Front-runners for MLB MVP, Cy Young Awards in Final Month

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There is nothing I despise more than election speculation about results that are impossible to predict this far out in the presidential race. I, however, will make some bold predictions on some key postseason honors that have yet to come to fruition. My picks have a much better chance of occurring than those made on the roundtables of Sunday morning political talk shows.

American League MVP: I wish this award was changed to most outstanding player. Then players on mediocre and subpar teams would have a chance at it. An athlete shouldn’t be penalized because those around him aren’t up to snuff. Adrian Gonzalez has had no learning curve in switching teams, leagues, and cities this season. His polish and grace have been constants in Boston throughout the schedule. He is approaching Ichiro-like numbers in base hits and has nearly forty doubles already. He has more runs batted in than strike outs, which is a rarity for a power hitter. His glove is also second to none in the junior circuit.

National League MVP: Ryan Braun is a player who has maximum effort and intensity during every plate appearance and half inning in the field. These are usually attributes that are reserved for bench players or those on the fringe of the roster. This five tool player is leading Milwaukee into the promise land and has renewed the interest in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes. It would be much easier for the organization to walk away from the table if Fielder and the team weren’t performing so admirably. Braun’s OPS is near one thousand and his on base percentage is over four hundred. This combination of selectiveness, power, and average hasn’t been seen the Great Lakes region since Frank Thomas played on the South side.

American League Cy Young: Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver have been lights out all season. Critics and fans will differ on which statistics that they find the most important. The two of my choosing are innings pitched and whip. These separated the two contenders for me and made my winner an obvious choice. Verlander has already taken the hill for over two hundred and nine innings this season and has a whip of under nine tenths. Weaver has been no slouch either. His whip is also under one and he has nearly two hundred innings accumulated. They are both viable candidates and either would be deserving of considerable contemplation.

National League Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers has command and control of his pitches this season. He has always had unhittable stuff, but now he has his wildness harnessed as well. The youngster might not have even entered the prime of his career yet either. Kershaw and outfielder Matt Kemp have been the only bright spots for the organization this season. There has been a tremendous amount asked of skipper Don Mattingly during all of this turmoil. It must be a great relief for him to be able to count on a true ace every five days to stop some of the bleeding.

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