1. Ryan Braun (Brewers), 2. Justin Upton (Diamondbacks), 3. Albert Pujols (Cardinals).
Matt Kemp is to the NL what Jose Bautista was to the AL — the undisputed best everyday player in the league. But while Kemp still has a shot at the Triple Crown, his Dodgers didn’t play a single meaningful game in the second half. And I’m sorry, but that speaks to a player’s relative value — as long as we understand winning championships to be the ultimate goal. And so, in an otherwise wide-open field, it is Braun who stands out, putting up what must be one of the quietest 30-30 seasons (home runs and stolen bases) in history. As of this writing, he was also second behind Kemp in WAR and first in slugging percentage, OPS and runs scored. Upton, meantime, wins the narrative prize: He has almost singlehandedly carried the surprising D’backs to the NL West title. He has a 145 OPS+; no one else in Arizona’s lineup goes higher than 122.
Next: AL Cy Young