The three AL MVP finalists didn’t feature any surprises — the Angels’ Mike Trout, the Astros’ Alex Bregman and the Athletics’ Marcus Semien. Those three finished top three in the AL in fWAR, with LeMahieu finishing 10th.FAGAN: The most problematic contracts in the AL EastAs always, WAR isn’t the end-all-be-all stat in baseball. It’s a counting stat that’s largely free of context. Remember, stats without context are just numbers. New York fans will point to LeMahieu’s domination with RISP numbers to make the case.Let’s have a comparison: But there’s a fundamental flaw of what’s happning here: Numbers with runners in scoring position, are always context dependent. LeMahieu: 145 PAs, .389/.438/.549, six home runs, 73 RBIsSemien: 128 PAs, .327/.445/.702, nine home runs, 58 RBIsTrout: 133 PAs, .297/.489/.670, eight home runs, 56 RBIsBregman: 166 PAs, .250/.373/.516, nine home runs, 66 RBIsAs we know, a cookie jar is only as good as what’s inside, which is why OBP matters a ton in this. As a whole, among non-pitchers, the Yankees had a .340 OBP in 2019, third best in the majors. The Astros had a .353 team OBP, good for first. The A’s were a distant fifth, with a .327 OBP, and the Angels (.325, 16th) were middle of the pack.To take it a step further, the Yankees’ 7-8-9 hitters in 2019 were markedly great, with a .345 OBP among non-pitchers this season — this is important to note, because LeMahieu started 125 games at leadoff in 2019. Yes, the numbers LeMahieu put up were pretty damn good for a leadoff hitter, and his six leadoff home runs this season speak to that. Bregman primarily hit 2-4 and Trout started one game outside the 2-hole.In fact, the only other true comparison here is with Semien, who started 145 games this season at the leadoff spot. The Athletics’ 7-9 hitters (non-pitchers) had a .296 OBP — a lot worse than the .345 the Yankees were rolling out there. It’s why you see the much smaller sample size for Semien as opposed to LeMahieu.FOSTER: We should talk more about Marcus Semien Hey, Mr. DJ, put a record on.Now it’s time for the awkward record scratch: In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a burgeoning, bloated group of Yankees fans who really, really want you to believe that DJ LeMahieu was the 2019 AL MVP. If the finalists for the voting prove anything, it’s this: That is not the case. The plate apperances matter, obviously, as does batting order — but it also matters that LeMahieu’s team put him in consistently great positions. The same can be said for Bregman and Trout, though there’s an expectation that the top of the order will give you a better shot to drive in a run than the bottom. Just the way baseball goes.This isn’t to say that LeMahieu had a bad year, which is obviously not the case. He was worth 6.0 bWAR/5.4 fWAR, which are two excellent marks and is a career high, regardless of which number you use. He was very good, and he was a big part of something of a miraculous Yankees season.But that doesn’t mean he was ever MVP.