Surprisingly, many talking heads ARE putting Albert Pujols at the top of the MVP discussion. This is good. Unfortunately, I've also heard the names Carlos Delgado, Ryan Howard, and Ryan Braun tossed around. This is bad.
Delgado is understandable because of his second-half surge. But when measured by win shares, Carlos Beltran is the Mets' main man, followed closely by Jose Reyes.
Ryan Howard? Sure, he's got tons of dingers and RBI, but he has been lacking. It's hard to imagine calling someone with 42 HR and 126 RBI lacking, but it's true. He's got half the win shares of Lance Berkman, who leads the NL. Pujols is second, followed by Beltran. Howard's OPS is .845, which ranks between Mark DeRosa and Troy Glaus in the NL. His slugging percentage is tied for 17th in the league. You cannot discount he's driven in 126 runs, but given his opportunities, you get the feeling those numbers should be even better. Howard's RC/27 ranks 33rd in the NL, between Adam LaRoche and Cody Ross.