Nolan Arenado Further Stated His Case For National League MVP By Breaking The Diamondbacks’ Spirit Last Night
In the American League, Jose Altuve is your MVP and it’s really not even close. In the National League, though, it’s a little bit more of a fun and interesting discussion. It’s only fun for guys like me who don’t necessarily have a dog in the fight. If you’re a Rockies, Dodgers, Marlins, Dbacks, Nationals, or even a Reds fan, you might feel a little bit differently. I would say that if there is a front runner in the race, it would have to be Giancarlo Stanton, who leads the world in homers (54) and slugging percentage (.644), second in RBI (113), and leads the NL in wins above replacement (6.7).
Now that we’ve seen Mike Trout win the MVP award as recently as last year for a last place team, then you could certainly build a strong case for a guy like Joey Votto and his 1.026 OPS, which trails only Bryce Harper for the major league lead. Paul Goldschmidt and his 1.010 OPS, 34 bombs and 112 RBI deserve a ton of consideration as well, considering he’s the first guy that we’ve mentioned here who’s done all of this while playing for a playoff team.
The Dodgers were once world beaters, but have now lost 11 straight games. I don’t think that one awful stretch should eliminate them from having a hat in the ring for NL MVP, though. Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, and Corey Seager all deserve some love there, but I think for as good and as well balanced as they were prior to this shit run that they’ve been on, their candidates are all going to take votes away from each other, as there’s really no standout candidate on the Dodgers.
That brings us to this man — Nolan Arenado. This fucking guy does everything. He’s the best defensive third baseman in the game, leading the position in defensive runs saved (19) with the fifth best defensive WAR at any position (2.2). After going 2-for-4 with a game-winning three-run bomb in the 8th inning and 4 RBI on the night, he now leads the majors in RBI with 123, leads the National League with 42 doubles, has 33 homers on the year to give him his third straight season of at least 30 homers and 120 RBI. Oh, and he’s only 26 years old.
Remember how we said Stanton leads the National League with a 6.7 WAR? Arenado is tied for second with Votto with a 6.4 WAR, so it’s not really a sizable gap between Arenado and the guy who has 54 bombs. The Rockies have the best table setters in the game in Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu as their top two hitters in the order. The league average for one-two hitters this year is a .265 batting average, .336 on-base percentage, and a .768 OPS. Blackmon and LeMahieu combined are hitting .328 with a ridiculous .393 on-base percentage and a .913 OPS. They’ve been setting them up, and Arenado has been knocking them down all year long.
After taking down the Dbacks last night, the Rockies still trail Arizona by four games for that top Wild Card spot, but maintain a 3.5 game lead over the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. One of the only knocks on Arenado in the past was that there was a discrepancy in his performance at Coors Field versus how he played on the road. As we all know, the balls fly up there in Colorado, and numbers have been known to inflate because of it, but Arenado has a .963 OPS on the year overall and a .920 OPS on the road. There’s a dip there, but not a big enough dropoff to where you could deny him the right to call himself one of the best hitters in the game today.
You wanna talk about how you attract new fans to the game? Get the Rockies in the postseason so that a national audience can watch Nolan Arenado play baseball. You just might be watching the National League MVP do his thing.