There seems to be a frontrunner for the MVP in both the American League and National League, but there are no shortage of underdogs who could steal either award and each have a solid case for winning it.
While most sports fans will look just at the numbers as their main basis for consideration, it goes deeper than that, and the voters will put their overall impact on the game when considering who will win both awards.
Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is the clear favorite for the American League due to his Triple Crown season, but there's a youngster on his back who could steal the show because of his omnipresence in the league this season.
Here's the list of underdogs in either the AL or NL MVP races and their case to win the award.
Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels
It's not every year that we see so many rookies gain spots in starting lineups in the league. Not only that, we saw Angels center fielder Mike Trout have a year worthy of an MVP crowning in most seasons.
Unfortunately for Trout, he's going up against the first Triple Crown winner in decades. Just by the account of what Cabrera has accomplished stats-wise, the MVP will most likely be his.
However, Trout is far from out of the running. And if you're talking about overall efficiency and value, look no further than him.
Sure, Cabrera may have knocked in more runs and hit more homers, but no one had an impact on the game like Trout.
He led the AL in runs scored and stolen bases, two of the most telling stats in the matter of efficiency. Stealing bases directly sets up runs, and runs win games. The Angels would've been nowhere near playoff contention all season without his production.
If we look at the MVP in its literal sense—Most Valuable Player—you have to consider Trout as at least an outside shot.
Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
Buster Posey is one of the only MVP candidates who is still representing his team in the postseason, and that alone gives him some extra credit toward the award (well, not literally, but you know).
While his numbers may not be the most impressive, his story alone is compelling enough to give him the award. A gruesome collision at the plate knocked him out for much of last season, and he came back to put up incredible numbers and be the obvious leader of this Giants team offensively.
On top of that, he's playing at this level as a catcher. It's not too often that we get a MVP candidate that catches pitches, and we always tend to give them some extra love because of the wears and tears that the position makes.
His .336 batting average is best in the NL (discounting the suspended Melky Cabrera), and he also led the league in OBP.
Follow me on Twitter @steventerrycook
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!