There have been some atrocious choices for the World Series Most Valuable Player in the history of the award (see below), and while the media choosing Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager on Tuesday night wasn’t a bad idea, it wasn’t the best idea, either.
We think Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw should have won the award, for both statistical reasons and sentimental ones as well. First, the stat lines:
- Seager: .400 batting average, 2 home runs, 5 RBI, 6 walks, 1.256 OPS
- Kershaw: 2-0, 2.31 ERA, 14 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings, 0.857 WHIP
Both players were excellent; however, two other Dodgers hitters also hit 2 HRs each (Mookie Betts and Justin Turner), and Max Muncy drove in six runs for L.A. as well. Clearly, Seager wasn’t alone in helping the Dodgers score runs. A lot of hitters could have laid claim to this award.
On the other side of the equation, Kershaw threw the most innings of any L.A. pitcher in the series by far, while also being the only real starter to open two games—and then win them both by striking out more than a batter per inning. That WHIP is nasty, and winning Games 1 and 5 for the Dodgers was huge for a team that had come up short in recent postseasons.
Throw in the past criticism of Kershaw and his selection made more sense on both levels. Remember when the mediots picked Florida Marlins pitcher Liván Hernández as the 1997 WS MVP, despite his 5.27 ERA in the seven-game series?! We do.
That was as sentimental as it gets, for there was no statistical reason whatsoever to give him the award. Hernández actually walked more batters (10) than he struck out (7) in his two starts for the eventual champs. What were those voters thinking? Oh yeah, they weren’t.
So, Kershaw didn’t rate a sentimental vote? Go figure. The mediots blew a golden chance here to cement the best pitcher of the 21st century with a much-deserved award, which is why we exist—to right the wrongs of the past.
On this matter, we think we will go back to the start of the awarding of World Series MVP awards in 1955 and add the award to our MLB Monday features. Why not? Look for that element later—on January 25, 2021, to be exact.