AL MVP - Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota Twins
You can't be at all surprised here, really. He missed the first month of the season then came back to be perhaps the most dangerous hitter in the American League, all while playing catcher. Down the stretch, when Justin Morneau was injured, Mauer continued to anchor the Twins' lineup, leading them to the playoffs. That says MVP to me.
NL MVP - Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
See God, Baseball.
AL Cy Young - Mariano Rivera, RP, New York Yankees
Much as it pains me to designate this award for both a closer and a Yankee, it's time. Rivera was once again the most reliable and effective closer in baseball. I see this award as both for this season and for his entire career of absurdly good pitching. Zack Greinke, Felix Hernandez, and Justin Verlander all deserve recognition, but I feel like this is Rivera's year.
NL Cy Young - Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
This one is also kind of in the air, but with stronger starting pitcher candidates, and weaker closer candidates. As far as an actual prediction, I'd go with Tim Lincecum followed by Chris Carpenter. Lincecum first because I could see Wainwright and Carpenter drawing votes from each other, and Carpenter ahead of Wainwright because Carpenter is a better story, but Wainwright was the most balanced elite pitcher in the senior circuit this season. He led the NL in wins, had 212 K in 233 IP, and was close to the top in both ERA and WHIP. He's my pick.
AL ROY - Andrew Bailey, RP, Oakland Athletics
The A's seem to keep churning out talented players, winning three of the past eleven rookie of the year awards (Ben Grieve, Bobby Crosby, Huston Street). Bailey, a member of the 2009 AL All-Star team, might end up being the best of any of them though, as he was virtually unhittable all season. Opponents hit just .167 against him, and he didn't blow a save after June 16th. Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus is allegedly the front-runner, but Andrus wasn't anywhere near as dominant as Bailey.
NL ROY - Tommy Hanson, SP, Atlanta Braves
My brother wouldn't shut up about Hanson all season, and it turns out he knew what he was talking about. In case you're unfamiliar, Hanson went 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 116 K in 127.2 IP. A close second in my book is J.A. Happ, who posted similar overall numbers, but took a few more games to do it.
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