The MVP debate is similar to debates in politics. At least it seems that way this year. There are clearly two sides in this debate - the saber metric community and the traditional community. Sure, there are people who could be lumped into either. Let's call them independents or swing voters. Mike Trout's incredible rookie season was adored by just about everyone in baseball, but he did not win the MVP. This was an outrage to those who study advanced statistics and understand defense is part of the game. Their anger at Miguel Cabrera's win was instant and deep. "But Cabrera won the *bleeping* Triple Crown," the other side shouts. And the debate rages.
I'm not about to jump into the middle of this debate. That would be like jumping in the middle of two stray dogs fighting. Not smart. What I'd like to do is look at value from a different perspective. After all, this site is dedicated to injuries. Players who are injured and unable to play certainly have less value than others. But there's more to it than that. What's valuable to an individual may not be valuable to a team and may not be valuable to a front office.
That being said, let's consider three things: 1) Contribution to the team. 2) Cost (Salary). 3) Games played. Combined, these three things account for almost everything any one individual may be looking for in an MVP. But how do we define number one? We can't simply look at a pitcher's wins and losses or a hitter's batting average. We can't use Win Above Replacement because, well, clearly BWAA don't use it. So, what do we use?
From there, hopefully we can draw some conclusions, but we probably won't. This is a debate that can be taken in so many directions. It's just fun to talk about.
I chose my top five MVP candidates from each league by using the top players in runs created, but you can really use any category you'd like in this method. From there, I chose what each category (contribution, cost, games-played) would be most important. In this case, I chose games played as the category with the highest weight. Considering the basis of this site, games-played makes the most sense. A player can only add value while he is on the field. I gave contribution and cost the same weights. So let's take a look at what I came up with.
I chose to assign points to each player's spot in a particular category. This, of course, helps with the weighted average. As you can see, the top spot in each category gets five points and it decreases from there. Now, to calculate the National League MVP, it's as simple as taking the weighted averages of each's player's point total for all categories. This is what we get: