In this article we're to focus on the guys that have a shot and are still on the plus money line. Right now Bryce Harper leads the way at -120 so he will be out of this discussion but what a tremendous year he is having so far.
National League MVP
As mentioned with the American League this is the year of the pitcher, but it doesn't look like to me there are any viable candidates in the American League, for the National League though we need to look at Max Scherzer +900. He has been about as dominant a pitcher in the first half of the season as we have ever seen, and he has injected new blood into the Washington Nationals. For this article we will include him, Paul Goldschmidt +250, Andrew McCutchen +1200, Anthony Rizzo +1200, and Buster Posey +1600. Mike Stanton would have definitely been in this argument without the injury.
Anthony Rizzo: I'm a bit surprised that the MLB odds on Rizzo are even this low. He is third in the league in OPS, but outside of that and although having a great year, he is eighth in home runs, 13th in average, and not even in the top 10 in RBIs. The Cubs will have to be in the NL championship for him to get even close to a nod.
Andrew McCutchen: After winning this award two years ago there is some decent value on him and his overall play. He is seventh in OPS and 10th in WAR, and like Rizzo just has a lot of nice numbers all around. Although he didn't need the Pirates to win the pennant two years ago, I think like Rizzo his team will need to be in the National League championship series in order for him to win MVP.
Max Scherzer: The good news for him is that an NL pitcher can win the MVP award, the bad news is that it was just won last year by Clayton Kershaw so don't look for voters to make that happen two years in a row. The last time? That would be Bob Gibson in 1968. Still, if you want to take a shot at those high odds he might just be the guy to pull it off especially with the Nationals in contention this year, an argument could be made they would not be in contention without him. He leads the league in WHIP and is in the top few guys of the league in pretty much every major pitching category. Still, history is against him.
Buster Posey: He is having quite an amazing season and is the backbone of the World Champion San Francisco Giants. Good points for him is that he plays the toughest position in the league and still remains one of the most dangerous hitters. He is eighth in the league in WAR and is hitting .314 with 14 home runs and 58 RBI's. With the Giants looking primed to make a serious playoff push he might be a good dark horse to go ahead and back MLB picks. Don't be surprised if he is in there at the end to be a viable candidate.
Paul Goldschmidt: Now it's time to start talking about a player with the team that most likely will not be in contention. This doesn't mean a player cannot win the award if the numbers are there. Since 2000 only two players have won the National League MVP and been on the team that won the pennant, both Giants, Barry Bonds 2002 and Buster Posey 2012. Goldschmidt is second behind Harper in OPS, WAR, and home runs, but he is ahead of him in hits, average, RBIs, and stolen bases. I think next to Posey he means the most to his particular team individually than the other candidates.
MLB Pick: Buster Posey, but Goldschmidt is not a bad option at Paddypower