With all due respect to Ian Kinsler, who I tabbed as the early favorite to win the World Series MVP Award, Mike Napoli has earned top honors should Texas go on to win it all.
The bearded slugger remains a surprise thorn in the Cardinals side delivering clutch hits throughout the series, including his tiebreaking two-run double in the eight giving the Rangers a 3-2 series advantage in Game 5 Monday night.
Napoli is hitting .308 with 2 HR and a series leading 9 RBI, which nearly matches the offensive output from the rest of the Rangers’ lineup (12 RBI).
His 2-run homer off Chris Carpenter in Game 1 accounted for both Texas runs scored.
An 0-for-3 performance in Game 2 was quickly amended with two sac flies in Game 3.
A three-run bomb off Mitchell Boggs led Texas in a 4-0 win that tied the series 2-2 in Game 4.
Clutch, clutch clutch!
In addition, Napoli twice gunned down would-be base stealers in Game 5, one in the seventh and a strike’em out-throw’em out in the ninth–with Pujols at the plate no less!
There’s no certainty Texas wraps the championship up in St. Louis. But if they do, there’s little doubt Napoli won’t be in the thick of it, earning the Rangers’ its first title, and Napoli MVP honors.