We're over 90 games into the season, and Joey Votto is still considered by most to be a top 2 MVP candidate, so I figure it's time we at least start discussing it.
As of 7/19/10:As things stand today, the NL MVP and NL Central races are intertwined. If either Votto or Albert Pujols breaks away in the MVP race, it could be enough to make the difference in the Central, and whichever team wins the Central could well put its first baseman over the top in the MVP race, especially if it's Votto's underdog Reds, who trail Pujols' Cardinals by a half game entering this weeks' action. Pujols is a 30-year-old three-time MVP and future Hall of Famer in his 10th season. Votto is a 26-year-old in his third full season who needed the Final Vote to make the All-Star team. Pujols is a Dominican righty, Votto a Canadian lefty. Their performances this season, however, couldn't be much more similar. The only significant differences are that Votto strikes out a bit more often, while Pujols has benefited from 23 intentional walks to Votto's two.
Votto: .310/.419/.580, 22 HR, 60 RBI, 7 SB
Pujols: .307/.413/.567, 21 HR, 64 RBI, 9 SB
I think as of now, the Pujols name brand, and the fact that Votto plays in such a hitter friendly environment, would make me think that Pujols has the upper hand. Does Votto's glove advantage help put him over the edge this year? Should be fun to track as the season goes along.