The Stretch Separates The Best From The Rest

Kramer SchmidtContributor ISeptember 20, 2008

With about 10 games left in baseball's regular season, it now comes a time where the best players separate themselves from the rest. it's a time for MVP candidates make there case for the award. In the National League, names that have been thrown for MVP include Ryan Howard, Carlos Delgado, Lance Berkman, and Albert Pujols. While Howard leads the league in both HRs and Ks, he has helped carry the Phillies during the month of September and for the season is hitting .248 with 46 HRs and 141 RBIs. Both Delgado and the Mets made a midseason turnaround after the Mets replaced their manager. Currently Delgado is hitting .266 with 36 HRs and 107 RBIs. Lance Berkman and the Astros have been tearing it up since the All-Star break and for the season is batting .317 belting 28 HRs and 101 RBIs. Meanwhile Albert Pujols was the single most important reason the Cardinals where at one point battling for the N.L. Central title. Pujols is also in the thick of a batting race hitting .353 with 34 HRs and 105 RBIs. 

My NL MVP Pick: Albert Pujols, Cardinals

Why: Single handedly carried the Cardinals all season and has been the most valuable player to his team.

Meanwhile the A.L. MVP race has the same style of race shaping up. The contenders for AL MVP include Francisco Rodriguez, Josh Hamliton, Justin Morneau and Dustin Pedroia. The reason for K-Rod being such a strong contender for the AL MVP is because of not only setting the single season saves record but because so many saves have been with the Angles only leading by one or two runs. K-Rod's stats include 72 G with 59 saves in 65 IP and a 2.35 ERA. Josh Hamilton's MVP candidacy has been because he has been such a great comeback story and was helping the Rangers' stay in the division race up until the All-Star break. Since then Hamilton has cooled off considerably while still hitting .307 with 34 HRs with 124 RBIs. Meanwhile Justin Morneau, along with Joe Mauer, is the biggest reason the Twins are in the the AL Central race. He provides the biggest pop in the Twins lineup. While the Twins rely more on small ball than the big fly, he also has been given a few more pitches to hit because of .300 hitter Jason Kubel hitting behind him. Meanwhile this season he is hitting .311 with 23 HRs and 128 RBIs. Dustin Pedroia is another solid MVP candidate because of what he has been able to do especially with the injury to David Ortiz earlier this season and since the trade of Manny Ramirez. He is batting .324 with 17 HRs and 79 RBIs. While I believe both K-Rod and Hamilton will win awards, the Cy Young going to K-Rod and the Comeback Player of the Year Award will be awarded to Josh Hamilton. 

The AL MVP will go to Justin Morneau of the Twins.

Why: He is the biggest offensive threat in the Twins lineup while Dustin Pedroia is surrounded by other offensive threats like Youklis, Ortiz, Varitek, Lowell and J. Bay.