Statistically Albert Pujols is one of those players who could win MVP every year. Yet I can't quite understand writers who say your team has to be in the playoff mix to be in the MVP race who then can't help but salivate over Pujols and his 4th place St. Louis Cardinals.
Sure Pujols .357 average was impressive but it didn't even lead the NL. Pujols ended up 4th in HR's and RBI, finished 11 HR's behind league leader Ryan Howard's 48 and 30 RBI behind Howard's league leading 146. Howard also hit a monster 10 HR's in September for the surging 1st place Philadelphia Phillies, including 32 RBI.
The case could also be made for Manny Ramirez, his 17 HR's and 53 RBI which propelled the Los Angeles Dodgers into the playoffs in less than two months.
CC Sabathia and his sparkling 11-2 record 1.65 ERA, seven complete games and three shutouts for the Milwaukee Brewers put them over the edge and into the post season, including the clincher on the last day of the season over the Chicago Cubs. And for not even pitching a full year in the NL Sabathia led the league in those latter two categories.
Finally just like one could argue Mariano Rivera is the New York Yankees MVP every year, one could make a strong case for Brad Lidge as NL MVP. If you don't agree with me just ask the New York Mets and see if they wouldn't have loved having him in orange and blue while their bullpen imploded in another September swoon. Lidge compiled 41 saves with 92 K's in 69.3 innings with a dominant 1.95 ERA.
This isn't a knock on Pujols, who again could win MVP every year on reputation, then again so could a guy like A-Rod but he didn't either. Why? Because if your team finishes 4th you shouldn't win MVP. So congrats to the Cardinals, who without Prince Albert would've been worse than the Pirates and Reds.