Monday, October 26, 2009

Value Evaluation: CC or A-Rod

I doubt many people are going to remember who the ALCS MVP was a couple years from now. Postseason series MVPs are even more haphazardly given out than their regular season counterparts the BBWAA gets to vote on. As we had pretty much determined by Game 4, it was going to either A-Rod or CC Sabathia.

Last night as LoHud, Josh Thompson said "In no surprise to anyone, CC Sabathia was named MVP of the ALCS after winning both starts."

Um, I'll admit it. I'm a little surprised. A-Rod had a fantastic series and given how much the media loves stories of redemption, I had thought he would be the slight favorite to win. He put up huge numbers, and had clutch home runs, which I would think the media would value as much ro more than a guy who made two excellent starts.

Like everyone else, I don't really care who won the award, but I thought it would be interesting to look at who was more valuable in the series.

Here go the basic stats. A-Rod hit .429/.567/.952. That's a 1.519 OPS. He walked 8 times and struck out thrice. Three homers, six RBIs and six runs scored, meaning he was at the center of 9 of the Yanks' 33 runs in the series.

Sabathia started and won twice, going 8 innings and allowing one run each time. He had as many strikeouts (12) as walks (3) and hits (9) combined. An ERA of 1.12, a WHIP of 0.750.

Both guys put up numbers in the series that if you extrapolated to a full season would comfortably be the best of all time as a batter and pitcher respectively, I'm willing to say. I'm not sure of a place to get Wins or Runs Above Replacement data for a postseason series, so the best measure of comparing a pitcher to a position player would probably be WPA.

CC takes that one pretty handily which demonstrates the importance of an overpowering starting pitcher. With the Yankees' offense, he virtually assured them of two wins, the only two comfortable victories of the series.

A-Rod, on the other hand, had a hit in every game and was on base twice or more in all except Game 2, when of course he blasted a game-tying home run in the bottom of the 11th when the Yanks were down to their last breath. In Game 5, where he was at .005 in WPA, he still had a hit and two walks.

You can't go wrong with either of these guys obviously, and even A-Rod magnanimously said that CC deserved it. These are nice issues to be able to sort through, aren't they? Everybody wins!

1 comment:

  1. Likewise, its not really important who is singled out as the ALCS MVP, but thats what I love about Baseball...we have to analyze everything. Thats not a bad thing, its just...well, what the hell else are we gonna do until Wednesday?

    My personal opinion is ARod should have been the MVP. CC was absolutely an ace...for two games. Assuming a Game 7, CC would have won (of Even if there was a Game 7 and CC got the win, I think ARod is it. He was a huge clutch performer in the series. Be in in the field, at bat, or on the bases, he was doing good things and making plays. He hit homeruns at important times, he was aggressive on the bases, he rattled pitchers without stealing, and he never relented. On a team where there are a lot of clutch hitters (Jeter, Cabrera, Posada, Teixeira, Damon, Cano), ARod was the one guy who you KNEW was gonna come through everytime.
    What sticks in my mind right now is ARod on base exaggerating a steal move while Saunders was throwing balls to Matsui or Posada. He was in control of the game, without a doubt. Set the tone.

    Like I said though, its fun to think about. Who can argue against CC Sabathia? he was excellent, and classy when they gave it to him. I'm sure it made the Fox analysts happy (Eric Karros & Mark Grace) who could only talk about how they thought it was a mistake by Girardi to NOT start Sabathia in Game 6. They ALL called the Yankees to lose under the premise the Yankees only had 1 pitcher that could win. Nevermind Pettitte's rep as a big-game pitcher, or that he was tied (at the time) with Smoltz for most postseason wins and series clinching wins. It was a really lame reason for rooting against NY. Way to do your homework, guys.