Ryan Howard, Phillies (.524/.522/.952)
It’s hard to call someone an MVP when his OBP is lower than his batting average, but when that average is a league-leading .524 and they guy has two homers in five games, it’s probably the right choice. Apologies to Nick Nundley, Miguel Montero, and Chris Ianetta.
Carlos Quentin, White Sox (.500/.522/1.000)
Another guy with just one walk, which suggests susceptibility to slumps, but for five games, who cares about walks when Quentin has two homers, five walks, and four singles? Apologies to Mark Teixeira, Nelson Cruz, and Howie Kendrick.
NL Cy Young
Tim Lincecum, Giants (0.64/18 K/3 BB)
He’s at it again. Lincecum struck out 13 Padres in seven innings last night, walking no one and giving up just one run. Petco may be the best pitchers’ park in either league, but that doesn’t make it any easier to strike guys out. Apologies to Clayton Kershaw, Derek Lowe, and Jaime Garcia.
AL Cy Young
Jered Weaver, Angels (0.69/12 K/5 BB)
This was the first day the four winners are all probably legitimate candidates for the full-season awards. Justin Verlander’s nine Ks weren’t enough to swing this one (or get him on the apology list). Apologies to CC Sabathia, Dan Haren, and Felix Hernandez.