Our epicyclical two-month "shotgun snapshot" approach for projecting MVPs, named after the master of circuitous cosmology himself (that's Ptolemy as in "tol-em-ee"...) is back.
Our leader charts have added four new two-month rankings utilizing data captured every week, and as you'll see, both races are neck-and-neck.
Those who are skeptical about the counting categories (HR, RBI, runs) that co-exist peacefully (remember that phrase?) with rate stats (OPS, OBP, SLG, BA--that last one will be bothersome to some...) may be heartened to discover that the men with the highest combined total according to the rate stats are for the most part the overall leaders in the Ptolemaic sweepstakes.
In fact, Joey Votto (who will have to weather some downtime that could affect his overall standing in the NL race...) is still cleaning up in the four rate categories, and continues to keep a gap between himself and those who're chasing him.
It's now Andrew McCutchen in second place, with defending MVP Ryan Braun right on his heels.
Over in the AL, the race is even tighter, with seven hitters clustering up within twenty points of one another.
As we told you last time, Robinson Cano was beginning to make a move even as Josh Hamilton took a nosedive after a hyper-torrid streak in May; also climbing past Josh is the ageless David Ortiz, still rock-solid as everything remains slippery in Beantown.
It's also interesting to note how much progress Albert Pujols has made since our last update (late June). The $253 million man had a big, fat goose egg at that point in the season. He's managed to climb up all the way to twelfth place in just four weeks.
When we look at the rate stat components and total them up by themselves, we see that in the AL, we see a different ranking:
That gives us the impression that the AL MVP race could be one of the most crowded in quite some time.
Over in the NL, Votto has 99 points in the rate stat components, giving him a 29-point edge over McCutchen. The current WAR rankings, not to mention the HR, RBI and BA stats, would point to Andrew being the leader...but Joey's consistent high level of two-month performances has got him out front according to Ptolemy.