The National League MVP race is going to be particularly interesting this season as the voters have a plethora of great choices, but I don’t necessarily see one obvious choice standing above all the rest in terms of statistics.
In the National League, you have an elite core of performers such as the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey, the Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun and the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen. I might even give Aaron Hill of the Arizona Diamondbacks an outside shot, but he might be a step behind the other three.
What is going to make this race interesting is the issue of position scarcity as well as the developing playoff race.
Buster Posey is having a great year, and right now, he is hitting .333 with 21 home runs and 89 RBI. He also happens to be a catcher which we all know is not really a typically powerful offensive position. That could easily help him with the voters.
On the other hand, we have a pair of outfielders who are arguably having better or at least comparable statistical seasons to Posey at a much more common position. McCutchen is hitting .340 with 26 home runs and 85 RBI while Braun is hitting .310 with 38 home runs and 100 RBI.
Obviously, the voters will have a difficult decision to make, and one thing that might ultimately affect the voting is this pretty intense playoff race.
Both the Milwaukee Brewers and the Pittsburgh Pirates are trying to scrape their way back into the wild-card picture, and if they are able to overcome the St. Louis Cardinals, you have to imagine that Braun or McCutchen will be involved in a big way.
Posey and the San Francisco Giants basically have their division won already, and he has probably been the biggest bat in their lineup all season.
There is a relatively common argument that says that the MVP needs to come from a playoff team simply because if the player is that valuable, he will help his team win games and consequently make it to the playoffs.
If enough people believe this, then it will be interesting to see what happens for the rest of this race. The Pirates are fading a little bit and the Brewers are surging, but if neither these teams make a comeback (which I’m not necessarily convinced of), don’t be surprised at all to see Buster Posey as your National League MVP. He has been the best player on a playoff team in a position that is traditionally not quite so productive, so that combination could easily him to take home this award at the end of the year.
However, like I said at the beginning, based on simply the statistics, this race is much harder to judge.