The following are my picks for each league’s MVP and Cy Young award winner if the season ended today.
Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks (.474/.524/.842)
Montero is essentially having the same offensive season as Ryan Howard, the league leader in Runs Created, but he’s doing it at a premium position (catcher). He edges out fellow catcher Nick Hundley by a home run and a walk. Apologies to Hundley, Howard, and Brandon Phillips.
Howie Kendrick, Angels (.417/.517/.917)
Kendrick leads the majors in times on base (15) and in Runs Created (9.6). I’ve heard speculation for years that Kendrick could win a batting title someday, but if he keeps up the patience he’s shown this year (5 walks in 29 PAs), he may be an MVP candidate as well. Apologies to Carlos Quentin, Yunel Escobar, and Nelson Cruz.
NL Cy Young
Tim Lincecum, Giants (0.64/18 K/3 BB)
Roy Halladay entered this conversation yesterday with seven strikeouts in seven scoreless innings, but he still can’t quite match Lincecum’s 18 K, 14 IP, 0.64 ERA, or 0.79 WHIP. Apologies to Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, and Yovani Gallardo.
AL Cy Young
Dan Haren, Angels (1.23/12 K/0 BB)
It’s a matter of preference here, as Haren’s pitch-to-contact approach (12 K and no walks) has yielded just two runs in 14 2/3 innings, while Edwin Jackson’s blow-everyone-away approach has him leading the league with 20 strikeouts, offset by five walks and three earned runs in 14 innings. For what it’s worth, only Jackson, Jered Weaver, and AJ Burnett have two wins. Apologies to Jackson, Weaver, and CC Sabathia.