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Breaking Down Jacoby Ellsbury's Chances in the American League MVP Race

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This year's American League MVP race might be one for the ages. Whereas last year's winner, the Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton, was the clear favorite, garnering 22 out of 26 first place votes, this year's MVP trophy could really go to any number of players who've had incredible seasons.

The gang over at have put together this nifty slideshow, going over this year's contenders. One person not mentioned in their slideshow, however, is Jacoby Ellsbury.

While the likes of Curtis Granderson, Jose Bautista, Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, and Ellsbury's teammate Adrian Gonzalez are all worthy, it seems a little odd to not include Ellsbury in the list considering his gaudy numbers (.319 average, 28 homeruns, 98 RBIs, 200 hits and 37 stolen bases) and the fact that he is, if not the best, then one of the best in the bunch (Granderson is no slouch in center field himself).

Ellsbury may reach the rare air of a 30 home run/30 stolen base season. Regardless of the MVP trophy, he's having a career defining year. What may be hurting him, aside from the insanely talented pool of MVP candidates this year, is the same thing hurting Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox are swooning right now (then again, not all the MVP candidates play for good teams).

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The Red Sox need to win a bunch of games to finish out this season, and Ellsbury needs to continue his torrid September, to give him a real shot.