DSheppard wrote:They are two sides of the same coin, just at different lineup spots. Kinsler is a leadoff hitter with a .397 obp, a lot of extra base hits and 23 steals. This has a huge impact on how many rbis hamilton has. On the flipside, kinsler in his own right is on pace for a ridiculous 144 runs, with the same credit due to hamilton/bradley. They are both good in each category on their own, but have helped eachother into the next level.
And kinsler is on pace for 99 rbis, not exactly poor for a leadoff hitter.
He also leads hamilton in .ops, .945 to .919.
Kinsler leads the american league in batting average, hits, runs, total bases and extra base hits. He is top 7 in slugging, on base percentage and steals.
Hamilton has been awesome, but RBIs are his only one truly standout MVP type number and its the stat most dependant on your lineup.
A case can certainly be made for hamilton and I think he will be better post ASB than he was before it (aside from rbis), but you cant dismiss kinsler because a leadoff hitter cant stack up to a middle of the order hitter in rbis.
That's all well and good, but Hamilton being on pace to drive in 160 RBIs, a feat that has been accomplished twice in the past 70 years, combined with 35+ HRs and 100+ runs with a .300+ batting average, is just flat out more impressive to me.
I think the AL MVP could come out of Texas this year. None of the division leading AL teams have a guy blowing away the field statistically and something as extraordinary as Hamilton driving in 160 RBIs, even if his team is only .500, makes him the most deserving. That's really what it takes for a guy on a bad team to win the MVP to me - no single player statistically dominating a division leading team and a guy on a different team doing something historic.
The NL MVP race is more interesting but Utley's my pick there also.