Here’s one writer’s view on how the postseason awards should go:
American League Cy Young: Lots of sleepless nights trying to decide this one. Detroit’s Justin Verlander should win the award unanimously in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The Orioles prevented him from winning No. 25, but how can you argue with 251 innings, a 24-5 record and 2.40 ERA?
AL Most Valuable Player: There’s a grassroots campaign for Verlander to become the first pitcher since Boston’s Roger Clemens in 1986 to win the Cy Young and MVP, but the real debate should be between the Yankees’ Curtis Granderson (.266-41-119 with 24 steals) and the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, who his hitting .341-29-103. Cabrera is the choice.
AL Manager of the Year: No question, Tampa Bay’s Joe Maddon is the winner. The Rays are trying to become the first team to make the postseason by overcoming a nine-game deficit during September.
AL Rookie of the Year: Fascinating race between Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo. But the Royals’ Eric Hosmer and the Yankees’ Ivan Nova should get support. I’m voting on this award, so I can’t divulge my pick until November.
National League Cy Young Award: Lefty Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers is going to win the NL Triple Crown with 21 wins, a 2.28 ERA and 241 strikeouts. Roy Halladay has pitched well for Philadelphia, but Kershaw has to be the pick.
NL MVP: Tough call between Milwaukee teammates Ryan Braun (.333-33-110) and Prince Fielder (.293-35-114). Braun’s 31 steals gives him the edge.
NL Rookie of the Year: Braves first baseman Freddy Freeman (.287-21-76) deserves a look, but Atlanta’s closer, Craig Kimbrel, has 46 saves and a 2.00 ERA. Plus, he’s got 126 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings.
NL Manager of the Year: Arizona’s Kirk Gibson has two strong starters - Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson - and improved bullpen. He’s in his first full season and has the Diamondbacks playing with the same intensity that he was known for as a player.