While the field is certainly competitive in the National League, the battle for the National League Most Valuable Player Award has realistically come down to two men, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and St. Louis’ Yadier Molina.
While McCutchen has helped lead the Pirates to their first winning season since 1992 and Molina has helped successfully guide an injury-riddled pitching staff, the field behind them has slowly drifted into the distance.
The following is a list of the Top 5 players who should be considered for the distinction of being named the National League’s Most Valuable Player for the 2013 season.
Rankings are based on the individual performance of the player in relation to his competition and team performance skill level, relative skill level, and his value to his team compared to those across the league.
Although only five players are ranked in this respective list, that is not to discount the fact that a number of other players have enjoyed much success this season, but have not quite demonstrated the criterion representative of a definitive MVP caliber season, particularly in a season that has witnessed the likes of Andrew McCutchen and Yadier Molina.
The Cincinnati Reds are within two games of the NL Central division lead and leading the way for that club is the hot-hitting Joey Votto. Although his power numbers are down from previous seasons, the 2010 NL MVP has consistently found a way to get on base this season. He leads the league with 116 walks and an OBP of .430, while ranking third in both runs (92) and OPS (.924).
Clayton Kershaw has turned in a phenomenal season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, leading the league in ERA, ERA+, WHIP, IP, and strikeouts, all gaudy numbers in their own right. While he did not quite make the cut in our Top 5, Kershaw is a virtual lock for his second Cy Young Award.
Without further adieu, here are the Top 5 players who should be considered the front-runners for the National League Most Valuable Player Award with less than one month remaining in the 2013 season.