MILWAUKEE A passing glance at Ryan Braun's numbers this season reveals a startling fact very few would have believed before 2012 began: Ryan Braun is having a better year than he did in 2011, his NL MVP season.
If you don't believe, take another look. Braun has hit 12 more home runs, tallied seven more RBI and three more extra-base hits, slugged .014 better, and registered an OPS .007 better through 127 games than he did in 2011. Overall, his numbers look like this: .312 batting average, .389 OBP, .605 SLG, .994 OPS, 37 home runs, 98 RBI and 22 stolen bases. He leads the league in home runs, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage and OPS. He has already tied a career high in home runs with a month remaining in the season, and there's little doubt he'll do the same in RBI. It's an eye-popping season, by all accounts.
So if Braun won the MVP last season with lesser numbers, then logic tells us that he should be a runaway candidate for MVP this season as well, right?