Top 10 Candidates For AL MVP

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Top 10 Candidates For AL MVP Award

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Though the winner won't be announced until the middle of November, it's never to early to speculate about MLB's most prestigious award: The MVP.

The best part of the debate is that baseball has no clear definition as to what exactly an MVP is. According to the ballot, as provided by the Baseball Writer's Association of America, it's up to the individual voter to determine who was the most valuable player within a given league. The player need not come from a division winner or even from a playoff contender.

The award itself can prove to be a lucrative bonus for the individual players as well. Miguel Cabrera, third baseman for the Detroit Tigers, stands to pocket $200,000 if he takes home the MVP. He also makes lesser cash payouts for landing in the second through fifth spots in the voting.

Voters provide a top 10 list of candidates and are reminded that even pitchers and DH's are eligible for the award. Last season Cabrera collected 22 of 28 first place votes as he beat out Mike Trout, but this November when baseball tallies the final vote, the decision figures to be more split than that.

Chris Davis has been hitting home runs - and really just extra-base hits - at an absurd pace, and Cabrera has been up to his old tricks. There are also a few pitchers and perhaps even a DH who might work their way into the conversation for AL MVP. Here's a rundown of the top 10 candidates for the award:

Karl Buscheck is an Oakland Athletics writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @KarlBuscheck and add him to your network on Google.

Related:

Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout Makes MVP Voters' Decision More Difficult

Texas Rangers: Adrian Beltre Completely Overlooked As AL MVP Candidate

NL MVP Award Should Go to Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig

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10. Yu Darvish

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Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Yu Darvish, ace for the the Texas Rangers, has racked up 236 strikeouts in under 175 innings and has held opposing batters to a .189 batting average.

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9. Adam Jones

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The center fielder will lose votes to his powerful teammate in Baltimore, but with 28 home runs, 31 doubles and a batting average hovering around .300, Adam Jones deserves a nod as well.

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8. Edwin Encarnacion

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Edwin Encarnacion, first baseman for the underachieving Toronto Blue Jays, is having a huge season north of the border. He's already launched 34 home runs and is right on the verge of 100 RBI.

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7. Evan Longoria

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Two-time Gold Glover Evan Longoria has connected on 28 home runs this season, as he's been the most potent offensive force on a Tampa Bay Rays team that once again finds itself in the midst of the playoff hunt.

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6. Adrian Beltre

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Beltre, the third baseman of the Texas Rangers, hits for average (just under .330) and power (28 home runs). He's also stepped up his production in the absence of the suspended Nelson Cruz as he hit .381 with five jacks in August.

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5. David Ortiz

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Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

David Oritz has swatted 24 home runs and driven in 85 runs so far in 2013. The 38-year-old DH for the the Boston Red Sox has also collected two triples and set a new career-high with four stolen bases to round out his numbers.

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4. Max Scherzer

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer has won an absurd 70 percent of his starts (19 of of 27) this season for the Tigers while reeling off over 200 strikeouts.

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3. Mike Trout

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately Mike Trout's production has gone to waste on the third-place Los Angeles Angels, but the outfielder has enjoyed a remarkable sophomore season. Trout is hitting over .330 with 23 home runs, 35 doubles, a league-best nine triples, 29 steals and an OPS just over 1.000.

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2. Miguel Cabrera

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Cabrera has racked up 43 home runs, is hitting just below .360 and has driven in 130 runs. He's also been issued 17 intentional walks on the way to a 1.130 OPS in yet another video-game like season for the Detroit slugger.

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AL MVP:Chris Davis

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Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

With just under a month of the season left, Chris Davis has already clubbed more extra-base hits (85) than any player has collected this year or last. The first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles has crushed 47 home runs and laced 38 doubles. He's driven in 122 runs and has an OPS well over 1.000. His numbers are certainly rivaled by those of Cabrera, but Davis doesn't have the same support in his lineup as the Tiger.

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