MLB Playoffs 2017: Choosing an MVP for every team
Cleveland Indians: Corey Kluber
The Cleveland Indians have two serious AL MVP candidates, Jose Ramirez and Corey Kluber. For this piece, I am going to choose Corey Kluber as the Indians’ regular season MVP. While it’s hard to argue with Ramirez’s .318/.374/.583 slash line and 29 home runs, Kluber’s 8.0 WAR is hard to ignore. What is also hard to ignore is how many categories Kluber led this season.
In 29 starts, Kluber went 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA and 265 strikeouts in 203 2/3 innings pitched. Those 18 wins and four losses equate to a .818 winning percentage. That winning percentage, amount of wins and ERA were all tops or tied for the top spot among qualified pitchers in the American League. Along with that, Kluber led the AL with five complete games, three shutouts, an ERA+ of 202, a WHIP of 0.869 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 7.36. Wait, there’s more. Kluber also led the league with an average of 6.2 hits per game and 1.6 walks per nine innings.
There was little doubt during the season that Kluber was the ace of a pitching staff that finished in the top five in ERA, quality starts, WHIP and batting average against.
The Indians hope Kluber can keep up his dominant ways in the postseason. In six career postseason starts, Kluber has been nothing short of amazing. In those six starts, Kluber is 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA in 34 1/3 innings pitched.
Moving forward, Kluber will be the Indians’ horse in the postseason. That is a role he assumed last season when he made two starts in the ALCS against the Blue Jays and three starts in the World Series against the Cubs.