MLB Insider Details Competitive AL MVP Race with Shohei Ohtani

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

MLB statisticians and analysts, in an effort to gauge overall performance, introduced WAR as a statistic.

WAR stands for Wins Above Replacement, and it is an overall stat that rates attack, defense, and base running in the case of position players.

The resulting number would be the wins over that player’s hypothetical replacement; or a “replacement level” player.

The stat is useful in determining who deserves more individual rewards: higher WAR is associated with better overall performance.

MVP award voters often use WAR in their ratings.

The 2022 American League MVP race may be one of the closest in recent memory.

“MVP voting should consider many, many more things than Wins Above Replacement. But they offer an interesting introduction. And the American League right now is a doozy. By @fangraphs: Rafael Devers: 4.1; Judge Aaron: 4.0; Shohei Ohtani: 4.0; Mike Trout: 4.0; Jose Ramirez: 3.9,” ESPN’s Jeff Passan tweeted.

Devers is a good MVP candidate

We’ve all probably had New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge or Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani as early AL MVP race leaders.

But for those who like to point out that the WAR leader should be the favorite to win the award (it’s certainly a logical thought, although not always accurate), Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers should be crowned with his first MVP.

Devers cut .328 / .387 / .592 with 17 home runs, 56 runs and 45 RBIs.

Those are incredible offensive numbers.

Judge may be the most obvious candidate, with his 29 homers and great all-around game (not to mention he’s also there in the WAR department), but there’s no shame in picking Devers.

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