2010 MVP ballot:
1) Joey Votto
2) Albert Pujols
3) Roy Halladay
5) Josh Johnson
Albert Pujols. Maybe I chose him 2nd because he's Albert Pujols. But maybe he was actually the 2nd best player in the league, as well. I can believe some of both the former, and the latter. But all I care about are the facts. And the fact is this, Albert Pujols batted .312/.414/.596 with a .420 wOBA -- a down year by his standards. And based on his reputation, his glove-work is phenomenal at first (which may or may not be overrated, but it should definitely be taken into account).
Anyway, Pujols wasn't the MVP, just close to it. Joey Votto actually had the best season in the NL. Sure, one could make the argument against him -- that he plays in a hitters park. But the problem with that argument, is that Votto was significantly better on the road, with a .470 wOBA, compared to a .406 wOBA at 'Great American Ballpark.' Until he proves that he is a creation of Cincy, then I will stand behind his numbers. And just for the record, he is not, nor will he ever be a creation of Cincy :)
Votto led the league in both On Base Percentage and Slugging. And only finished 2nd in batting average, to a guy in Carlos Gonzalez, that had a .339 wOBA outside of Colorado. There is no doubt, that Votto was the best hitter in the league. However, "best hitter" does not always translate into "best player."
In this case, it did though.
The best pitcher in the league was Roy Halladay. Something he seems to be accustomed to, of late. Probably the best pitcher in baseball. And no worse than "1b." Halladay threw the most innings in the league (250), had the 4th lowest FIP, 3rd lowest ERA, and was 7th best at keeping the ball on the ground. Per inning, he was not the best pitcher in the league. But add in those 250 innings, he was in fact, the best pitcher. And I have no problem having him 3rd on my MVP ballot.
Troy Tulowitzki is a very good defensive shortstop, with an awesome .408 wOBA. Can't find much better "value" than that. Many years, that might be the best player in the league. Unfortunately for Tulo, this was not one of those years. But there is no shame in being the 3rd best player in 1/2 of baseball, in a given year. His road numbers were very good as well, so he doesn't seem to have benefited from what is left of the Rocky's hitter-friendly ways -- as teammate Gonzalez apparently did.
And last but not least. Well, actually, on this list, he is "least," is Josh Johnson. His rate numbers were the best in the league by a pitcher; 2.30 ERA, 2.41 FIP. But Johnson only pitched in 183 innings. Far too low to be any higher, and possibly low enough to be replaced by a few others on this list. But an ERA+ of 182 is getting close to being historically great. And yes, I know that ERA+ is a little outdated, but I still like to work it in sometimes.
Joey Votto. Feel free to disagree.