MLB: Top candidates making their final pitches



Justin DiBiase


Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees. Not only did he reach the milestone of 500 career home runs this season, but he leads the majors in RBIs and home runs. He is one of the main reasons why the Yankees, who a few months ago were counted out of the playoff race, are now on their way to winning the Wild Card. – J.A.

Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees. This pick required as much thought as the question of whether the Yankees should bring A-Rod back next season. Say what you will about his performance in the playoffs, but Rodriguez is having one of the single best seasons in baseball history at the plate. Without Rodriguez, the Yankees may be currently looking up at the Detroit Tigers in the Wild Card race rather than down. Next stop for A-Rod: the career home run title. – J.D.

Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees. A-Rod deserves to be the unanimous choice, not only for his production this season, but for his ability to keep the previously struggling Yankees afloat until they finally righted the ship. Rodriguez is the first right-handed hitter in Yankees history to hit 50 home runs in a season, and the first Bronx Bomber to lead the AL in homers, RBI and runs scored since Roger Maris’ magical 1961 season. – K.S.

Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees. This one is a no-brainer. A-Rod has commanding leads in the AL in home runs, RBIs and runs, and is among the top 15 in batting average and stolen bases. Add that to the fact that the Yanks appear destined for the postseason, and it looks like the Yankee third baseman will have his third MVP. – T.R.

Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees. The easiest of all awards debates. A-Rod has put together a season that would be remembered as one of the greatest ever if it were it not for the recent steroid era. However, his postseason will determine his ultimate fate with the Yankees. – D.C.


Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies. He leads the league in some major categories including RBIs and doubles, and is among the league leaders in home runs, batting average and slugging percentage. He may not be getting the recognition he deserves due to the Rockies’ record, but he is the main reason why Colorado remains remotely in the Wild Card race. – J.A.

Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies. J-Roll proclaimed that the Phillies were the team to beat in the NL East before the season even began. Maybe Jimmy was a few wins shy of the Mets with that statement, but he has done everything in his power to try to make that proclamation come to fruition. Rollins is on pace to top the 20-triples, 40-doubles, 30-homers and 40-stolen bases plateaus. He also leads the league in runs (127) and is a gold glove candidate. Sorry Mets fans, but it looks like Rollins is the “Wright” man for the MVP in 2007. – J.D.

Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers. Whether or not the Brewers make the playoffs this season, this is the first time they’ve even been considered a contender since 1992, and Fielder is by far the biggest (and that’s not a weight-related pun) reason why. He has monster power numbers but also has hit for a good average and gotten on base at a good clip. While many other contenders may have multiple MVP candidates (or, in some cases, none) Prince has been “the guy” for the Brew Crew. – K.S.

Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies. In a season where there are no phenomenal performances out of the NL hitters, Holliday takes the award due to ranking fifth in home runs, batting average, RBIs, slugging percentage and runs scored. In addition, Holliday has led his team to a competitive finish in the NL Wild Card race. – T.R.

David Wright, New York Mets. Barring an awful final two weeks, Wright will become the first player since 2002 to hit .310 with 100 runs, 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Putting statistics aside for a second, while Reyes, Beltran and Delgado have all had down years, Wright has been the only consistent force on the best team in the NL. If he and A-Rod do win MVP, it’ll be the first time two players in the same city have won since 1956. – D.C.

AL Cy Young

Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox. He is leading the majors with 19 wins and, with his 3.20 ERA, has helped the Red Sox to stay atop the AL East. – J.A.

Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox. J.J. Putz is tempting here, but Beckett has been the steady force at the top of an often shaky rotation. Beckett may be the only hurler to reach the 20-win plateau, as he needs just one more win. After a shaky 2006 campaign, it looks like Beckett is back in his World Series form from 2003 when he shut out the New York Yankees. – J.D.

C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians. This is the toughest race to call, but the slight edge goes to Sabathia over Boston’s Josh Beckett. C.C. has been a workhorse this year, leading the AL in innings pitched and putting together a fantastic season for a winning ball club. He has been the rock for a rotation that has been shaky outside of Fausto Carmona. – K.S.

C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians. This is the hardest selection because of the stiff competition. The hefty lefty may not have the best numbers, but he is 10th in all major pitching numbers, while anchoring the Indians to a comfortable lead in the AL Central. – T.R.

Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox. The switch to the AL was tough on Beckett last season who surrendered a remarkable 36 home runs. However, Beckett found his place this season and was a reliable presence in the Boston rotation all season. He only had an ERA over four for a month once all season, and with one more win, he’ll become the league’s first 20-game winner in two seasons. – D.C.

NL Cy Young

Jake Peavy, San Diego Padres. He is leading the MLB in strikeouts and ERA, and his 18-6 record is part of the reason why the Padres have remained atop the NL Wild Card. – J.A.

Jake Peavy, San Diego Padres. If there were a word that meant “so nasty that hitters cry in the on-deck circle,” than that would accurately describe the type of “stuff” Peavy is throwing at hitters this season. Peavy sports a sub-2.40 ERA and leads all of baseball in strikeouts. Without Peavy, the Padres’ weak offense would certainly be struggling in the tough NL West division. – J.D.

Jake Peavy, San Diego Padres. There’s a big reason why the hitting-starved Padres are right in the thick of the chase for October, and that reason is Jake Peavy. The right-hander has won nine of his last 10 decisions with an ERA of 2.25 during that span, clearly elevating his game during crunch time. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a virtual lock to win the NL pitching Triple Crown. – K.S.

Jake Peavy, San Diego Padres. Peavy, the NL leader in wins, ERA, strikeouts and WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched), has been on a tear since the All-Star break. Since July 22, he has gone 9-1, while leading his team into first in the Wild Card race. – T.R.

Jake Peavy, San Diego Padres. Jake Peavy, the Padres ace, currently has the pitching Triple Crown by leading the NL in wins, ERA and strikeouts. By avoiding injuries that plagued him in the past, Peavy has put together the best season of his career and the best of anyone in 2007. – D.C.