Rotojunkie has taken over the dynamic feature started by Baseball Happenings that draws on the collective knowledge of the blogging community to provide intelligence on which players are currently considered the leading contenders for the big three baseball awards - MVP, Cy Young and ROY - for the American and National leagues. This week's NL voting should be available later today/early tomorrow.
NL Cy Young:
1. Edinson Volquez Cincinnati Reds
2. Tim Lincecum San Francisco Giants
3. Ben Sheets Milwaukee Brewers
This is the first time I have left Diamondback's starter Brandon Webb entirely out of the voting. He has not pitched well for a couple weeks while Volquez and Lincecum continue to do so. The Wins are a big difference, but, at this point in the season, the ratios have enough innings behind them that an excellent winning record can overcome a couple Wins difference.
1. Chase Utley Philadelphia Phillies
2. Lance Berkman Houston Astros
3. Dan Uggla Florida Marlins
This one was more challenging than either of the other two votes because Utley has been slumping and doesn't have the 1.000+ OPS of several other hitters. Heck, he doesn't even have the highest OPS on the Phillies. (Pat Burrell does.) I stayed with Utley based on his season's work and his team's perch atop the NL East.
Sure, the Houston Astros wouldn't be ahead of the Reds without Lance Berkman, but finishing 6th in the NL Central rather than 5th is a difference without significance.
1. Geovanny Soto Chicago Cubs
2. Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds
3. Kosuke Fukudome Chicago Cubs
The NL ROY voting remains unchanged. I gave consideration to Atlanta Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens, but decided Fukudome's OBP is a more integral part of his team's 1st place standings than Jurrjens efforts are for his team's 4th place standings. Unlike Berkman and the Astros, the Braves would still be ahead of the Nationals even if Jurrjens never pitched for them.