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 on Friday at lunch time.
NL Cy Young:
1. Ben Sheets Milwaukee Brewers
2. Tim Lincecum San Francisco Giants
3. Edinson Volquez Cincinnati Reds
1. Chase Utley Philadelphia Phillies
2. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
3. Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins
1. Geovanny Soto Chicago Cubs
2. Kosuke Fukudome Chicago Cubs
3. Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta Braves
These essentially qualify as my mid-season winners. I don't like giving Top 3 votes to non-play-off teams in CY Young and MVP voting, but Lincecum and Volquez are so much better statistically than Cole Hamels of Philadelphia, Carlos Zambrano of Chicago and Brandon Webb of Arizona that I had to put them in the top 3. For my own cognitive dissonance, I hope this does not remain so.
MVP also is tough because there are players on sub-.500 teams leading the NL. Chipper Jones in Atlanta and Lance Berkman in Houston are having better overall seasons than Chase Utley, but I can't look past Chippers' time off or Berkman's less challenging defensive position.
At the last minute, I dropped Reds' 1B Joey Votto and replaced him with Atlanta Braves' SP Jair Jurrjens. With a top 10 NL ERA and eight wins so far, Jurrjens is more valuable on the open market than a 1B with an .800 OPS would be.