This piece was a post from Dusty that was too good to pass up so he expanded it and made it into a thread.
Here is my ballot for NLDS MVP for Atlanta using mostly WPA and cWPA. I know these are limited stats, but they do a good job of telling the story of what actually happened especially in a short series. I wish there was a way to incorporate defense and baserunning (and there probably is I just donâ€™t know it) but this is what Iâ€™ve got…
Braves NLDS MVPs
1) Tyler Matzek (3.4 cWPA, 0.30 WPA) â€“ Just lights out, cleaned a mess for Luke (and one of his own) but this guy is a big game pitcher
2) Freddie Freeman (5.6 cWPA, 0.51 WPA) â€“ Responsible for the biggest play of the series. I was actually going to post earlier in the day that is seems Freddie has never really had a playoff moment. Heâ€™s been solid in the playoffs for his career, but the power hasnâ€™t been there. That all changed with one swing of the bat.
3) Joc Pederson(1.6 cWPA, 0.18 WPA) â€“ Joctober certainly took a lot of pressure off of the offense. Wasnâ€™t great as a starter in game 4 but did have a key RBI to make it 4-3.
4) Going off book here a little, whoever was in charge of defensive positioning. Being in the right spot for a lot of hard hit balls saved multiple runs. Credit to the players for executing, but the behind the scenes personnel deserve some serious credit.
5) Max Fried (3.4 cWPA, 0.34 WPA) â€“ Hard to understate how big Maxâ€™s performance was. Gave the team the chance to get back in the series after a tough luck game 1 loss, and also gave Snit the ability to go to Morton in game 4, knowing he had Max for game 5. Game 4 couldâ€™ve turned out different had Snit done what I said and started Ynoa.
6) Brian Snitker â€“ Managed with an even keel, but not afraid to push some aggressive buttons when needed. I second guessed a few decisions (mostly pulling Fried after 6 and pulling Minter before facing Tellez) but everything he did worked pretty much. The pinch hitting was great and players succeeded because their manager put them in a position to do so.
7) Will Smith (3.0 cWPA, 0.25 WPA) â€“ Really excelling at just the right time. Will has cost us all years off our lives but he has gotten the job done.
8) Dansby Swanson (-1.4 cWPA, -0.14 WPA) â€“ This is where WPA falls short. Dansby made some huge plays in the field that saved runs. With runs at such a premium those plays were huge.
9) Ian Anderson (3.4 cWPA, 0.29 WPA) â€“ Hard to argue with multiple innings of scoreless pitching. His performance set the table for Jocâ€™s heroics in Game 3.
10) A.J. Minter (1.5 cWPA, 0.12 WPA) â€“ Should have been used more, but hard to argue with the results. Hopefully he will get more of a chance to shine in the NLCS.
Luke Jackson (1.5, 0.13) â€“ It kills me to leave him off, my dren Luke Jackson tee is 3-0 (I forgot to wear for game 1) he was solid, just gets knocked a peg for leaving a mess for Matzek.
Eddie Rosario (1.3, 0.08) â€“ Felt like he had more big hits but he only drove in the 2 runs in game 4 (not that those werenâ€™t huge) no runs scored either. Solid not spectacular.
Jesse Chavez (1.0, 0.08) â€“ Allowed one of Mortonâ€™s runners to score but held them at bay after that. Nice efficient inning in game 3.
Austin Riley (0.6, 0.04) â€“ Was solid offensively and defensively. Missed a couple of big opportunities to be the hero, but nothing to complain about. Needs to work on his sprint speed so he can beat Duvall in a footrace.
Braves NLDS LVPs
Following up on my MVP column, here is my ballot for NLDS LVP for Atlanta using mostly WPA and cWPA. Again, I know these are limited stats, but they do a good job of telling the story of what actually happened, especially in a short series. I wish there was a way to incorporate defense and baserunning (and there probably is I just donâ€™t know it) but this is what Iâ€™ve got:
1) Adam Duvall (-0.4 cWPA, -0.04 WPA) – Another place where WPA doesnâ€™t tell the whole story. If a couple of games had broken differently, Duvall wouldâ€™ve been the scapegoat for sure with two bad baserunning mistakes. One perhaps excusable (dâ€™Arnaud may have been out if Duvall wasnâ€™t but Travis may have gotten his read off Adam) and one completely inexcusable. Iâ€™d actually venture to say if Atlanta had lost that game by a run and lost the series, this would have gone down as the worst TOOTBLAN of all time. To Adamâ€™s credit you have to reach base to have a baserunning error and he played solid defense all series.
2) Huascar Ynoa (-2.9 cWPA, -0.20 WPA) – Pretty harsh to have one rough outing and wind up here, but if you pitch 2.8% of the innings for the series and give up 33.3% of the runs, youâ€™ve earned it. Iâ€™m not sure Ynoa belongs on the NLCS roster honestly as Iâ€™d take Muller, Strider, Davidson or Wright over him at this point. Itâ€™s a shame because Ynoa carried the staff for a while until the broken hand, but he just hasnâ€™t been right since.
3) Ozzie Albies (-2.7 cWPA, -0.29 WPA) – I think the top (bottom?) 3 could go any order and my initial thought was to put Ozzie #1. His double play in the first of game 1, probably cost Atlanta the game and he came up small in several key at bats. He also played flawless defense and did have a big double in the game 2 rally that just missed being a HR so I bumped him down (up?) to #3.
4) Orlando Arcia (-1.4 cWPA, -0.16 WPA) – His most valuable contribution was as a decoy in game 4, getting Counsell to bring in the righty and allowing Snit to pinch hit Rosario for the 2-run, game-tying single. Had a shot to be the hero in game 1 against his former team with 2 on but Hader got him out.
5) Jorge Soler (-0.7 cWPA, -0.07 WPA) – Get well soon. Not docking him points for getting Covid, but he was actually worse than I recalled in the series. He worked some really good at bats and just missed some big hits, but wound up only going 1 for 13 in the series with 2 walks. Hopefully heâ€™s back and fully recovered soon.
6) Guillermo Heredia (-0.6 cWPA, -0.05 WPA) – Not horrible, just didnâ€™t contribute much even defensively that I can remember. Intangibles off the charts though, keeps everyone loose which has to count for something.
7) Ehire Adrianza (-0.9 cWPA, -0.07 WPA) – I really thought he shouldâ€™ve gotten the late PH appearance over Arcia against hader in game 1, but he got chances later and didnâ€™t deliver.
8) William Contreras (-0.8 cWPA, -0.06 WPA) – Pretty rough to get dinged for failing in your only PH appearance but he had a chance to deliver in a key spot and came up short. I still think he should get more chances as he is probably the best RH bat on the bench.
9) The Marlins – For making Ronnie injure his knee in a meaningless July game. They have been trying to hurt him for years, so congrats, hope you are happy.
10) Charlie Morton (-0.4 cWPA, 0.02 WPA) – Hard to knock him too much, but he did give up 66.7% of the Brewers runs in the series. Seriously, did everything asked of him and did it well. Perhaps just a little too much was asked of him, but with a little more offense his numbers wouldâ€™ve looked fine and the nine inning the Brewers didnâ€™t score on him, he looked pretty dominant.