MLB: Top 5 AL MVP Candidates Through the First Half

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MLB: Top 5 AL MVP Candidates Through the First Half
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Major League Baseball season is almost halfway finished, and the races, both individual and team-related, are beginning to take shape.

In the American League, the MVP race is centering around a bunch of guys who have yet to win one in either league. Perennial contenders such as Alex Rodriguez and Joe Mauer are not having their best years, which has left the door open for new candidates.

Now, the term Most Valuable Player is almost always debated as to what it actually means. Is it the absolute best player no matter what team he plays for? Is it the best player on the best team? Is it the most well-rounded player?

When I look for MVP candidates, I tend to look for the best players on good, not necessarily the best, teams. MVP winners do depend on their teammates, whether it's to drive them in or protect them in the lineup, so team success is a factor. Also, most MVP winners are based solely on offensive production, and rarely is defense a factor.

I'm also not a fan of putting pitchers in the race unless their season is something we haven't seen in many years considering they have their own award.

So, here are the top five candidates to win the prestigious award.

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