- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Take your pick: Which MLB postseason award favorite is most likely to be upset?

AL MVP: Joe Mauer, Twins — Some would quibble with the fact that Mauer missed 25 games, but it’s really hard to find fault with a season during which the catcher hit a league-leading .364 with 28 homers and 96 RBI while leading the AL in slugging percentage (.586). New York’s Mark Teixeira should be a distant second.

NL MVP: Albert Pujols, Cardinals — There’s no chance voters will spurn the player who finished among the top three in the NL in batting (.327), homers (47), RBI (135) and runs (124).

AL Cy Young: Zack Greinke, Royals — Justin Verlander has some very sexy numbers (19-9 with 269 strikeouts), but Greinke’s massive edge in ERA (2.16 to Verlander’s 3.45) should cinch the deal.

NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, Giants — The San Francisco right-hander put together another superb season (15-7, 2.48 ERA, 261 strikeouts) despite getting poor run support.

AL Rookie of Year: Elvis Andrus, Rangers — Some would say Baltimore left fielder Nolan Reimold belongs in the conversation, but the Rangers shortstop made more starts at an infinitely tougher position while adding 33 stolen bases to his solid offensive marks (.267, 40 RBI).

NL Rookie of Year: Tommy Hanson, Braves — Hanson (11-4, 2.89 ERA, 116 strikeouts) finished with one fewer victory than Philadelphia’s J.A. Happ (12-4, 2.93, 119) in 14 fewer starts while besting Happ in most other categories.

Our take — Lincecum at his best has the game’s nastiest stuff, but the Cardinals’ Chris Carpenter (17-4, 2.24) was the NL’s most efficient pitcher this season. If there’s going to be an upset in the postseason awards, perhaps voters will choose Carpenter’s superior win-loss ratio and ERA over Lincecum’s higher totals in strikeouts and innings pitched.

HE SAID WHAT?

“Without totally going off the wall here, it is embarrassing to the game.”

— Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis on the officiating in New England’s 27-21 victory


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