As the 2010 regular season enters its final week, there is some drama left in the pennant races, but lots of drama and intrigue remains in the battle for various individual statistical titles and the more prestigious awards that players covet.
In the American League, we have known which four teams would qualify for the playoffs for many weeks, but who will win the AL East battle between the Yankees and Rays? The Twins also are battling for best record in the league.
On the individual race front, will anybody join CC Sabathia as a 20-game winner? There are some close races (most wins and most runs scored) and some runaways (homers and stolen bases).
In the National League—while it's always foolish to ever count out those streaky Rockies—there appear to be five teams playing for four spots. The Phillies have all but sewn up the East and will soon lock down the best record in the league. The Reds have the Central, and the Giants and Padres are too close to call in the West. The Braves will battle the runner-up in the Giants-Padres tussle for the wild-card entry.
Among NL hitters, batting average and stolen base titles are foregone conclusions, but intrigue remains in several categories, including RBI and runs scored. Among pitchers, most wins and most saves has not yet been determined.
While baseball is a team sport, it also features a host of individual matchups and stats that greatly define the game.
Join me on this tour of some of those individual battles and see my unofficial top five or so in the MVP and Cy Young Award races for both leagues.
** Please note that all stats were compiled prior to the games of Monday, September 27.**