Will Ryan Braun win the National League MVP?

Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers left fielder, has been the standout player of the year in Major League Baseball’s National League, but following allegations of performance enhancing drug usage, will voters choose Braun as the most valuable player?

So with the post season almost upon us in the MLB, the big question is who will win the MVP.

Braun has blown the competition away statistically, with a the fifth best batting average (.319), fourth when Melky Cabrera, who was guilty of taking steroids, is withdrawn.

He leads the league in home runs (41) by SEVEN over Jay Bruce and Giancarlo Stanton. He also has a lead in the RBI column, one ahead of San Diego’s Chase Headley at 110 on the season.

Now this would normally mean a near-unanimous vote for Braun as the league MVP, but suggestions in the offseason that Braun took PEDs have somewhat tarnished his reputation within the league, despite him not having been proven guilty.

His above average defensive metrics should mean this is not even a question, but there because of the anti-PED rhetoric it is not, and there are a few competitors for the award.

Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh center-fielder, leads the league in batting average, however below average defense would opens the door to other competition. San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey has been playing at an MVP level since the all-star break and after receiving significant MVP votes in 2010, the last full season he played, he figures to be in the discussion.

Regardless, if the voting is fair, and as long as the motto “innocent until proven guilty” holds true in today’s society, Braun should win the award running away from the competition.

image: © Steve Paluch