Monday, November 7, 2022

2022 MLB Award Predictions

The MLB award finalists are out, so it is again time to look at the Bases Per Out (BPO) statistic to determine who should win each award. To refresh your memory, the formula is: (TB+BB+SB+HBP+SAC+SF)/(AB-H+CS+SAC+SF+GIDP). That's the total bases achieved by the batter against the number of outs he made, and obviously, the higher the ratio the better. As usual, this stat ignores defense, which is why it is imperfect, but it does give some insight into a player's offensive contributions and is much better than OPS.

MVP

The top five in BPO in the AL:
Player         Bases  Outs   BPO
Aaron Judge     529    415  1.275
Yordan Alvarez  380    346  1.098
Jose Altuve     376    384  0.979
Jose Ramirez    413    454  0.910
Shohei Ohtani   395    444  0.890

The finalists are Judge, Alvarez, and Ohtani. Obviously, Shohei is included because he also pitches, and his Outs per Base on the mound (as you will see below) is third in the league. Does his pitching make him more valuable than Judge despite Aaron being 43% higher in offensive BPO? Nope. Judge meant more to the Yankees 99 wins than Ohtani did to the Angels abysmal 73. Is Ohtani the better player? Of course, there has been nobody like him in history. If you believe his should win this year, then he should win every year he plays most of a season, assuming he continues to be as good as he is. But his 166 innings do not make up for Judge nearly winning the Triple Crown and leading his team to the division title. Winner: Judge.

The top six in the NL:
Player           Bases  Outs   BPO
Paul Goldschmidt  419    394  1.063
Freddie Freeman   422    429  0.984
Juan Soto         382    411  0.929
Manny Machado     382    421  0.907
Mookie Betts      384    432  0.889
Nolan Arenado     365    416  0.877
The finalists are Goldschmidt, Machado, and Arenado, as Freeman is overlooked since he won last year.  Goldschmidt is the only one who had more bases than outs in the league this season and should win based on that. If he doesn't, I would be very surprised. Winner: Goldschmidt.

Cy Young

For pitchers, the statistic is reversed, giving Outs Per Base ((IP*3)/(TB+BB+HBP+WP+BK+SB+SH+SF)), with higher numbers again better.

The top seven qualifiers in the AL:
Player           Outs  Bases  OPB
Justin Verlander 525    220  2.386
Shane McClanahan 499    238  2.097
Shohei Ohtani    498    246  2.024
Alek Manoah      590    304  1.941
Shane Bieber     600    312  1.923
Triston McKenzie 574    305  1.882
Dylan Cease      552    297  1.859
The finalists are Verlander, Cease, and Manoah. No-brainer here, Verlander should win and will win and Kate Upton will be happy. Winner: Verlander.

The top 11 qualifier in the NL:
Player          Outs  Bases  OPB
Max Fried        556   265  2.098
Zac Gallen       552   269  2.052
Aaron Nola       615   318  1.934
Sandy Alcantara  686   356  1.927
Carlos Rodon     534   278  1.921
Yu Darvish       584   307  1.902
Julio Urias      525   277  1.895
Corbin Burnes    606   320  1.894
Tyler Anderson   536   284  1.887
Miles Mikolas    607   336  1.807
Kyle Wright      541   304  1.780
This is a tricky one (only those who qualified for the ERA title are included, which eliminates several such as Spencer Strider and Max Scherzer). Kyle Wright led the league in wins despite his relatively low OPB. The finalists are Alcantara, Fried, and Urias. Fried has the better BPO, mainly because Alcantara was hurt by 50 walks and 24 stolen bases while he was on the mound. You can argue that stolen bases should not be detrimental to a pitcher's statistics, but they benefit when a runner is caught stealing, so you have to include thefts as well. Still, those 24 stolen bases will not mean much when looking at Alcantara's six complete games and the fact that he pitched 43.1 more innings than Fried. Alcantara should win and will win. Winner: Alcantara.

Rookie of the Year 

In the AL, the nominees are Julio Rodriguez (Mariners, 0.877 BPO), Adley Rutschman (Orioles, 0.832) and Steven Kwan (Indians, 0.769). These are the top three in the league in BPO, with Julio the leader by far. He should win and will win. Winner: Rodriguez.

The NL rookie finalists are Michael Harris II (Braves, 0.864 BPO), Brendan Donovan (Cardinals, 0.769 BPO), and Spencer Strider (Braves, best in the league 2.194 OPB although he only threw 131.2 innings). Still, finishing tops in the league should garner him the win, though Harris made a few highlight reel catches and that might give him some sway with voters. Strider should win, but this is the one race where the outcome might differ from my prediction. Winner: Harris II, which shows that baseball writers still don't understand the game.


Best,

Sean