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Deadspin’s MLB National League Winner


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This is a two-horse race, and while Atlanta Michael Harris is the favorite To win the current prize (odds -320), I’m giving the edge to Spencer Strider. Strider’s perfect mustache is the main reason I’m leaning towards him, but aside from his gorgeous facial hair, Strider has led all the National League rookies (playing 70 innings minimum) in the ERA almost to the full. . (Striker: 2.67; CIN’s Nick Lodolo: 3.66). His expected ERA is even lower (2.39). Strider’s 4.9 fWAR is 3 points higher than Lodolo’s (1.8). Strider is the best rookie player in the National League, not even close.

There are two factors that work against Strider. First, he suffered an oblique injury in September that kept him out of action. While he was out, the Braves overtook the Mets in NL East and won the division. That’s not good for Strider’s case. Before going down, however, Strider had a 5-1 record and 1.71 ERA in his previous seven starts. He completely overpowered opposing squads and would probably have a sub 2.50 ERA if he hadn’t been injured. Second, Strider only became a starter at the end of May. Strider’s first 11 appearances in 2022 were like a pain reliever. He’s been fantastic in that role, but because of that limited start time, Striders’ cumulative stats like shots and innings rolled aren’t a place where voters desire. Strider’s history as a painkiller also makes it difficult for him to get into matches. In his 20-game start, Strider has only had two where he’s gone six innings deeper. That lack of persistence could play a role in voters’ decisions.

However, Harris has only played 114 games this season. While he has a good attack, and almost joined the club 20-20 during his rookie season, completing a short home game, his discipline is a bit lacking. If Harris had simply made more pitches, he could have easily had OPS in the .870s. That’s what he’ll have to do in the future. I also feel as if Harris’s amazing power numbers are unsustainable. 49 of Harris’ 123 hits this season have added bases, giving Harris 0.217 ISO, the 18th best in the National League. His BABIP also 0.361, the second highest in the National League. That implies a lot of luck has come to Harris in 2022. So I’m giving the edge to Strider. Oh, and Harris’ OPS-plus is 135. Strider’s ERA-plus is 153.

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