Even when the Rangers don't win, it seems that Josh Hamilton manages to do something. On Sunday, it was a single to drive in the tying run early in the game and a home run late, after his team fell pretty far behind. The numbers seem to shout that Hamilton is the odds-on favorite to win the MVP (he'd get my vote at this point).
But as we wind down August, let's look at how the MVP candidates in the American League have done for the month and what the picture looks like overall. A big thanks to Keith Hawkins at ESPN Stats & Information for compiling a few numbers as well. Here's how it looks for August:
Josh Hamilton: .347 (33-95), 8 HR, 20 RBI (TEX is 12-14 this month)
Miguel Cabrera: .304 (28-92), 7 HR, 16 RBI (DET is 13-15 this month)
Robinson Cano: .273 (27-99), 4 HR, 16 RBI (NYY 14-13 this month)
Joe Mauer: .382 (34-89), 2 HR, 16 RBI (MIN 17-10 this month and they have the best record since the break, 29-14)
Obviously, Mauer has been huge for a Twins team that is on top of the AL Central. But he's had to put together that month to get into the conversation and his numbers overall still lag behind Hamilton. Here are the AL stats through Sunday that impact the MVP candidates:
Adrian Beltre: .324 (before Sunday)
6th Cano: .941
11th Mauer: .882
Jose Bautista: 42
Paul Konerko: 32
7th Cano: 25
Alex Rodriguez: 97
Vladimir Guerrero: 96
So is there anything critics might point to as evidence Hamilton shouldn't get the MVP? Not really. But the stats guys did find one stat that shows he isn't dominant against everyone (yes, folks, he is human). Hamilton against current division and wild card leaders (MIN, NYY, TB) is hitting .250 (16-64) with four HRs and 11 RBIs in 18 games and Texas is 6-12 against those teams.
Still, the resume is extremely impressive and unless something crazy happens, it sure looks like Hamilton is the frontrunner for the MVP.