Mike Trout won the award he was considered a lock to win.
The real drama comes Thursday when the Los Angeles Angels' Trout, who won American League Rookie of the Year honors Monday night in a landslide, finds out if he also captures MVP honors. It's happened twice before -- Fred Lynn in 1975 and Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.
"It would just top it off," said Trout, 21, the award's eighth unanimous winner after being listed first on all 28 ballots. "Coming into every year my goal is to be the best player I can. To be in the talk of MVP with these big guys like [Miguel] Cabrera, a Triple Crown winner . . . Just being a part of the discussion, it's an incredible feeling and a hard one to explain."
The MVP race will be far closer as Trout's primary competition is Cabrera, the sport's first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
Trout finished second in the AL in batting average (.326), third in on-base percentage (.399), first in steals (49) and runs (129), and third in slugging percentage (.564).
Harper helped the Nats reach the playoffs, hitting .270 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs. He was first on 16 ballots and had 112 points, beating out Arizona pitcher Wade Miley (105 points). Reds infielder Todd Frazier was third with 45 points.
"I'm so excited and proud of it," Harper said. "But the biggest thing is I want to win a World Series."