Who will be the MVP and Cy Young winners in each league?
Who'll take MVP and Cy Young titles? Curtis Granderson? Matt Kemp? Justin Upton? Roy Halladay? Clayton Kershaw? Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss the topic. Check for more responses throughout the day and weigh in with a comment of your own.
Steve Gould, Baltimore Sun
We'll start by throwing pitchers out of the MVP talk for both leagues -- deserving or not, they get overlooked by voters for what are, realistically, hitters-only awards.
In a tight American League MVP race, we’ll guess the three Red Sox contenders -- Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez -- steal enough votes from one another to eliminate them all. Jose Bautista has had a better season than Curtis Granderson by most measures, but Granderson gets the nod because he's on a playoff team.
For that reason, Joey Votto, Matt Kemp and Troy Tulowitzki get pushed aside and the National League MVP goes to Justin Upton, who just turned 24 and is having a fantastic year for the surprising Diamondbacks.
Justin Verlander (no-hitter) edges CC Sabathia for the AL Cy Young Award. Your NL winner is Roy Halladay, and it's not close.
[Updated at 9:55 a.m.
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
Justin Verlander has put his name all over the MVP race. He's certain to get a lot of attention and could win the award if the big hitters split the vote.
But I'm going to go with Curtis Granderson to win the MVP over Verlander, the Red Sox's Adrian Gonzalez and the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista. Granderson’s new-found power and all-around game set him apart, and it doesn't hurt he's on the best team in baseball.
The NL MVP race is almost as tough to forecast. My pick is the Brewers’ Ryan Braun for similar reasons to Granderson. He's a speed-power, all-around good player who sparks his team. But if he and teammate Prince Fielder split the vote, Roy Halladay could enter the picture. Wouldn’t it be funny if he was the one who benefitted most from the Verlander discussion?
As for the Cy Youngs, Verlander gets the call over Jered Weaver, and Halladay (by an eyelash) over Clayton Kershaw.]
[Updated at 1:29 p.m.
Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
I'm going to start with the conviction that Matt Kemp is the Most Valuable Player in the National League. Kemp ranks among the top four in the NL in the Triple Crown categories, in stolen bases and in OPS, and he plays a premium defensive position too. The Dodgers will be staying home this winter, but Kemp deserves the edge over Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder of the Brewers, Justin Upton of the Diamondbacks, Lance Berkman of the Cardinals and Joey Votto of the Reds.
If I take Kemp, then I have to take Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays, who has a Barry Bonds-like OPS of 1.072, as American League MVP. The Blue Jays aren't bound for October either, but Bautista's numbers are remarkably dominant. The runners-up: Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox,, Curtis Granderson of the Yankees, Michael Young of the Rangers and Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander of the Tigers.
Verlander, who is 21-0 when the Tigers score at least three runs, is an easy pick for the AL Cy Young. The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw wins the NL Cy Young, in a photo finish ahead of the Phillies' Roy Halladay.]
[Updated at 1:30 p.m.
Tom Housenick, The Morning Call
Revoke privileges for anyone who doesn't vote Detroit's Justin Verlander as the American League Cy Young winner. The three NL candidates are L.A'.s Clayton Kershaw and Philadelphia's Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Kershaw pitches in a large ballpark; the other two in a bandbox. Kershaw is pitching for third place in the NL West; Halladay and Lee are pitching for the World Series but have a better lineup around them. Kershaw and Halladay have been steady all season. Lee has had 2.5 great months. Kershaw's numbers are ever-so-slightly better. Winner: Halladay.
Milwaukee's Ryan Braun is the NL MVP. He's a complete player not working for a new contract (see Brewer Prince Fielder and Dodger Matt Kemp). In the AL, a slight edge goes to Yankee outfielder Curtis Granderson over Boston's Adrian Gonzalez.]
Photo: Matt Kemp. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire