AL MVP — It’s a two-horse race, and each is racing the other into the history books. The probable leader, at this point, is the reigning MVP and Triple Crown winner who’s actually on pace for a better season this year, Miguel Cabrera, who is hitting .365 with 30 home runs and 95 RBI for the Detroit Tigers, and leads the American League in two of the three Triple Crown categories. He’s seven homers behind Chris Davis, the other MVP contender, who’s put up a .315 batting average and driven in 93 runs while leading the Baltimore Orioles to a 53-43 record, 10 games above .500. Davis is flirting with Roger Maris’ record 61 home runs, still the most in the American League. Cabrera and Davis are also 1-2 in the AL in home runs and RBI by a wide margin. No other player is within five home runs or 20 RBI of either.
NL MVP — The NL has three contenders, led by St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina’s defense and his .341 batting average. He’s being chased by Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (.313, 21 HR, 77 RBI) and Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (.302, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 20 SB). The interesting race is between Molina and McCutchen, the respective leaders on rival teams who at the end of July will face off in a five-game series.
AL Cy Young — There are several fringe contenders, like Yu Darvish, Felix Hernandez, Chris Sale and Matt Moore, but at this point, the runaway is the Detroit Tigers’ Max Scherzer. Scherzer is 13-1 with a 3.19 ERA and has 152 strikeouts in 129.2 innings pitched. Darvish of the Texas Rangers is most likely the runner-up, with 10 wins, a 3.02 ERA and 140 strikeouts.
NL Cy Young — Just like the NL MVP, the NL Cy Young is more wide open at this point in the season than its AL counterpart. Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.35 ERA, 147 strikeouts) of the New York Mets, Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 1.98 ERA, 139 strikeouts) of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Adam Wainwright (12-5, 2.45 ERA, 130 K) of the Cardinals are the three frontrunners and have Jordan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals (12-4, 2.58 ERA, 95 K) as a fringe contender.
AL manager — This looks like a two-man race between Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell and the Indians’ Terry Francona. Farrell has his Red Sox sitting at 58-39, the best record in the AL and with a 2.5 game lead in the toughest division in the league. Francona has the Indians at 51-44 and only a game and a half behind the favorite Detroit Tigers.
NL manager — At this point in the season, the award is a done deal. Right now, it’s Clint Hurdle, who’s led the Pirates to a 56-37 record and has the city still thinking about baseball for the first time in two decades rather than the start of the Steelers’ training camp.
— Ryan Lewis