Ortiz_BOS BAT
8 6.9 0.319 0.396 629 109 89 Freddie_Freeman_ATL BAT
9 6.7 0.272 0.370 621 104 90 Edwin_Encarnacion_TOR BAT
10 6.7 178.3 2.27 26 9 5 Matt_Harvey_NYN PITCH

From the above table Miguel Cabrera was an obvious choice but something is wrong with the NL MVP pick.  McCutchen isn’t even in the top ten MLB players.  Based on this model Clayton Kershaw was the best player in MLB but they probably didn’t want to give MVP to a pitcher who already won a Cy Young.  Let’s assume only batters get it this year.  The above table lists Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Holliday, and Freddie Freeman as NL batters in the top ten MLB players.  So where does McCutchen rank?   I decided to throw out pitchers and isolate batters in the below table.

Rank WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
1 11.6 0.348 0.442 652 137 103 Miguel_Cabrera_DET BAT
2 10.6 0.286 0.370 673 138 103 Chris_Davis_BAL BAT
3 8.8 0.302 0.401 710 125 103 Paul_Goldschmidt_ARI BAT
4 7.6 0.300 0.389 602 94 103 Matt_Holliday_SLN BAT
5 7.0 0.309 0.395 600 103 84 David_Ortiz_BOS BAT
6 6.9 0.319 0.396 629 109 89 Freddie_Freeman_ATL BAT
7 6.7 0.272 0.370 621 104 90 Edwin_Encarnacion_TOR BAT
8 6.6 0.285 0.318 689 108 100 Adam_Jones_BAL BAT
9 6.1 0.323 0.432 716 97 109 Mike_Trout_ANA BAT
10 5.8 0.256 0.337 505 87 73 Brandon_Moss_OAK BAT
11 5.7 0.262 0.329 697 109 89 Jay_Bruce_CIN BAT
12 5.7 0.318 0.392 717 78 126 Matt_Carpenter_SLN BAT
13 5.7 0.259 0.360 578 92 79 Mike_Napoli_BOS BAT
14 5.6 0.255 0.302 626 101 84 Alfonso_Soriano_TOT BAT
15 5.5 0.318 0.398 532 82 84 Jayson_Werth_WAS BAT
16 5.3 0.302 0.367 436 70 72 Carlos_Gonzalez_COL BAT
17 5.3 0.315 0.373 563 97 71 Allen_Craig_SLN BAT
18 5.2 0.345 0.402 336 57 62 Hanley_Ramirez_LAN BAT
19 4.9 0.312 0.391 512 82 72 Troy_Tulowitzki_COL BAT
20 4.8 0.261 0.310 666 103 80 Brandon_Phillips_CIN BAT
21 4.8 0.283 0.339 687 99 91 Hunter_Pence_SFN BAT
22 4.7 0.234 0.294 678 100 85 Mark_Trumbo_ANA BAT
23 4.7 0.331 0.389 540 84 74 Michael_Cuddyer_COL BAT
24 4.6 0.292 0.315 466 79 63 Wilin_Rosario_COL BAT
25 4.6 0.259 0.358 528 73 82 Jose_Bautista_TOR BAT
26 4.5 0.279 0.362 712 106 82 Prince_Fielder_DET BAT
27 4.4 0.301 0.384 668 93 89 Josh_Donaldson_OAK BAT
28 4.4 0.314 0.383 681 107 81 Robinson_Cano_NYA BAT
29 4.4 0.304 0.334 652 84 90 Torii_Hunter_DET BAT
30 4.3 0.291 0.336 579 88 75 Marlon_Byrd_TOT BAT
31 4.2 0.233 0.296 614 100 70 Pedro_Alvarez_PIT BAT
32 4.0 0.317 0.404 674 84 97 Andrew_McCutchen_PIT BAT
33 4.0 0.273 0.338 470 65 68 Jarrod_Saltalamacchia_BOS BAT

McCutchen posted a 4.0 WAA which is quite good but nowhere near MVP. Choosing MVP is done by voting and not necessarily scientific. Andrew McCutchen is a nice person and fan favorite so that probably had a lot to do with him winning.  Pittsburgh won on their pitching and actually had below average hitting as a team.  Soon I will get into more detail how that was calculated.

Here are the top ten most valuable Pirates for 2013 according to WAA.

Rank WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
1 4.2 71.0 1.39 72 3 2 Mark_Melancon_PIT PITCH
2 4.2 0.233 0.296 614 100 70 Pedro_Alvarez_PIT BAT
3 4.0 0.317 0.404 674 84 97 Andrew_McCutchen_PIT BAT
4 3.2 161.0 3.02 26 16 8 Francisco_Liriano_PIT PITCH
5 3.1 73.7 2.08 58 6 1 Justin_Wilson_PIT PITCH
6 2.5 71.7 2.39 67 3 1 Tony_Watson_PIT PITCH
7 2.4 191.0 3.30 30 10 11 A.J._Burnett_PIT PITCH
8 1.8 73.7 2.81 57 8 2 Vin_Mazzaro_PIT PITCH
9 1.7 117.3 3.22 19 10 7 Gerrit_Cole_PIT PITCH
10 1.6 116.0 3.26 20 7 4 Charlie_Morton_PIT PITCH

Eight of the top ten Pirates were pitchers.  As a fan of fun to watch players McCutchen could be considered MVP.  He did not however bring as many wins to his team as other NL players.  If you’re a GM who wants to have an accurate picture of what went on in the 2013 season, the above tables and figures are an accurate representation.  The WAA numerical figure discerns many stats and averages into a single number that relates to a player’s value to his team’s win/loss record.   Winning games is what matters most in the game of baseball.