Matt Kemp of the 82-win Los Angeles Dodgers had a legitimate claim to the National League Most Valuable Player award, but the Baseball Writers Association of America didn't agree, awarding the 2011 NL MVP to Ryan Braun of the playoff-bound Milwaukee Brewers. Braun received 20 of 32 first place votes and 12 second-place votes for 388 points, outpacing Kemp, who finished second.
Kemp received 10 first-place votes, 16 second-place votes, and six third-place votes, finishing with 332 points. Fourteen points are awarded for a first-place vote, followed by nine points for second, eight points for third, all the way down to one point for a 10th place vote.
Kemp led the National League in home runs (39), runs batted in (126), runs scored (115), total bases (353), adjusted OPS+ (171), and Wins Above Replacement by both Baseball-Reference.com (10.0) and FanGraphs (8.7). He hit .324/.399/.586 and stole 40 bases, coming just one home run shy of joining the exclusive 40/40 club.
Kemp was the first player to finish in the top two in both home runs and stolen bases since Hank Aaron did so for the 1963 Milwaukee Braves.
The last Dodger to finish second in MVP voting was Adrian Beltre in 2004, who finished second to Barry Bonds.
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