Due to a variety of circumstances, it just isn't very common for pitchers to win the MVP award anymore. To even be in the discussion, a given pitcher has to be really, really awesome.
We saw Justin Verlander top the discussion in 2011, eventually becoming the first pitcher since Dennis Eckersley in 1992 to win an MVP award. These days, it's about time we started considering fellow American League ace David Price a legitimate player in the chase for the 2012 AL MVP award.
Price may not play every day, but the Rays wouldn't be where they are without him. As much as the team revolves around Evan Longoria, Price is a major reason why the Rays were able to stay afloat during Longoria's lengthy injury absence. Without him, they wouldn't have been in a position to make a run following Longo's eventual return.
With Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson crashing out of the top five due to a slump that dates back to July, there's room for Price in the AL MVP rankings this week. Scroll ahead to see where he ranks.
Note: All stats are current as of the start of play on Monday, August 20, and they come from Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.