Top 5 Candidates for 2013 NL MVP Award

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Top 5 Candidates for 2013 NL MVP Award

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The time of the Major League Baseball year where we all get to hear the winners of all awards is upon us. Now we’re going to look at one of the most up-for-grabs awards in all of baseball; the National League MVP. The American League version of this award might be a close race but it’s not as close between as many players. We are going to look at the season for each of the top 5 NL MVP candidates.

Every season when this time comes along, the question rises of what exactly makes up the MVP. Having a ton of home runs and RBI help but won’t win the award all by itself. If a player wins the batting title, it could help his chances but it won’t win it. Being the best player on the best team will help but once again would not win the award. So what really goes into the value of each player?

It seems to be a mix of all of these factors as well as perhaps the WAR stat that has become popular now. One thing is for certain for almost any MLB award and that is there will always be differing opinions. Some think a MVP must be from a playoff team and some do not. Some think that it is a measure of a player’s overall value while others believe it is the value of the player to his team that matters most.

Whatever the criteria, you can bet that the winner of the 2013 award will be one of the five players you are about to see on this list. I will rank them from five through one with number one being who I think will win the award or perhaps who I would vote for to win it. Please let your opinion be heard as well by commenting below.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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5 – Freddie Freeman 1B – Atlanta Braves

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Freeman had a slash line of .319/.396/.501 with 23 homers and 109 RBI. It was a great season with a ton of clutch hits for Freeman and he deserves to be among the top vote getters for sure.

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4 – Clayton Kershaw SP – Los Angeles Dodgers

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw actually has one of the highest WAR marks of anyone in the N.L. at 7.9 but what hurts here is that he is a pitcher. Even at his most valuable he only affects every time he starts. There will be zero debate about him winning the Cy Young Award but he really shouldn’t win the MVP.

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3 – Matt Carpenter 2B – St. Louis Cardinals

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Carpenter had a great season. His slash line of .318/.392/.481 is good but looks even better beside his league leading stats of 199 hits, 126 runs scored and 55 doubles. He deserves to be in the top few but just the fact of him being on the N.L.’s best team shouldn’t win him the award in my opinion.

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2 – Andrew McCutchen OF – Pittsburgh Pirates

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This really is going to be a tossup between the top two vote getters. McCutchen really almost deserves the MVP for years of service as the argument could be made that he only hasn’t won previously because he has played for losing teams. That isn’t the case this year. Besides that fact however his .317/.404/.508 slash line is impressive as is his 8.2 WAR. The 21 home runs and 84 RBI will hurt him a little bit though and I think possibly cost him the award.

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1 – Paul Goldschmidt 1B – Arizona Diamondbacks

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Goldschmidt had an extremely impressive slash line of .302/.401/.551. The slugging percentage of .551 led the league as did his 36 home runs and 125 RBI. The DBacks were not a playoff team but Goldschmidt’s WAR stat of 7.0 is still high enough when coupled with the rest of his stats that it should win him the award. I believe not giving it to him would be very difficult to justify considering that would give it to McCutchen whose stats really don’t quite measure up.