Gastaldello, King, and Murphy are in Half-Point Battle for 2nd in MVP Standings

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 13

November 22nd, 2020 News

Thanks to SwimSwam’s chief statistician Barry Revzin for compiling this data.

The Cali Condors are in control heading into day 2 of the 2020 International Swimming League Grand Final in Budapest, Hungary, and their star swimmer Caeleb Dressel is in command in the race for MVP.

After finishing 2nd in the MVP race in the 2019 ISL season, even after missing the Condors’ opening meet of the season. This year, with a full schedule under his belt, Dressel is in runaway territory for the league MVP award and, barring something tragic, will be the season MVP and earn the $100,000 bonus that goes with that honor.

The battle for 2nd through 4th positions, however, is down to the wire, with Ryan Murphy of the LA Current, Beryl Gastaldello of the LA Current, and Lilly King of the Cali Condors separated by just .5 points between them.

MVP Scoring Through Day 1 of the ISL Grand Finale:

  1. 408.0 – Caeleb Dressel, CAC
  2. 318.0 – Ryan Murphy, LAC
  3. 318.0 – Beryl Gastaldello, LAC
  4. 317.5 – Lilly King, CAC
  5. 281.0 – Sarah Sjostrom, ENS
  6. 259.0 – Olivia Smoliga, CAC
  7. 231.5 – Emre Sakci, IRO
  8. 229.5 – Tom Shields, LAC
  9. 228.0 – Siobhan Haughey, ENS
  10. 226.0 – Chad le Clos, ENS
  11. 207.0 – Ranomi Kromowidjojo, IRO
  12. 201.25 – Hali Flickinger, CAC
  13. 194.0 – Ilya Shymanovich, ENS
  14. 180.0 – Szebastian Szabo, IRO
  15. 176.0 – Beata Nelson, CAC

Reminder: Sjostrom missed a regular season match with a back injury.

See the full prize money breakdown here.

The runner-up for MVP will earn $80,000, the 3rd-place finisher will win $60,000, and the 4th place finisher will win $50,000.

With breaststroke being the choice for both ‘skins’ races, King looks like she’s got the upper hand here. The winner of 4 ‘skins’ events this season already, she’s favored in Sunday’s finale, even if she hasn’t been as invincible lately as usual.

She also has the 100 breaststroke remaining, which, based on relay splits, she’ll be favored in – with the number of Jackpots remaining a variable there.

Murphy will probably have 2 races on his schedule, the 100 back, where he’s probably the favorite after winning the 50 and not winning the 200; and the mixed medley relay, where he’ll probably be used with no ‘skins’ race to save his energy for.

Gastaldello, meanwhile, has 3 likely races: the 100 IM and 50 fly individually, and the mixed 400 free relay. She won both the 100 IM and 50 fly in the semi-finals, and has been one of the best in those races all season.

On Saturday, she had mixed results, winning the 100 fly opener in an upset over Sarah Sjostrom, but then finishing just 6th in the 50 free and 4th in the 50 back.

If King repeats her day 2 performance from the semi-finals, winning the 100 breaststroke for 10 points and scoring 38 points in the ‘skins’ race (which are halved for MVP purposes), that comes out to 29 points on her total.

That’s not insurmountable. If Murphy scores 10 points by winning the 100 back, like he did in the semifinals, and the LA Current win the mixed 400 free relay, though they’re not favored, he would pick up 14.5 points. Even with a few more Jackpot points in those wins, that’s probably not doable.

For Gastaldello, however, it’s more plausible. On day 2 of the semifinals, she picked up 19 points in the 100 IM and 12 points in the 50 fly. Some of those Jackpot opportunities (Cali’s #2 100 IMer, London’s #2 IMer) in the 100 IM survived, though none advanced in the 50 fly.

So if she picks up 1 Jackpot in the 50 fly, and 2 in the 100 IM, that would give her 22 points. A mixed free relay win with no Jackpots would bring her up to 26.5.

Compared to King’s 29 day 2 projected points, that’s still not quite enough, even with Gastaldello’s half-point lead coming in.

But, it’s within reach. If King loses one of those projected Jackpots, or Gastaldello picks up another from the conservative projection, then Gastaldello could beat out King for #2.

Gastaldello and King don’t have any head-to-head battles on the day, nor do King and Murphy or Gastaldello and Murphy, but the battle-within-the-battle still rages on for a lot of cash.

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2 years ago

That’s my girl.
She is do dominant in her swims.
All swims she’s working.
It’s Ray looze swim formula.

2 years ago

“the 100 back, where he’s probably the favorite”. The disrespect on Kolesnikov is unreal. Man swims a World Record and is concidered the underdog, wtf lol

2 years ago

Lemon pepper wings in slow cooked pulled pork barbecue. Who’s coming over to watch the final match!

Reply to  Swimfish87
2 years ago

Yes please!

Reply to  Roch
2 years ago

I’m in Ohio come on over lolol

2 years ago

…and 100 points behind Dressel….

Reply to  Hmm
2 years ago

Again his training out train / out performs everyone in the pool.
Except Vlad.
Trojan training Salo.
Salo Ray looze.
Greg Troy David Marsh.
Has been the key coaches.
The american coaches out coached the world.

Reply to  Johnson
2 years ago

Except for the other world records that were broken by other nationalities.

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
2 years ago

It should be between King and Gastaldello. With breast skins King has an advantage.
Murphy won’t jackpot too much (if any) in this strong backstroke field, even if he wins it. And there’s quite a probability that he won’t win.

2 years ago

How is Murphy the favorite in the 100back

Reply to  50free
2 years ago

No doubt, this will be a tough race, but unlike yesterday where Murphy had the 200 and 50 b4 the relay, we’ll see if that makes a difference. Energy could have chose 50 back skins with all of their back options and they shied away. ??

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Joe
2 years ago

I think Murphy has a chance too, but it’s not like Kolesnikov’s schedule was very easy yesterday. He has a 200 back and a free relay, where he splitted 45.25, before the medley relay.

Reply to  Joe
2 years ago


Hi doppelganger!

Last edited 2 years ago by Joe

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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