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AL Cy Young, MVP, Rookie-Of-The-Year Leaders

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 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 paly-off contenders will get additional consideration.

AL Cy Young:
1. Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians
2. Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels
3. Joe Saunders, Los Angeles Angels

AL MVP:
1. Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
2. Carlos Quentin, Chicago White Sox
3. Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox

AL ROY:
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox
2. Nick Blackburn, Minnesota Twins
3. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

How is it the team with the best record in the American League, The Tampa Bay Rays, only gets one player considered for one of the top three awards, and that only because the rookie class behind Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury is so weak? I can't imagine the actual voters not "forcing" a Rays into the Top 3 in all the awards if the Rays make the play-offs. The team will be the talk of the 2008 season, and the deisre to recognize it in the CY Young, MVP and Rookie-of-the-Year awards will be too strong to resist.

FOR ROY, Logoria is an easy choice to appear on the baseball writer's ballots. My best guess would by CF B.J. Upton for MVP on the strength of his .400+ OBP and SBs total. For Cy Young, James Shields would get the vote right now, but Scott Kazmir could get it if he remains in the rotation for the rest of the season. He has already surpassed Shields in Wins for the season and is just 20 Ks behind him with 43.2 fewer innings pitched.