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Early AL Cy Young, MVP, And ROY Candidates

Baseball Happenings has begun a dynamic feature 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 AL voting should be available later today.  

Here is the way I voted.  My biases for voting in the Cy Young and MVP awards lean towards those hitters and pitchers playing on contending teams.  ROY determination is not tied are strongly to his team's record, but good rookies on expected play-off contenders will get additional consideration.

AL Cy Young:

  1.  Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians
  2.  Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels
  3.  Chien-Ming Wang, New York Yankees
With so many teams bunched around .500, giving Cliff Lee the top billing was easy. Once big winners like Santana and Wang stop winning 85+% of their starts, I expect Roy Halladay of the Tornto Blue Jays to begin garnering votes as his innings load is much more important.  Unfortunately, his 3-4 record prevents him from getting more than a mention.

AL MVP:

  1.  Casey Kotchman, Los Angeles Angels
  2.  Manny Ramirez Boston Red Sox
  3.  Johnny Damon, New York Yankees
With just one qualifier with an OPS greater than 1.000 (Carlos Quentin), the AL MVP voting is open to a variety of personal biases.  Casey Kotchman is the best hitter on one of the best teams as is Manny Ramirez.  Surprisingly, Johnny Damon has more XBH than either of them, has drawn more walks, socred more runs and stole more bases.  His OPS of .921 is right behind Kotchman's .939 and Manny's .964

AL ROY:

  1.  Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox
  2.  Greg Smith, Oakland Athletics
  3.  Nick Blackburn, Minnesota Twins
Jacoby Ellsbury's .415 OBP and 17:9 BB/K ratio garnered him the top spot.  Oakland A's rookie starting pitcher Greg Smith has been great and could make the second Athletics trade involving Dan Haren make the first one look even in comparison.