The Lede: Stanton Making a Case for MVP?

By Arturo Pardavila III (Flickr) CC License

Don’t have time to read through 1,000 words, but need some informed betting tips? Here’s a quick rundown on today’s biggest sports story (as adjudged by me) and how it impacts the way you should bet.

Giancarlo Stanton Stays Red-Hot

Last night, Giancarlo Stanton belted his MLB-leading 43rd dinger of the season, extending his home run streak to five straight games. The homer also broke the Marlin’s club record of 42 home runs in a season, held by Gary Sheffield. The next closest player to Stanton in home runs this year is Aaron Judge with 36.

But are the MVP voters as enamored with the long ball as fans are? It certainly doesn’t seem that way. Just twice in the last nine seasons has the home run king won the MVP in their respective league. The voters instead like to focus on WAR. Over the last five seasons, the NL MVP has gone to the player with the highest WAR four times, with Andrew McCutchen being the only exception in 2013 where he was second in WAR.

Although Stanton leads the league in home runs, sits third in RBIs, leads in slugging percentage, and is hitting a respectable .283, his WAR of 5.07 is fifth in the NL.

Takeaway: It’s already hard enough to win the NL MVP on a team that doesn’t qualify for the playoffs; only four have accomplished the feat since 2000. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado’s respective clubs are both currently sitting in playoff spots. The former leads all NL position players in WAR and is hitting for a much better average at the plate (.318) than Stanton. The latter leads the league in RBIs, has a very similar WAR, and is also hitting for a much better average (.311) than Stanton.

Barring injury, or the Diamondbacks getting cold and missing out on the playoffs, Goldschmidt will win the NL MVP this season. Don’t be swayed by the sexy home run numbers.

If you’re interested in tracking each team’s World Series Futures, we’ve also got you covered.