It’s tough to deny Joe Mauer in this one. He’s batting .370 with power the likes of which no one ever thought possible (28 jacks to be precise), and has almost singlehandedly carried his club into the heart of a pennant race. However, if the Twins fail to make the playoffs, I see this award swinging in favor of Mr. Yankee, Derek Jeter. For the past couple seasons, it looked like DJ’s All-Star swagger was all but lost, but with the addition of a wiffle ball field known as new Yankee Stadium to call home, Captain Pinstripes is back with a vengeance.

And the winner is…
Joe Mauer (Maybe)


Converted vegetarian Prince Fielder is having a breakout season juicing on wheatgrass, but the Brewers blow. Ryan Howard’s batting average is back to match his power, but infield-mate Chase Utley is equally deserving, which makes them both undeserving. Ironic, no? Who does that leave? The one, the only, “The Machine.” As if his stat line couldn’t get any better, it just did. Look it up for yourself if you don’t believe me. Carrying a team that could very well go the distance yet again, Albert Pujols has this one wrapped up.

And the winner is…
Albert Pujols

AL Cy Young

Zach Greinke is the clear-cut winner for this one, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. C.C. Sabathia might have nice numbers to go with his AL-leading 19 wins, but he pitches behind the best offense in the league. Greinke somehow has 16 wins pitching with (or without, really) the Royals’ run support, and has statistics that surpass the Tim Lincecum of 2008. He won the Cy Young that year in case you forgot. A two E.R.A. with 250 strikeouts should be plenty to put Big-Z over the hump.

And the winner is…
Zach Greinke

NL Cy Young

This one’s not going to be easy. As if it weren’t hard enough deciding between Chris
Carpenter and Tim Lincecum, the reemergence of Javier Vazquez amid a heated NL wild card race makes this debate even trickier. But Vazquez hasn’t been doing it all season long, so he’s out. Lincecum has the most impressive track record top to bottom, but sometimes statistics just aren’t enough. Old-man Carpenter has a scary E.R.A. and W.H.I.P., more wins than “The Freak,” and didn’t even play the first month of the season. We’ll give it to the old dude.

And the winner is…
Chris Carpenter