San Francisco Giants

September 19, 2013

Leading Off: A's Donaldson should be candidate for A.L. MVP

When talk turns to the American League MVP, the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, the Orioles' Chris Davis and the Angels' Mike Trout are the names mentioned most often.

When talk turns to the American League MVP, the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, the Orioles' Chris Davis and the Angels' Mike Trout are the names mentioned most often.

All three deserve consideration. Entering Wednesday's games, Cabrera led the league in batting average (.350) and RBIs (134) and was second in home runs (44). Davis led in home runs (51) and was second in RBIs (132), and Trout was second in average (.331) and led in wins above replacement (9.0).

But our friend Bartman says A's third baseman Josh Donaldson should be in the conversation, too.

Hey, don't snicker.

Donaldson is the best player on a team that is surprising baseball by running away in the A.L. West. His numbers – .302 batting average, 23 home runs, 89 RBIs – might not be as gaudy as the other contenders, but he's second in the league in wins over replacement (7.6).

After his bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the A's a 2-1 victory over the Angels on Tuesday, Donaldson was 8 for 11 with 16 RBIs when he's come to bat with the bases loaded this season.

More important than any number, where would the A's be without Donaldson?

What to watch

NFL, Kansas City at Philadelphia, 5:25 p.m., NFL: Look for quarterback Alex Smith to help his new coach, Andy Reid, beat the team that fired him.

What to do

Baseball, Minnesota at A's, 7:05 p.m., O.co Coliseum: The A's open their final home series of the regular season.

Today's poll

Who should be the American League MVP?

Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Chris Davis, Orioles

Josh Donaldson, A's

Mike Trout, Angels

Other

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday's results

How will the 49ers respond to Sunday's loss to the Seahawks?

They'll whip the Colts this weekend: 84%

They'll lose to the Colts this weekend: 16%

Total votes: 184

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