Last week, I sized up the American League and National League Rookie of the Year races, so this week I thought I would take a look at the AL and NL MVP races. In both leagues the award is wide open.

That’s kind of unusual because usually in one league someone runs away with the award. Not this year. There are at least three or four players in each league who have a legitimate shot at winning the MVP.

Here is how the AL MVP race sizes up for me…

Best of the Rest

Paul Konerko, Vladimir Guerrero, Adrian Beltre

The Contenders

Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays: .259/.373/.600 with 40 HR’s. It’s hard to give an MVP award to a guy batting .259 on a fourth-place team, but Bautista is having a tremendous season and should get votes based on his power numbers.

Bautista leads all of baseball in HR’s with 40, is third in SLG (.600) and fourth in OPS (.973).

Robinson Cano, New York Yankees: .323/.388/.563 with 25 HR’s. Cano has officially turned the corner in his career and is having a career year in 2010 for the Yankees. Cano ranks in the top-10 in the AL in seven offensive categories.

Unless a Yankee is having an all world season like Alex Rodriguez in 2007, then they have a tough time getting votes for this award. Most voters feel the player is a product of the lineup more than a product of their ability. It might not be the best logic in the world, but it is what it is.

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: .342/.436/.641 with 31 HR’s. Cabrera is fighting for the triple crown in 2010 as he is second in average, second in HR’s, and first in RBI. Those rankings alone with get Cabrera plenty of votes.

The issue Cabrera will have is that the Tigers have really fallen on their faces in the second half. The Tigers are a third-place team in a weak division. That can’t help Cabrera’s cause.

The Winner

Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers: .356/.406/.631 with 29 HR’s. Hamilton leads the AL in hits (170), avg. (.356), is second in OPS (1.037), and is first in WAR (7.1). He is having an unbelievable season in Texas.

Hamilton wins this award for me because he is the best player on a team that has the biggest lead of any division leader in baseball. If he can stay healthy in September, he will win this award.

Tomorrow, I will size up the NL MVP race.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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