First-Half Awards: AL Cy Young & MVP
Finally, after an exciting first-half of the regular season, it's time to see who I'd pick for the winners (so far) of the Cy Young as the league's most outstanding pitcher as well as the AL's Most Valuable Player:
AL Cy Young:
P - Jered Weaver (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
He may not have all the ladies chasing him like teammate Dan Haren but Jered Weaver does add a box-office appeal by dominating on the mound. So far in 2011, Weaver is a very respectable 11-4 with an AL-best 1.86 to show for his efforts. His ERA, in fact, is the only one in the American League under 2.00.
While we have seen some dominating pitching in the AL so far this season from the likes of Verlander, Beckett, Shields and Sabathia, it's Jered Weaver who is leading the way in the race for the Cy Young.
OF - Jose Bautista (Toronto Blue Jays)
It's still yet to be seen whether the Blue Jays will make any noise in the second-half and compete for a playoff spot. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Jose Bautista will carry his team on his back if he has to.
After a breakout 2010 campaign, critics suggested that Bautista was a flash-in-the-pan. Bautista, though, has other ideas and he has quietly went out and proved those critics wrong by collecting a staggering 31 home runs at the All-Star break to along with his .334 batting average, .702 slugging percentage and his 1.170 slugging percentage.
A lot can be said for Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz of the Red Sox or Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees but, so far, it's Jose Bautista who has the MVP crown to lose.