Cubs Get Snubbed in BBWAA Awards, But Kris Bryant is a Lock for MVP, Right?!

Okay, okay, I guess there’s part of me that understands the thinking behind why a person would actually vote for Dave Roberts as National League Manager of the Year. In case you missed it – and I doubt you did – Joe Maddon fell short in the MOY Award on Tuesday and by ‘fell short’ I mean he received half of the first place votes of Dave Roberts. Here’s a breakdown of the voting:

Manager, Team 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Dave Roberts, Dodgers 16 7 7 108
Joe Maddon, Cubs 8 8 6 70
Dusty Baker, Nationals 4 12 10 66
Terry Collins, Mets 2 3 5 24
Don Mattingly, Marlins 2 2

What baffled me in the MOY voting was that Dusty Baker was SO CLOSE to Joe Maddon for second place. The two were separated by 4 measly points, which I was completely confounded by. I mean, who knows better than a Cubs’ fan that Joe Maddon is far and away a better coach than Dusty – freakin’ – Baker?! And what did Baker really do there anyway? Took a team that should’ve been in the playoffs a year earlier to the playoffs a year later? That part, I don’t get.

Then, on Wednesday, the BBWAA announced that Max Scherzer won the National League Cy Young Award with Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks finishing 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Again, I get it, Scherzer had a great year and, contrary to what I hoped would be true when I predicted that Kyle Hendricks should win, innings pitched does matter. In the end, Scherzer was a more dominant power-type pitcher. I also believe that Kyle will be back in the Cy Young conversation again and again for years to come. Here’s a look at how that voting went down:

Pitcher, Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Points
Max Scherzer, Nationals 25 3 1 1 192
Jon Lester, Cubs 1 16 9 2 102
Kyle Hendricks, Cubs 2 7 8 7 5 85
Madison Bumgarner, Giants 2 6 7 6 46
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers 2 1 5 3 30
Johnny Cueto, Giants 3 3 4 19
Jose Fernandez, Marlins 1 1 1 9 18
Noah Syndergard, Mets 1 1 3 2 15
Jake Arrieta, Cubs 1 2
Tanner Roark, Nationals 1 1

I honestly, but not very objectively, believed the voting here would be a whole heck of a lot closer than it ended up being. Of course, there were lots of writers and broadcasters who also thought the Cy Young voting would be close too – well, the American League Cy Young voting was actually close, and really crazy.

I’m not sure how in the world 25 of 30 voters thought that Scherzer was better than both Lester and Hendricks. That’s 83.333% for goodness sake! That’s not only not close, that’s a frickin’ blowout. He won by almost twice as many points as Lester and more than twice as many as Hendricks. Bumgarner, who finished in fourth, was closer – by far – to Lester than Lester was to Scherzer.

Anthony Rizzo & The Trophy!
Anthony Rizzo & The Trophy!

I’m not saying this whole thing is rigged, just that there were parts of it that made no sense to me. But, I am willing to accept the outcome and, of course, we all get to rest easy because THE CHICAGO CUBS ARE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS, BABY!!!!

I just love saying, writing, reading those words. And that trophy, man oh man, what a beauty, eh?!

Then there’s also the fact that the one award that we, meaning me and a whole bunch of other writers, broadcasters and baseball pundits, believe should and will belong to Kris Bryant. That’d be the National League MVP Award.

If there was one BBWAA award that I would’ve bet on, it is the NL MVP award. The finalists are Kris Bryant, Daniel Murphy (Nationals) and Corey Seager (Dodgers). Here is a breakdown of stats for each player:

Kris Bryant: .292/.385/.554, 39 HR, 121 R, 102 RBI, 149 wRC+, 8.4 fWAR, 699 plate appearances

Daniel Murphy: .347/.390/.595, 25 HR, 88 R, 104 RBI, 156 wRC+, 5.5 fWAR, 582 plate appearances

Corey Seager: .308/.365/.512, 26 HR, 105 R, 72 RBI, 137 wRC+, 7.5 fWAR, 687 plate appearances

First, Corey Seager is an incredible baseball player who, as a rookie, had one heck of a year. There is no doubt that he will eventually win an MVP award, just not this year.

Second, Daniel Murphy who, if you’re anything like me, holds a special place in the pit of my memories I’d like to erase, is a fine potential runner-up in the MVP race but he ain’t no thoroughbred. Yes, his slash line is better than Bryant’s but that was also over 117 (20%) fewer plate appearances. That alone is enough to knock Murphy from the race and it could be enough to put him in third place.

As for Bryant, the case is simple. He was the MVP of the best team, by far, in baseball. He played all three outfield positions, first and third base. He went wherever Joe Maddon put him and then he crushed the ball. As noted above, he had way more plate appearances than Murphy, he had better power numbers than either Murphy or Seager, and he scored more runs than either of them. And finally, if all that isn’t enough, he led the league in fWAR too.

So, to answer the question ‘Is Kris Bryant a lock to win the MVP Award?’ The answer is a resounding, hearty, no-doubt, hell yes he is!

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