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Votto almost-unanimous NL MVP


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Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto, who helped the Reds win the National League Central title for their first post-season berth in 15 years, was an overwhelming choice as the NL Most Valuable Player in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Of the 32 ballots submitted by two writers from each league city, Votto was listed first on 31 and second on the other to score 443 points, based on the tabulation system that rewards 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third and on down to one for 10th.


The other first-place vote went to St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, who was second on 21 ballots, third on eight, fourth on one and sixth on one for a total of 279 points. A three-time winner who had won each of the previous two seasons, Pujols led the league in home runs (42), RBI (118), runs (115) and extra-base hits (82) while batting .312, which ranked sixth.

Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, another Triple Crown threat, finished third in the voting with 240 points. Gonzalez won the batting title with a .336 average, was second in RBI (117) and fourth in home runs (34). He also led the league in hits (197), total bases (351) and grand slams (3) and was third in runs (111).

Good choice.

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You could have flipped a coin between Pujols and Votto this season. Pujols led the NL in WAR, offensive WAR, home runs, RBI's, and finished second in OPS. He finished second to none other than Votto.

I'm not saying that the voters got it wrong, because this is such a close case, probably swung in favor of Votto on account of the Reds making it to the playoffs over the Cardinals. However, I would have gone with Pujols.

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