New York Yankees: Does DJ LeMahieu have a chance to win the AL MVP?

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu, the best player by fWAR on the team without discussion, was named a finalist for the American League MVP Award. The announcement came on Monday night.

The Yankees’ batting machine, now a free agent after the two-year deal he signed before the 2019 season expired, will be competing with Chicago White Sox’s first baseman Jose Abreu and Cleveland Indians’ third baseman Jose Ramirez.

Members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will be voting to decide the winner of the race, and the announcement will come on Nov. 12 according to the league.

It is the first time that a player of the New York Yankees received a nomination for the AL MVP award since Aaron Judge lost to Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros in the 2017 season.

LeMahieu paced the Yankees (and the whole league) in batting average with .364. He had a 2.5 fWAR in 50 games, as he lost several contests with a thumb injury that could have made a difference in some statistical departments.

What are the chances of the Yankees’ star?

But what are the Yankees’ infielder chances of winning the award? According to his competition, they are not looking good.

Abreu, who slashed .317/.370/.617, has the edge in average, homers (19), and slugging percentage between the three. LeMahieu wins in batting average, but Ramirez should be the favorite, as he accumulated 3.4 fWAR and was excellent in all facets of the game.

With a .292/.386/.607 slash line, 17 home runs, and 10 steals, not to mention positive values in offense, defense, and baserunning, Ramirez’ 3.4 WAR is significantly more than Anthony Rendon, the second-placed finisher in the category (2.7.) One thing working in LeMahieu’s favor, though, is the fact that he led the AL in wRC+ with 177.

The Yankees’ fanbase is particularly fond of LeMahieu and wants him to win the MVP. And he could! But he may not be the favorite to do so based on fWAR.