The 2012 MVP race has storylines galore. In the American League, Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder join an already-interesting swath of valuable candidates. The National League lost two of their top sluggers, which leaves the door open for a dark-horse MVP candidate.
Ryan Braun has been the subject of controversy ever since he failed a performance-enhancing drug test from Oct. 1. His 2011 National League MVP may be seen with an asterisk moving forward, but one cannot deny his performance on the field.
Both of those players have a small chance of repeating. The last player to repeat as NL MVP was Pujols in 2008-09. For the AL, the last player to repeat was Frank Thomas in 1992-93, although Alex Rodriguez has won multiple MVP awards.
Looking towards this season, the MVP race is up in the air. Verlander comes back with a better offense behind him, and Braun will be looking to prove his skill along with his innocence.
Here are eight players guaranteed to be in the MVP race in 2012.