Memorial Day weekend is upon us, which means we’re a quarter of the way through the Major League Baseball season. The sample size is now big enough to get a grasp on the landscape around the majors. You’ve probably got a pretty good (or bad) feeling on where your team is at and where they’re headed.
It’s time to start paying attention now that we’re two months through the season, and we feel it’s also a good time to recap them by handing out our first quarter MLB Awards.
National League Most Valuable Player – Carlos Beltran.
I know this is the one I’ll catch the most heat for, but let me explain.
For the record if Matt Kemp hadn’t landed on the DL this would probably have gone to him. The Dodgers are still rolling with him, but I was torn between him, Carlos Beltran, and David Wright.
Wright is many people’s choice but I had to go with Beltran. He’s had to not only try to replace Albert Pujols production in the line-up, but St. Louis has also been with out Lance Berkman most of the season and Beltran has been the everything the Red Birds could have hoped for, and more.
Beltran leads the NL with 14 home runs, he’s 2nd in RBI with 37, and his average continues to approach .300. To me, he’s the biggest reason St. Louis has the best offense in the NL and first in the NL Central. David Wright has a higher average, a higher on-base percentage, however, his power stroke isn’t there and his HR total and SLG. is down.
To me, Beltran is simply more valuable to the Cardinals right now than Wright is to the Mets.
American League Most Valuable Player – Josh Hamilton.
The AL MVP is certainly the easiest award to hand out. I believe Texas Rangers’ slugger Josh Hamilton is a serious triple crown threat.
He’s got 18 HR, 49 RBI and a .379 BA.
He’s equaled Albert Pujols’ HR total for the entire season in one game… enough said.
I don’t think anybody can argue with this selection.
National League Cy Young – Clayton Kershaw
This was a toss up between Kershaw, and the Braves’ Brandon Beachy.
You could honestly throw in Johnny Cueto, Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, and Lance Lynn in to the mix. Kershaw and Beachy are basically equal in innings pitched, hits and earned runs allowed, but Kershaw has a better strike-out-to-walk-ratio, a slightly lower WHIP, but really it could go to either one.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball, Kershaw’s the ace of that staff who gives L.A. a chance to win every time he takes the mound.
Like I said, it’s a toss-up, but I’ll give the slightest edge to Kershaw over Beachy.
American League Cy Young – Justin Verlander
This isn’t that difficult. Verlander leads his league in, well, everything: WHIP, ERA, OPP AVG, you name it. He has the most strike outs too, and he recently took a no-hitter to the 9th vs. the Pirates.
He’s one of the lone bright spots for the Tigers so far this season, and dominants almost every time he takes the mound.
I’ve got a feeling he’s on his way to a becoming the fourth pitcher to ever win back-to-back AL Cy Youngs… going out on a limb, right?