Is Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard the NL MVP? Well, there are several cases for and against him.
First, why he shouldn’t be MVP:
-Howard has 190 K’s and could very well break his own MLB record of 199 strikeouts in a season. MVP’s shouldn’t be breaking strikeout records.
-His defense at first base has gotten progressively worse. It’s clear that Howard has lost more and more confidence as the season has gone on. He struggles to field the ball cleanly and his throws tend to be off the mark.
-His batting average is terrible. He is currently hitting .249 and that’s because he has been on a tear. Meaning…his average has been awful all year.
Why he should be MVP:
-He is the clear MLB (not just NL) leader in RBI’s and HR’s. As of this posting, he has 45 HR’s and 136 RBI’s. Those numbers are dominant and there isn’t anyone terribly close to taking him over.
-Who would be ahead of him? I don’t see anyone close to his power and production numbers. Albert Pujols in St. Louis is hitting .360 with 33 bombs and 101 RBI’s, and yes, those numbers are hard to argue with. Is the high average enough to overcome the disparity in power and runs driven in? Could be.
As for those clamoring for Carlos Delgado…please. He has been incredibly hot as of late, but was so terrible earlier this season that Mets fans were calling for him to be cut. That’s right…cut.
Howard has the goods to win MVP, but how much do you downgrade him for poor defense, strikeouts and bad batting average? Howard is ripping the cover off the ball right now, but Pujols’ insane .360 avg. and solid power numbers could get him the MVP nod.