Red Sox Debate: Mookie Betts vs Mike Trout for AL MVP
Entering Friday, the star outfielders have similar sample sizes. Trout has played in four more games than Betts but has only one more at-bat. He has tallied 17 more plate appearances, although that’s hardly enough to make much of a difference when calculating WAR.
Starting with the offensive production, Betts has a decisive lead in most categories.
There’s no denying that Betts is having the better season at the plate. The only category Trout gets the better of him in is walks yet the superior batting average of Betts still leaves him with the higher OBP.
Betts leads the American League in runs scored, hits, batting average, slugging, OPS and OPS+. The FanGraphs leaderboards also show him at the top of the list with a .483 wOBA and 207 wRC+ this season. If Betts isn’t leading the league in an offensive category, he’s at least close to the top.
The Baseball-Reference WAR formula uses Batting Runs (Rbat). Betts has been worth 23 Rbat this season while Trout is at 19 Rbat.
If the offensive production was the only aspect that mattered in baseball then Betts would be the obvious choice for MVP. However, WAR considers other factors, as should the voters.