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National League MVP Race

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SportsBlog Nation (the network that includes this here blog) is doing season-end awards voting. That means I'm like a fake member of the BBWAA, and that I'll have to decide who my NL MVP is.

Wanna help? It's still a little early, of course, but I generally don't think too much about this stuff. In order of VORP, these are the top five:

  1. Miguel Cabrera
  2. Albert Pujols
  3. Ryan Howard
  4. Carlos Beltran
  5. Lance Berkman
You have to figure Cabrera, Howard, or Berkman would get a boost in the actual voters' minds if their team won the wild card, but I don't put a lot of stock in that.

Obviously you can't just use VORP, but it's interesting that the top guy on the list is one of only two here who play a somewhat difficult defensive position. (Whether he plays it well--that's another story.) Beltran may be the favorite, because he plays for the best team in the league and plays good defense.

Alfonso Soriano will surely get some attention once he reaches 40/40. David Wright and Jose Reyes will also get plenty of ink for their role on the Mets, but I think that wraps up the "legit candidate" part of the discussion.

The top three pitchers in VORP are Chris Carpenter, Brandon Webb, and Bronson Arroyo. But short of some ridiculous final three starts from one of those guys, I don't think they have put together the kind of seasons that beat out any of the top four position players.

And then, of course, there's Bill Hall, fourth in VORP among NL shortstops (behind Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, and Rafael Furcal) but infinitely cooler.

What do you think?