Originally written on The Majors National  |  Last updated 10/30/14
  There is just days left of the MLB season, and time is dwindling down. It’s writers and baseball fan’s favorite time of year. The playoffs are on the horizon and the award races are heating up. The National League Most Valuable Player award was once all but 0n Andrew McCutchen’s mantle. But since August, McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates have cooled off, and now the door has opened for a few other players to try and make their bid for the award. There are three leading candidates for this prestigious honor: McCutchen, Ryan Braun, and Buster Posey. Lets take a look at why they should be considered for the NL MVP award. Buster Posey: Last year, Posey missed the whole year due to an injury. The San Francisco Giants‘ offense really suffered and they failed to make the playoffs after winning the World Series the season before. Posey has had an outstanding season; putting up a .333/.407/.543 slash line, while hitting 23 home runs and driving in 99 RBIs. Posey also has a 169 OPS+ and 6.6 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). After Melky Cabrera was suspended, Posey stepped up and helped the Giants become a better team without one of their best hitters. He  has been one of the biggest reasons why the Giants easily won the NL West this year. Ryan Braun: Braun is no stranger to MVP races. In his first five years in the league, he has been in the top 25 of the MVP voting. He eventually won the award for the first time last year. Braun currently possesses a .317/.391/.598 slash line, to go a long with his NL- leading 40 home runs and 108 RBIs.  Braun also has a 6.8 WAR and 160 OPS+. There is a strong chance that he could repeat as NL MVP, but if the Brewers don’t make the playoffs, it might hurt Braun’s chances at winning the award for the second year in a row. Andrew McCutchen: McCutchen was the front runner for the NL MVP for most of the year. But since August, he has cooled off. Still, this has been McCutchen’s best season of his career. Right now, McCutchen’s slash line looks like this: .336/.408/.566- to go along with his 30 home runs and 93 RBIs. The Pirates’ centerfielder has a 7.0 WAR and a 169 OPS+. If the Pirates do crash- and- burn and miss having a winning season for another year, it’s definitely not because of McCutchen’s efforts this seaosn. Who should win? For most of the year I was leaning on McCutchen. At one time, he was hitting over .370, in addition to the Pirates’ record being well over .500. But now, that they are falling off the table. I think that Posey should win. With the way he has come back from injury, stepped up in the middle of the Giants’ offense, and made a huge impact on the line up- not only with his bat but also his glove… is enough validation for me to award him the honor. Plus, he is putting up outstanding offensive numbers from one of the hardest positions in the game to maintain offense from. If I had a vote I would vote for Posey.         Follow me on Twitter for more MLB articles: @JohnCzech

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