Top 5 NL and AL MVP Candidates for 2011

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Top 5 NL and AL MVP Candidates for 2011
David Maxwell/Getty Images

I can't think of an MLB season with two MVP races more up in the air than this 2011 campaign.

Most years, at least one playoff contender has a (position) player that is far-and-away the best on his team—or at least someone who is a clearly integral part of his team's success (basically the complete opposite of Barry Zito).

While there are plenty of great position players on contending teams this season, almost none of them have really stood out because of the quality of players surrounding them.

The few players who are having great seasons with little help surrounding them are, predictably, on mediocre teams, and the one clear-cut most valuable player on a winning team (Justin Verlander) is a pitcher.

Nobody can seem to come to consensus No. 1 MVP in either league, which makes this race incredibly compelling.

In the upcoming slides, I will write who I think the top five MVP candidates in each league should be, giving reasons for and against their candidacy, and why they are in the spot I have them.

(Would I have gotten more reads if I did an NFL slideshow? Probably, but someone has to focus on baseball, right?)

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