Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player on Monday, beating out the St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols.

Howard received 20 first-place votes and 12 seconds for 388 points in balloting by a panel of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Pujols got 12 firsts, 19 seconds and one third for 347 points.

Howard, the 2005 NL Rookie of the Year, led the major leagues with 58 homers and 149 RBIs. He hit .313 and set Phillies records for home runs and RBIs while producing the highest totals in those categories in big league history for a second-year player.

Pujols, who defeated Atlanta's Andruw Jones 378-351 in last year's voting, hit .331 with 49 homers and 137 RBIs this year. He was third in batting average behind Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez and Florida's Miguel Cabrera, and second to Howard in homers and RBIs.