The Boston Red Sox have the best offense in baseball and it’s not close. 

They hold the top spot in runs scored, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. 

With the best offense in baseball, you’d expect the Red Sox to have a player in the MVP conversation, but not three.

Adrian Gonzalez, who leads baseball with a .353 average, was pegged as an MVP candidate from the moment he arrived in Boston in the offseason.

Few expected the Red Sox to have two other MVP candidates, but that is the case.

Joining Gonzalez in the MVP conversation are Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, both unexpected after both losing the majority of the 2010 season to injury.

In the end, the three will end up taking votes away from each other, but of the three whom is the most deserving candidate?

The case can be made for all three but Ellsbury has been a step ahead of his two teammates. Ellsbury has been electric in every facet of the game this season.

He is second on the team in batting average with a .319 average, only trailing Gonzalez. He leads the team in both stolen bases with 31, and runs scored, 83, and has hit an unprecedented 18 home runs out of the leadoff spot, which is good for second on the team. 

Ellsbury has also picked up the clutch gene this season providing walk-off hits on back-to-back nights against Cleveland last week. Gonzalez has a walk-off this season as well and Pedroia has yet to get one.

The element of surprise also plays into the fact that Ellsbury tops the list of Red Sox MVP candidates. After last season, when many questioned Ellsbury’s heart and toughness, no one could have predicted what has happened thus far in 2011. 

Ellsbury carries a 5.9 WAR—wins above replacement—making him the second most irreplaceable player on the Red Sox, just behind Pedroia who has a WAR of 6.7. Gonzalez is third on the team with a WAR of 5.2.

He leads the team in WPA—win probability added—at 3.85 as well as the clutch metric at 1.44, 1.26 points ahead of Pedroia (0.18) and 1.67 points ahead of Gonzalez (-0.23).

Sabermetrics aside, Ellsbury proves he is most valuable every night by setting the table for the offense. Ellsbury on base leads to RBI for Pedroia and Gonzalez. 

In the end, the three will likely take votes away from each other, being on the same team, and the award could go to someone like Jose Bautista or Robinson Cano

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