Giancarlo Stanton named NL's Most Valuable Player in fourth-closest MVP balloting ever

Stanton beat out Joey Votto by two points, 302-300

In the fourth-closest race in the history of Most Valuable Player voting, Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton edged Cincinnati's Joey Votto by two points to claim the 2017 NL MVP Award.

Stanton and Votto both earned 10 first-place votes out of thirty ballots, but Stanton's down-ballot total - 10 second-place votes, five third-place, three fourth-place, one fifth-place, and one sixth-place - gave him 202 points, while Votto's tally of nine second-place, four third-place, five fourth-place, and two fifth-place votes left him with only 200 points. 

As such, Stanton becomes the first Marlin in the franchise's 25-season history to be named NL MVP.

There has been one tie in MVP history - then-Cardinals first baseman Keith Hernandez and Pirates outfielder Willie Stargell each received 216 points to tie for the 1979 NL MVP Award - and there have been two instances of one-point victories; Cardinals shortstop Marty Marion won the NL Award by a 190-189 margin over Cubs outfielder Bill Nicholson in 1944, and in 1947, Joe DiMaggio edged Ted Williams 202-201 to claim the AL MVP. 

MVP ballots these days have 10 spots, and a player earns 14 points for a first-place vote, nine for a second-place vote, eight for a third-place vote, and one less point on down per spot (seven for fourth place on down to one for 10th place). 

Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt finished third in the voting, taking four first-place votes among his 239 total points, and two Colorado Rockies rounded out the top five: Nolan Arenado, who earned two first-place votes, finished fourth with 229 points, and Charlie Blackmon finished fifth with three first-place votes and 205 total points.

In all, 22 players received votes, and among the notables: 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant took the other first-place vote and finished seventh (behind the Top 5 and Washington's Anthony Rendon); NL Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger placed ninth; NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer finished tenth; Arizona's JD Martinez finished 14th despite playing just 62 games in the National League; and last year's NL Rookie of the Year, Corey Seager, tied Dodgers teammate Clayton Kershaw for 17th.