I have to admit, I was a bit surprised when I looked at SB Nation's voting results for AL MVP. I did not expect Justin Verlander to win the award. (And he didn't.) However, I did not expect him to finish so low, nor did I expect him to finish beneath a teammate in the standings.
But that's what happened. Jose Bautista won with 10 first place votes and 211 points, and Jacoby Ellsbury finished in second with 7 first-place votes and 196 points. So apparently, SB Nation's AL voters decided not being on a playoff team didn't matter.
A familiar trio followed. Miguel Cabrera earned two first-place votes and 164 points, Curtis Granderson 1 first-place vote and 143 points, and Justin Verlander three first-place votes and 130 points.
What really miffs me is that Justin Verlander appeared on just 18 ballots. Even if you don't believe his season was of the quality to give a pitcher a first-place vote, how do you leave him off entirely? Especially when you consider how sabermetrically-minded SB Nation voters are. He had a great season, great numbers, and even top ten WAR at Fangraphs and first-place WAR at Baseball-Reference.
Maybe it's because he was a pitcher.
Other Tigers receiving votes: Alex Avila finished 12th and Victor Martinez tied for 21st.
Our ballots follow, with the voting totals after the jump.
Kurt: Justin Verlander, Curtis Granderson, Jose Bautista, Jacoby Ellsbury, Miguel Cabrera, Michael Young, Alex Avila, Robinson Cano, Evan Longoria, James Shields.
Comments: I was a bit iffy on going with Verlander first. I think a good argument could be made for Cabrera, instead. But in the end I went with JV. As you can see, I prefer guys who play on playoff teams, but felt like Bautista and Ellsbury had good enough seasons to make the top five. Ellsbury especially. While his team crumbled in the final month, he maintained strong play.
Alli: Bautista, Verlander, Ellsbury, Cabrera, Young, Granderson, Cano, Longoria, Avila, Shields
Comments: Alli might chime in with more in the comment section. But if she doesn't, she says she was hung over when she voted.
SB Nation's AL MVP Award Voting
Monday: Michael Pineda AL Rookie of the Year, Craig Kimbrel NL rookie of the year
Tuesday: Justin Verlander SBN's pick for top AL pitcher
Wednesday: Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay tie in SBN's NL Cy Young voting
Thursday: MVP (AL) announced
Friday: MVP (NL) announced