Taking a Look at the MVP Races

The Most Valuable Player Awards will be made, along with all the other postseason awards, following the World Series and when you use the Bill James Win Share method it is apparent the races will be very tight.

Albert Pujols of St. Louis has a slight edge on Derrek Lee of the Cubs, 38-37 and the Yankees Alex Rodriguez finished the 2005 season with 37 Win Shares, is trailed by Manny Ramirez of Boston (34) and Yankee teammate Gary Sheffield with 33.

Dodger second baseman Jeff Kent, the only Dodger ranked in the top 100, ranks sixth in the league and is first among second basemen in both the National and American Leagues.
James uses a complicated formula to compare baseball players and shows the contribution each player made to his team in the form of each players share of the wins the team finished with.

The formula adjusts for park conditions, since it is easier to score runs in Wrigley Field and Fenway Park than it is in the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati or Safeco Field in Seattle.

Pitchers are also ranked, with additional credit for fielding prowess.

We have listed the top 10 in each league using Win Shares, however when the Baseball Writers of America vote on this award you will see different results. Perhaps Rodriguez and Sheffield will split the votes, for example.

Listed are some players who are not household names outside their own park. The system ranks players by their numbers only, with no sentimental values working into the balloting. It will be interesting to see how close this list compares to the final voting.

The top 10 in the National League
38 -- Albert Pujols, St. Louis
37 -- Derrek Lee, Chicago
35 -- Brian Giles, San Diego
34 -- Jason Bay, Pittsburgh
31 -- Carlos Delgado, Florida

30 -- Jeff Kent, Los Angeles
29 -- Miguel Cabrera, Florida
29 -- Morgan Ensberg, Houston
28 -- Jim Edmonds, St. Louis
28 -- Bobby Abreu, Philadelphia
28 -- Adam Dunn, Cincinnati
28 -- David Eckstein, St. Louis
28 -- David Wright, New York

American League
39 -- Alex Rodriguez, New York
34 -- Manny Ramirez, Boston
33 -- Gary Sheffield, New York
32 -- Mark Teixeria, Texas
31 -- David Ortiz, Boston

28 -- Bip Roberts, Baltimore
27 -- Travis Hafner, Cleveland
27 -- Vlad Guerrero, Anaheim
27 -- Michael Young, Texas
27 -- Richie Sexon, Seattle