AL Most Valuable Player Race: Give Longoria and Crawford Some Love

OAKLAND CA - AUGUST 19: Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Oakland Athletics in the sixth inning during an MLB game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 19 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

I know it's early, but I've already seen a couple articles floating around this week that talk about the MVP race. Nowhere have I seen the names of Crawford or Longoria brought up, so I want to float this by people real quick:

rWAR*

Robinson Cano

6.2

Evan Longoria

5.9

Miguel Cabrera

5.6

Justin Morneau

5.3

Adrian Beltre

4.9

*Wins Above Replacement numbers from Baseball-Reference.

fWAR**

Josh Hamilton

6.6

Robinson Cano

5.8

Adrian Beltre

5.7

Evan Longoria

5.6

Carl Crawford

5.6

**Wins Above Replacement numbers from FanGraphs.

Yes, there are two different versions of WAR: one at Baseball-Reference and one at FanGraphs. The only significant difference between the two is how they calculate defensive value (FanGraphs uses UZR, while B-R uses Total Zone), so they give us two different looks at a player's value. As you can see above, they agree quite frequently.

Obviously, the season doesn't end today. I don't know if Longoria or Crawford deserve to win the MVP award - they have stiff competition from Hamilton, Cano, and Miggy - but they should at least be in the discussion. If you take either of them out of the line-up, the Rays' offense takes a significant hit. I know the Rays get looked over frequently because they're in the same division as Boston and the Yankees, but Longoria and Crawford are having great seasons and deserve recognition. Don't forget about them!

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