There are not too many more prolific Brownlow Medal pollers in the modern era than that of Sam Mitchell of Hawthorn.
With the exception last year where he had an injury ravelled season, Mitchell has polled double digits at every Brownlow since 2006. He has come agonisingly close a few times to winning, but has fallen just short.
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His best return was a whopping 30 votes in 2011, which in most years would be enough to win comfortably, but he finished second that year to Dane Swan.
Let us take a look at his recent record in the Brownlow Medal just to give you an idea how prolific he is. Since 2006 he has polled 157 votes from 179 games, plus has polled in 73 of those 179 games at an astronomical rate of 40.7%. This rates him amongst the elite Brownlow Medal pollers of all time.
But has he done enough in season 2015 to suggest he can win the Brownlow Medal? We certainly think he will go close, polling in the mid-20s. He had a ripper season and his hot period was between Round 5 to Round 15 where he could amass 19 votes.
Let us delve into the reasons why Sam Mitchell can win the 2015 Brownlow Medal shall we. Any player who can average almost a vote per game over nine seasons and poll at a rate of 40% deserves to be mentioned as a potential Brownlow Medallist automatically.
Not to mention he had an exceptional season for the Hawks this year. He was #1 in the league average disposals at 30.86 per game, and was #26 in the league for average frees for, meaning the umpires will notice him. He was also #31 in the league for clearances and #28 for inside 50s.
His form from Round 5 to Round 15 was incredible. During that period he could poll in 7 of 10 matches, including six potential 3 vote performances.
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Alright now let us take a look at some reasons why Mitchell won't win the Brownlow Medal. First of all he will have to rely on short favourite Nat Fyfe not polling as predicted, as we have him 5 votes behind. He also missed 3 games through injury which will make it extremely hard.
It is also unlikely that Mitchell will poll a vote until Round 5, while he may only poll in two of the final eight matches, so these baron runs will effect his chances greatly.
He also ranked #12 in the league for average clangers with 3.68 per game on average. Couple that with competition for votes with the likes of Luke Hodge, Cyril Rioli and Jordan Lewis, and things start getting a lot tougher.
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Sam Mitchell looks in a similar position to 2011 where he had an exceptional season, but just ran into a short favourite who creamed the rest of the competition. Back then it was Dane Swan and this year it looks like Nat Fyfe.
A look at his Brownlow Medal polling means you would be absolutely nuts to write him off. I mean anyone who can average nearly 1 vote per game over nine seasons and poll in a whopping 40% of matches deserves to be considered, especially after a season like this.
We think he is a chance, but there are certainly better bets. But if you think Mitchell can win then why not take up the offer Betbubbles.com are offering? They will give you your money back if you back Mitchell but he finished second to Fyfe. Pretty good insurance if you ask us!