Khris Davis for MVP?
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Could Khris Davis Be The American League’s Most Valuable Player?

The Oakland Athletics slugger has been the hottest hitter in baseball since the All-Star break.


When the 2018 American League MVP race is brought up in conversation, baseball fanatics tend to discuss the likes of Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, and Jose Ramirez. Each member of the aforementioned trio is having a remarkable year, contributing significantly to his respective team's playoff push. One player that has somehow flown under the radar, however, is Oakland Athletics power-hitting outfielder Khris Davis.

Davis, who has almost completely transitioned from an outfielder to a full-time designated hitter, has been on fire the past two months and is now on pace to set career-highs in numerous offensive categories. Being the defensive liability that he is, Athletics manager Bob Melvin decided early in the season to make Davis the team's designated hitter on a permanent basis with the platoon of Mark Canha and Chad Pinder taking defensive responsibilities in the left field.

Despite his ineffectiveness in the field, Davis has been absolutely slugging the ball since the All-Star break in early July. Nicknamed "Khrush", the A's cleanup-hitter has belted 17 home runs in only 115 plate appearances since the Mid-Summer Classic, compared this his 21 home runs in 330 at-bats prior to the All-Star break.

Davis' hot streak coincides with Oakland's unprecedented playoff run. The A's have won 42 of their last 56 games and have skyrocketed into a first-place tie with the defending World Series champion Houston Astros in the American League West division.

This correlation has me thinking: is Khris Davis a viable AL MVP candidate?

Before sabermetricians attack me, I want to let you know that I DO believe in the value of advanced stats. I know there is a multitude of players in the American League that boast a higher WAR (wins above replacement) than Davis, but that doesn't change how I feel. The award is called "Most Valuable Player", not "Best Player". If the A's didn't have Davis, would they still be in the playoff hunt?

As a fan who watches as many games as he can, I can justifiably provide a resounding NO to that question. I remember two instances in particular where I thought to myself, "Yeah, Khris Davis should be MVP." Ironically, these instances occurred only a day apart from one another. In the first game, Davis destroyed a 3-run homer in the 10th inning to cap off a remarkable 8-run comeback against the Texas Rangers.

On the following night, with his team trailing by one run and down to their last strike in the 9th inning, Davis hit a two-run home run into the right-field seats to give the A's a one-run lead. Oakland was able to prevail in both of these games due to Davis' outstanding performance. If they hadn't won either of these games, the A's would remain one game back of Houston for first place today.

Instead, the division lead is tied.

The Oakland A's have defied expectations this season. With one of the lowest payrolls in MLB and a makeshift starting rotation, the team is somehow in a playoff spot this late in the season and holds the third best record in baseball. If the team hopes to continue its form, Khris Davis is going to need to keep khrushing balls out of the stadium.

Davis is having his best season to date and is the primary reason why the A's are playing so well. Betts, Martinez, and Ramirez are all great baseball players, but my vote for MVP is in Oakland.

Khrush. Davis.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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