This year, the NL MVP will be a highly-contested race among players such as Cody Bellinger, Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Justin Turner, Paul Goldschmidt, and the superior all-around player, Joey Votto. If the season ended today (as of August 14, 2017), Votto, an average defender who has the best combination of power and OBP at the plate, should win the NL MVP this year.
According to Baseball Reference, Joey Votto boasts the highest-ranking OBP — of .446 — in the National League, along with having the third-most home runs, with 31. He ranks sixth in slugging at .600, second in OPS+ at 169, and second in runs created with 114. He ranks first in batting runs and batting wins with 48 and 4.5, respectively. Votto may not be the biggest slugger in the league, but there is no other player who hits for as much power while also getting out as infrequently and getting on base as frequently. In fact, he is the only current NL player with a .400 OBP and at least 30 HR. Compared to all other players with at least 20 home runs, nobody has been on base more times without reaching on error than Joey Votto.
Among players with 60 or fewer strikeouts, he ranks first in home runs, second in SLG, first in runs produced, first in WAR, and first in win probability added. Among players with 300 or fewer outs made, Votto is second in home runs, second in OPS+, and second in total bases.
Stanton and Bellinger, the only players in the NL with more home runs than Votto, have a combined 104 strikeouts more than Votto.
According to FanGraphs, Joey ranks first in wOBA (.431), second in wRC+ (165), and first in wRC (111). His 11.5 K% is the sixth-lowest in the league among qualified hitters, and his 47.9 wRAA (weighted runs above average) ranks first, along with his 18.5 BB%. His .287 ISO is fifth in the National League.
Joey has 3.7 Wins Above Average, which ranks third among all players in the National League. His 5.3 WAR in second among all position players, his 4.8 oWAR is second, and his 4.0 WPA is third.
At 33 years old, Joey Votto is having a career year, and if the season were to end now, he should have an MVP season. Hitters who get on base as often and strike out as rarely as Votto while also hitting for as much power are increasingly rare. I think he has a decent shot of winning this year; however, the ludicrous belief that the MVP should be on a playoff team is still rather prevalent, unfortunately. The Reds are not a good team this year, but this does not detract anything from what Votto has done this year. Hopefully, voters will recognize the value that he has brought to the Reds, and the exceptional way in which he has done it.