April was a fantastic offensive month in the National League, and one month into the 2009 season, there’s a wide-open race for NL MVP.
For my money, the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols leads the way. He’s the best player on the best team, leading the league with 28 RBI, with eight homers and a .337 average. Despite being the most dangerous hitter in the league, El Hombre has struck out just seven times and walked eighteen…with an OBP of .457.
There are other contenders, including Manny Ramirez of the west leading Dodgers…who hit his fifth home run on Thursday and has a .360 average with a remarkable .489 OBP.
Chase Utley of the Phillies is off to another terrific start, going .342/7/20 in the early going. Utley’s teammate Raul Ibanez deserves early consideration, as do Ryan Braun of the Brewers and Adrian Gonzalez of San Diego.
But right now…and likely all season…it’s Pujols. He’s the best player of the current era, and worth the price of admission. The three-million people that attend games at Busch Stadium this season might as well start chanting “MVP, MVP” when the Cardinals come home next week.