MLB award talk is heating up here with just a few weeks remaining in the 2014 regular season, and this year’s crop of MVP candidates in both leagues should bring about some good debate.

In the American League, the storyline is Mike Trout once again, as he looks to finally take home some hardware after finishing second to Miguel Cabrera the past two years.

Over in the National League, it’s a wide-open race once again. The past two NL MVP winners Andrew McCutchen and Buster Posey are both viable candidates, but everyone may be chasing the game’s best pitcher Clayton Kershaw at this point as he has put together a season for the ages.

What follows is a look at the case for each of the top MVP candidates to take home the award this season. Only players with a legitimate shot at receiving first-place votes were considered “top candidates,” and included is also a look at players who just missed the cut and why.

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