In the most predictable outcome outside of Corey Seager‘s Rookie of the Year honor, Kris Bryant took home the MVP as voted on by members of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. This isn’t to be confused with the BBWAA, which will unveil its selection on MLB Network at 6pm ET. But unless something crazy happens, the results should be the same.
In a poll conducted by ESPN, 26 of 27 experts picked Bryant as the likely NL MVP. The lone detractor was Mark Saxon, who covers the Cardinals for ESPN.com. Before you go jumping on a guy who wrote about a “statement loss,” though, it’s important to note that the question asked of the voters was who will win and not who should win. While that might seem like a subtle difference at best, it’s asking for more of a prediction than an opinion.
And if it seems heretical that someone thinks Daniel Murphy will win the award, consider that as many voters left Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester off of their Cy Young ballots as those that named either in the top spot. Maybe Saxon thinks Bryant and Seager will split enough votes to open the door for another Washington National to take home some hardware. As the saying goes, you can’t predict baseball…writers.
That said, I still think it’s reasonable to expect the IBWAA results to be a pretty sound predictor of the official vote that will be coming in a few hours. Without further ado, here are your top 10 finishers:
1st – Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs (2293 points)
2nd – Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals (1269)
3rd – Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers (1258)
4th – Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies (1106)
5th – Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (1079)
6th – Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves (776)
7th – Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (536)
8th – Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets (249)
9th – Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers (215)
10th – Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks (214)
Looks about right, with Bryant racking up over 1,000 more points than Murphy and Seager. En route to his MVP, Bryant earned 145 of 177 (81.92%) first-place votes and was named on 176 of the ballots. Yes, someone failed to list Kris Bryant among the top 10 most valuable players in the National League and should have his or her voting rights rescinded.
The 32 remaining first-place votes went to Daniel Murphy (14), Nolan Arenado (10), Anthony Rizzo (4) and Corey Seager (3). I’m surprised Seager had the fewest of the bunch, but his third-place overall finish sounds about right. Rizzo had a decent showing too, coming in fifth with 1,079 points. And to show just how much wins matter to folks, Joey Votto finished 5th despite yet another monster season.
The AL breakdown was quite a bit closer and went a little something like this:
4th – Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays (1027)
5th – Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles (768)
6th – David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (733)
7th – Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners (481)
8th – Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers (447)
9th – Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers (327)
10th – Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins (260)
I believe we’ll see these results repeated Thursday night on MLB Network, with the possibility that Bryant’s lead is even bigger from a relative standpoint. And I’m hoping none of the BBWAA voters leaves the winner off the ballot.