First of all, I want to give full disclosure to the fact that I am a huge Ryan Braun fan. But rest assure, I will (try to) leave all bias aside and write as a true professional. With that said, this guy should absolutely be the NL MVP. Braun not only has the best numbers among any batter in the National League, but he has the playoff-bound team to justify his value.
Playing for a playoff team team is just as important (see Matt Kemp last year). That is why the MVP talks favored McCutchen at the end of August, when the Brew Crew were eleven games back from the Pirates in the wildcard race. McCutchen had just finished July with seven HRs batting .446 as Braun had finished with a modest .301 BA an six HRs.
I vividly remember hearing that Braun is undeserving because it is easier to hit without the pressure of October baseball, as many presumed that the Brewers were more likely to sell at the trade deadline than to contend for the playoffs. Braun would be “padding” his stats in the month to come.
Now two weeks away from October, the Brewers are 2.5 games out of a wildcard and three games ahead of the slumping Pirates. Braun has batted .313 with 12 HRs since July. McCutchen has batted .269 with eight HRs. I guess he did pad his stats. So much so that his team is now in the heart of the playoff race.
Braun's numbers are already stronger than they were in his MVP campaign last year despite losing Prince Fielder, one of the best body guards in the league. He has put the team on his back during the final stretch of the regular season and continues to march an epic comeback. If Braun doesn't win MVP, it will likely be due to a falsely failed PED test (whole other argument), and for that, my support goes out to the most deserving candidate, Braun.