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How should late-season injuries affect MVP chances?

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It’s this week’s Fanpulse topic!

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Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. Red Sox fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.

Should late-season injuries affect MVP chances for Mike Trout and Christian Yelich?

Welcome to the final Fanpulse poll of the regular season. As we’ve been doing for the better part of a month now, we’re leading off with the national question as the feelings around the Red Sox are, well, pretty much constant. I’ll be interested to see the results last week following the owner’s comments on slashing payroll on Friday, but this latest poll went out before those comments were made.

Anyway, to the national question. This week, respondents were asked whether or not late-season injuries to Mike Trout and Christian Yelich should impact their MVP chances.

I am immensely surprised by the results of this poll, though it may be a case of me just reading it differently than others. To me, this question isn’t asking whether or not Trout and Yelich should still win the MVP. If that was the question, I’d have to think about it more. I would still vote for both players, but it’s a lot closer than I would have expected. Cody Bellinger was obviously right there with Yelich for most of the year and Ketel Marte has been a sleeper candidate as well. On the other side, Alex Bregman went bananas in the second half to make this a legitimate discussion.

More broadly, though, I don’t think there’s any question the answer here is yes. Of course it impacts their MVP chances. In fact, I don’t even know why this is an opinion. It is a fact that if you play less baseball it is hard to be as valuable. That is just simple math. That these two injuries came late in the year and both Trout and Yelich already had a big lead on their competition lessens the impact, but it doesn’t rid it completely. Like I said, I’d still vote for both, but they are both fairly close races. If they had been healthy all year it presumably would not have been close. That’s an impact! By definition!

To the Red Sox questions

Let’s just do this quickly. We actually saw a bit of a spike in terms of fans’ confidence in the direction of the team last week with 40 percent saying they were confident. That has fallen back down to 28 percent for this final week. Meanwhile, confidence in Alex Cora remains considerably higher at 58 percent. He did fall behind 50 percent a bit earlier in the year for a couple of weeks, but he’s been hovering around this current mark for most of the second half.