Scioscia: AL race will determine MVP winner

BY foxsports • September 19, 2012

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Angels manager Mike Scioscia doesn't have a vote, but he thinks the winner of the American League's Most Valuable Player Award probably will come down to which player's team finishes strongest.

If he's right, it means Angels rookie Mike Trout and Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera are running a close race, with both of their teams still in contention for the postseason.

"Unless a player is so off the charts that there's nobody near you and it's just such an incredible year, I think the value to a team would have to influence in a positive way where a team would finish, and that remains to be seen," Scioscia said. "Probably the last couple of weeks there will be some things that will happen to separate one guy from the other."

Little separates Trout and Cabrera right now. But each player clearly has his camp of supporters who base their arguments on statistics.

Trout, who wasn't called up from the minors until the end of April and missed the Angels' first 20 games, ranks second in the AL in batting average (.327), first in runs (118), first in stolen bases (46), fourth in on-base percentage (.396) and fifth in slugging (.558).

Cabrera has an outside chance at the triple crown, which undoubtedly would lock up the MVP, regardless of where the Tigers finish. He's currently first in average (.333), tied for second in homers (40) and first in RBI (.129). He's also second in runs (100), second in hits (189), first in total bases (347) and first in slugging (.612).

But MVP voters, who consist of two writers from each AL city, will probably also factor in a new-age category called WAR (wins over replacement), where Trout holds a substantial edge of 10.3 to Cabrera's 6.3.

"There are so many things" that voters take into account, Scioscia said. "Obviously, Miguel Cabrera being close to a triple crown and has that team in a pennant race (are factors). Mike Trout plays a premium defensive position every day and brings a presence out there that's incredible. What he's done as a leadoff hitter, the number of runs he's scored in five months, his stolen bases. There are so many things for each guy. They're both having an extraordinary seasons."

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