With Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder gone to the American League, the National League has lost some serious star power and two perennial MVP candidates.
How could any baseball writer look bad picking Pujols in the NL balloting? Now we actually have to think about this stuff.
Defending NL MVP Ryan Braun lost some luster from his image during the offseason with the charge that he tested positive for using performance enhancing substances. Braun successfully appealed the penalty, however, and his 50-game suspension was overturned.
But suspicion remains in the court of public opinion. Is it possible Braun can overcome that and again warrant MVP consideration with a great season?
Without the established candidates in the field, the opportunity is there for new names and faces to emerge in the NL MVP race. Several young superstars are ready to stake their claim as the best player in the league.