This Stat Proves Shohei Ohtani Isn’t MVP

This Stat Proves Shohei Ohtani Isn’t MVP

The baseball wars of “WAR” and other meaningless or convoluted stats are fully underway as voters are preparing to cast their ballots for the Major League’s most coveted awards. One of those awards, it appears to many, has already been bestowed upon Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. However, I have discovered a stat, that proves that while talented, Shohei Ohtani is not and should not be the American League MVP … and history backs me up.

Tonight marks the 13th time this year Shohei Ohtani homered but his team ended up losing by 4+ runs.

That ties the Cubs’ Sammy Sosa (1999) for the most such games in a season in MLB history.

— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) September 22, 2021

Coming from the Twitter account of TheAnalyst.com (@StatsBySTATS), was this information late on September 21st:

“(Tuesday night) marks the 13th time this season Shohei Ohtani homered but his team ended up losing by 4+ runs. That ties the Cubs’ Sammy Sosa (1999) for the most such games in a season in MLB history.”

For the record, the 1999 Chicago Cubs finished last in the NL Central with 67 wins, and Sammy Sosa was ninth in the NL MVP voting that season. Sosa was four places behind Mark McGuire, who beat out Sosa in HRs (65 to 63) and in RBIs (147 to 141), but only saw his Cardinals’ team win 75 games, falling well short of the postseason.

For those of you who say that Ohtani’s value is added to by his 9-2 record as a starter, remember that the Angels are only 13-9 in games he starts, which means his lack of innings pitched (123 innings in 22 starts, or 5.5/game) is actually hurting, not helping the team.

Sluggers on bad teams have often had better seasons since opposing teams are normally willing to risk contact to get outs. That means more fastballs, even to home run hitters, and very often those fastballs are hit out of the park since that’s what sluggers do. The difference nowadays is that there was no WAR stat and people who print out spreadsheets don’t bother to break down how valuable every hit, walk, steal or home run was in the moment they took place. This dumbing down of stats has proven to be too easy for those who don’t want to do any work to fall back on them when voting for awards like the MVP or Cy Young.

In short, we know Shohei Ohtani is talented, but that doesn’t mean his talents proved valuable this season to the Los Angeles Angels. Meaning he could be the player of the year, however to call him the most valuable would be a disservice to the award’s meaning and intent. 

 

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