Sandy Alcantara won the NL Cy Young award after a historic season. He’s going to be a key player in the Miami Marlins making the playoffs in 2023. So what’s the problem? The problem is that he deserves more. The NL MVP award belonged to Sandy as well. The award went to St. Louis Cardinals 1B Paul Goldschmidt instead. Is it the right call? Let’s analyze this situation….
Sandy Alcantara should’ve won the NL MVP award.
In 2014, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw won the NL MVP award. That was the last time that a pitcher won this award. Typically, the MVP is given to hitters and the Cy Young award is given to pitchers, but while the Cy Young is strictly for pitchers, the MVP can technically be for both. Kershaw had a 7.7 WAR that season, Sandy had an 8.0 WAR in 2022.
The MVP is supposed to go to the best player that helped their team the most. That’s the official explanation of what the award signifies. Did anyone help The Fish more than Sandy? Sandy Alcantara was the only SP to pitch as much as he did: 228.2 innings. He had a 14-9 record and a 2.28 ERA. He won the NL Cy Young unanimously.
Paul Goldschmidt was great too, he had a 7.8 WAR and a .317/.404/.578 batting line with 35 home runs and 115 RBI in 151 games and 561 AB. He was great, but not only was he worse than Sandy based on WAR, but he had serious competition on his own team from 3B Nolan Arenado. In fact, Arenado had a higher WAR: 7.9 with a .293/.358/.533 batting line and 30 home runs and 103 RBI in 148 games/557 AB.
Was Goldschmidt or Arenado more valuable to St. Louis in 2022? Arenado was according to WAR, but Goldschmidt won the MVP. Hmmmm. Sandy was more valuable to the Miami Marlins and there’s no debate. In fact, no one had a higher WAR in the entire National League. Los Angeles Dodgers 1B Freddie Freeman had 5.9 and San Diego Padres 3B Manny Machado had 6.8. No one came close to Sandy however besides the St. Louis duo.
The NL MVP award is supposed to go to the most valuable player on their team. It’s unclear if Paul Goldschmidt was more valuable than Nolan Arenado. No one in the NL was more valuable than Sandy Alcantara, the real NL MVP.