Monday, November 17, 2008

Pujols Elbows out Howard for NL MVP

Albert Pujols played with a bad elbow all season that eventually led to surgery, but it didn't stop him from winning the second NL MVP award of his career. Pujols, who has finished in the top 10 in voting in all 8 years of his career, defeated the Phillies' Ryan Howard by 61 votes.

It was originally thought that Pujols would need Tommy John surgery on his left, non-throwing elbow, but it turned out doctors were able to simply move a nerve that was irritating the elbow. You wouldn't have known anything was wrong based on Pujols' numbers. He hit .357, the second highest average of career and put up a 1.115 OPS. Pujols slugged 37 doubles, 44 doubles, drove in 116 runs and scored 100. On top of walking 104 times, he struck out just 54 times. Pujols slugged .653, nearly 30 points higher than his career average.

Howard help drive the Phillies to their first World Championship in 28 years by driving in a major league leading 146 runs as well as hitting a high of 46 home runs. Last year's MVP also finished second to Pujols in 2006. Howard received 12 first place votes, while his teammate Brad Lidge received the remaining 2 first places votes.

Two American League players had a significant impact on the race, with LA's Manny Ramirez finishing 4th and CC Sabathia ending up 6th. Our pre-season prediction, Jose Reyes, finished third from the bottom with 3 votes.

2008 NL MVP Award Voting
Player, Club 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Albert Pujols, STL 18 10 2 1

1


369
Ryan Howard, PHI 12 8 6
1 1 2

1 308
Ryan Braun, MIL
2 3 5 5 2 2 3 2 1 139
Manny Ramirez, LAD
2 4 7 2 3 2
1 2 138
Lance Berkman, HOU
2 4 4 1 3 3 4 1 1 126
CC Sabathia, MIL
4 5 1 2 2 3
1 2 121
David Wright, NYM
2 1 4 3 3 2 5 2 1 115
Brad Lidge, PHI 2
2
4 3 2 3 1 2 104
Carlos Delgado, NYM

5 1 2 5
2 3
96
Aramis Ramirez, CHC


2 4 1 1 4 3 1 66
Hanley Ramirez, FLA


2 2 2 1 2 2 5 55
Chipper Jones, ATL
1


2 4 1 2 2 44
Geovany Soto, CHC


3 1
3
1
41
Johan Santana, NYM
1
1
1 1
2 1 30
Chase Utley, PHI


1 1 1 1
3 2 30
Ryan Ludwick, STL





1 2 3 1 17
Brandon Webb, ARI



2


1
14
Adrian Gonzalez, SD





1 1 1 4 13
Matt Holliday, COL




1 1 1
1 13
Prince Fielder, MIL




1
1 1 1 11
Derrek Lee, CHC



1
1


10
Carlos Beltran, NYM



1

1
1 10
Tim Lincecum, SF




1

1 2 9
Jose Reyes, NYM






1

3
Jose Valverde, HOU






1

3
Stephen Drew, ARI







1
2
Nate McLouth, PIT








1 1

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