Justin Verlander is 2011 American League MVP
Detroit Tiger pitcher Justin Verlander won the American League Cy Young award last week by a unanimous vote by the baseball writers. He was a landslide winner for the MVP as well. Verlander received 13 or 28 first-place votes, plus 3 votes for second and third to total 280 points. Boston outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury got 4 first-place votes and 13 second-place votes to finish second with 242 points. Former Tiger Curtis Granderson was 4th and Tiger first baseman Miguel Cabrera finished 5th.
Verlander led the Major Leagues with 24 wins (24-5), led the A.L. in earned run average at 2.40 and in strikeouts and innings pitched. He led the Tigers to a Division Championship. Verlander becomes the first starting pitcher to win the MVP since Roger Clemons did it for Boston in 1986. He becomes the Tiger's 5th MVP in the last 70 seasons. All have been pitchers. Relief pitcher Guillermo Hernandez won it in 1984, Denny McLain in 1968, and Hal Newhouser did it in 1944 and 1945.
Verlander has been blessed with an electric arm and regularly hits triple digits on the radar gun. This season he has learned to get breaking balls and off-speed pitches over for strikes in fastball counts. JV actually has a chance to get BETTER than he was this year. American League hitters are not looking forward to that scenario. Congratulations Justin, on an outstanding season!
The National League MVP will be announced tomorrow.