Chicago Cubs: Ryan Tepera and the accidental MVP vote

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 30: Ryan Tepera #42 of the Chicago Cubs pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 30, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chicago defeated Cincinnati 10-1. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 30: Ryan Tepera #42 of the Chicago Cubs pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 30, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chicago defeated Cincinnati 10-1. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Somehow, Chicago Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera received an MVP vote. It turns out this was a mistake.

The National League MVP race was devoid of drama. Freddie Freeman ran away with the award, leaving the competition far behind. However, the voting itself had its share of confusion further down the ballot. Chicago Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera finished in a tie for 18th in the voting, earning a single tenth place vote for MVP.

It turns out that the vote was a mistake. St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Rick Hummel had meant to give the vote to Trea Turner, but accidentally selected Tepera’s name from the drop down menu. However, it is too late to take that vote away.

No matter what else, Tepera will always have MVP-18 next to his 2020 season on his baseball reference page. And, as Tepera is still in arbitration, his representatives may be able to use that vote as part of their negotiations.

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Tepera had a reasonably solid year in the middle of the Cubs bullpen. He posted a 3.92 ERA and a 1.403 WHiP in his 20.2 innings in his first year in Chicago, striking out 31 batters while issuing 12 walks. He continued to keep the ball in the yard, his ground ball tendencies helping offset the spike in his walk rate.

He was essentially what the Cubs had hoped he would be, a solid pitcher in the middle of their bullpen. Tepera was equally adept at getting lefties and righties out, although he was somewhat undone by a high .349 batting average on balls in play against.

Typically pitchers such as Tepera toil away in obscurity. Even the most ardent baseball fan may struggle to know which team he is on. Now, due to a misclick, Tepera is getting his moment in the sun, well deserved after his solid six years in the majors.

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Chicago Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera can now add another section to his major league resume. He earned a vote in the 2020 NL MVP balloting.