Currently the St. Louis Cardinals are sitting in second place in both the Wild Card and NL Central. Being that the Cardinals are 8.5 games behind the Reds, the Cardinals look to enter this year’s postseason through the wild card spot.
When Albert Pujols left St. Louis this past off season, the weight of carrying this team to a second consecutive World Series title fell onto the shoulders of Matt Holliday, and boy has he come through. Holliday is currently batting .307 with 25 homeruns and 92 RBIs. He is also in the top 10 in almost every major hitting category.
Holliday has been the most consistent player for the Cardinals this season. At one point during this season there was a Cardinal who was favored to win the MVP but has tapered off since. Carlos Beltran had a torrid start to the season but has slowed down since the All-Star Break.
Now by this point most people are asking the question, "What about Ryan Braun or Andrew McCutchen?" Don't get me wrong; Ryan Braun and Andrew McCutchen are having outstanding seasons. They are both also in the top 10 for every major hitting category. The only problem is that the Milwaukee Brewers have a below .500 record and are most likely going to miss the playoffs, and the Pirates are only six games above .500 and they have lost four in a row.
The Pirates have had 19 consecutive seasons in which they have finished with a record below .500. During the middle of the season that long drought of never winning seemed like it was going to come to an end but they have currently only won four out of their last fifteen games. Even if the Pirates were to finish the season above .500 but miss the playoffs, I don't think McCutchen should deserve the award.
The other bit of reasoning behind why Matt Holliday is an MVP contender is because he is the leagues most valuable player. This is not an award for who has the best stats (even though that's a major point of the award) but he also is carrying his team to the postseason, which is the goal for every team to try and accomplish. Having solid regular season stats and helping your team to the playoffs are the two biggest reasons players win the MVP award.
Currently the Cardinals are not in a position though to say they are a shoe-in for the playoffs. They could end up going under .500 for the month of October and miss the playoffs, then the conversation switches to McCutchen for MVP, but I like their chances. 17 of their last 27 games are versus a team with a sub .500 record.
Matt Holliday and the St. Louis Cardinals need to finish off the month of September very strong. If they do so not only will the Cardinals have a chance at winning a second consecutive World Series Title, but also Matt Holliday will have his first NL MVP.