Unlike the past few weeks, there wasn't a breakout player whose offensive explosion pushed him into the top five of our National League MVP rankings.
But one player most certainly kicked himself out of consideration. San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera is no longer part of the NL MVP discussion after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance and drawing a 50-game suspension.
Cabrera probably wouldn't have won the NL MVP Award, especially with teammate Buster Posey emerging as a leading contender. But debating whether or not a player who didn't hit for much power could overtake the league's top sluggers would have been a fun argument to have had through the rest of the season.
Instead, we can argue about Joey Votto and his candidacy for the award despite his being out for a month with a knee injury. Votto last played on July 15. After suffering a setback in his recovery—requiring arthroscopic surgery to remove loose cartilage from his right knee—he'll be out even longer.
Your feedback is always welcome as we put the list together this week, so please leave your responses and suggestions in the comments. (You can also respond to me @iancass on Twitter.)
In the meantime, the following five players look like the current leading contenders for the NL MVP Award in our view.
All the statistics mentioned here are current as of Aug. 15.