I think so.
What does "most valuable" mean? To me, the most valuable player is the player who literally has the most value to his team. I don't believe the exact criteria for judging the most valuable player has the exact same application each year, but there are some basic standards I think must be reached.
First, the player's value isn't an exact statistical measure, but the numbers certainly weigh heavily into the factoring. Second, the player has to be consistently making significant offensive and defensive contributions to a winning team. Are there intangibles? I think so, but they will vary depending on the player and the team.
I look at his stats plus the team's improvement, and I believe he is the NL first half MVP. I'm not sure he is the inspirational leader or measures up with any unmeasurable criteria, but he seems the logical choice for the first half.
So, is Joey Votto the first half MVP?