NL MVP: Albert Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols won the second National League most valuable player award of his career, winning by a comfortable margin of 61 total points over Philadelphia's Ryan Howard. Milwaukee's Ryan Braun was third.
Pujols received 18 of a possible 32 first-place votes, with Howard receiving 12. The other two went to Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who nonetheless finished eighth in the overall balloting. Two players who were traded to the NL in July and had major impacts on their new teams -- Manny Ramirez of the Dodgers and C.C. Sabathia of the Brewers -- finished fourth and sixth respectively.
Pujols, widely considered the best hitter in the game, hit .357 with a 37 homers and 116 RBI, and amazingly struck out only 54 times in 633 plate appearances. His other MVP award came in 2005, and he has been runner-up three times (including twice when he finished behind Barry Bonds).
The AL MVP will be announced tomorrow, with Boston's Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis, Chicago's Carlos Quentin, Texas' Josh Hamilton and Los Angeles Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez among the leading contenders.
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