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2006 MVP Watch #1

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It's Christmas time for stat geeks as Hardball Times has released the first Win Shares of the 2006 season and thus I can now I start tracking the MVP candidates for the season. Of coursing being that we are just a little over six weeks into the season this can all be taken with a grain of salt but hey I need excuses for entries. So every Tuesday now I'll have an updated Top 10 list for each league.


I'll start with the National League as let's face it, the race is alredy over. Barring injury everyone is running for second place behind Albert Pujols this season. He just completely blows away the field and didn't give a thought to anyone else at the top spot. What you will notice is the high placement of a couple of pitchers which didn't surprise me as with the small sample of games the more impact an individual starting pitcher can have. Those two pitchers are the least likely candidates to still be in the Top 10 come September.


#10 Chase Utley, Phillies

.302/.372/.547, 25 RC, .277 EQA, 14.8 VORP, 8 Win Shares


#9 Bobby Abreu, Phillies

.257/.437/.459, 27 RC, .288 EQA, 7.9 VORP, 8 Win Shares


#8 Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks

167 ERA+, 5.71 K/BB, 1.18 WHIP, 22.1 VORP, 7 Win Shares


#7 Morgan Ensberg, Astros

.281/.401/.619, 30 RC, .291 EQA, 15.1 VORP, 8 Win Shares


#6 Carlos Delgado, Mets

.298/.394/.610, 34 RC, .291 EQA, 15.9 VORP, 7 Win Shares


#5 Carlos Lee, Brewers

.296/.392/.655, 34 RC, .296 EQA, 20.1 VORP, 8 Win Shares


#4 Bronson Arroyo, Reds

221 ERA+, 3.58 K/BB, 1.01 WHIP, 23.1 VORP, 7 Win Shares


#3 Lance Berkman, Astros

.319/.384/.652, 37 RC, .293 EQA, 18.0 VORP, 10 Win Shares


#2 Tom Glavine, Mets

189 ERA+, 2.64 K/BB, 1.03 WHIP, 20.2 VORP, 8 Win Shares



IPB Image

.333/.469/.833, 49 RC, .327 EQA, 33.1 VORP, 14 Win Shares



Now for the American League which could be a wide open race all year. As of right now DH's (or DH types) are dominating the field with the likes of Giambi, Thome, Hafner, and Gomes. Ramon Hernandez, Alexis Rios, and Jose Contreras all won't be there at the end and Contreras' stock will drop dramtically pretty soon with him on the DL. The two big candidates from last year, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz, are both off to relatively slow starts but figure both will make a push at some point.


#10 Ramon Hernandez, Orioles

.315/.385/.488, 29 RC, .280 EQA, 11.0 VORP, 8 Win Shares


#9 Nick Swisher, A's

.305/.405/.664, 28 RC, .294 EQA, 18.4 VORP, 7 Win Shares


#8 Alexis Rios, Blue Jays

.367/.386/.692, 30 RC, .294 EQA, 17.2 VORP, 7 Win Shares


#7 Vernon Wells, Blue Jays

.358/.407/.642, 33 RC, .294 EQA, 24.7 VORP, 7 Win Shares


#6 Travis Hafner, Indians

.314/.430/.628, 37 RC, .303 EQA, 21.6 VORP, 7 Win Shares


#5 Miguel Tejada, Orioles

.361/.402/.613, 30 RC, .295 EQA, 25.7 VORP, 7 Win Shares


#4 Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays

.288/.421/.648, 32 RC, .295 EQA, 18.7 VORP, 10 Win Shares


#3 Jason Giambi, Yankees

.269/.480/.654, 38 RC, .311 EQA, 19.9 VORP, 8 Win Shares


#2 Jose Contreras, White Sox

335 ERA+, 1.91 K/BB, 0.87 WHIP, 24.3 VORP, 8 Win Shares



IPB Image

.290/.438/.694, 43 RC, .304 EQA, 23.0 VORP, 11 Win Shares


I'm personally not sold that Thome will keep this up all year but you never know.

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Here's some more names for the sake of conversation.


Shawn Green, even though he's mucho overpaid, has had a hot start to the season.


Chris Shelton, even though I know he's cooled off as expected.


Scott Podsednik, leader in SB's, and master of smallball.


Matt Holiday, from Colorado... and that other OF they have who has a really high average... I can't remember his name... unless the Coors Field advantage renders them useless.




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Green, does have a high average but only has ten extra base hits.


Shelton, was up for consideration but only has six Win Shares. Would have cracked the Top 15 if I extended it that far.


Podsednik, not a chance.


Holliday, the Coors factor definently hurts him and his OBP is nothing special.

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