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Garceau: My Picks For American League Awards

With August fading into September it's a good time to take a look at the top contenders for the American League's top individual awards.

How teams fare down the stretch can influence how voters size up individual awards. Texas and Cleveland have solid leads in the West and Central respectively with the Blue Jays, Orioles and Red Sox stacked up in the East.

So down the stretch they come, pennants and playoff spots up for grabs. The final month of the season will sort it out but if my ballot had to be turned in today here's how it would look.

**MVP: Mike Trout OF, LAA                                                                                                                          

Go ahead shout Trout but the Angels are a hot mess and it may cost him the award. His bat, glove and base running make him the most complete player in the game but his sad-sack team could do him in.                                                                                           

Next Best: Jose Altuve 2B, Hou                                                                                                                   

The little man is having a monster year running away with the batting title and he has a higher slugging percentage and OPS than Trout. If it's not one of these two I'd be surprised.

In the Hunt: Josh Donaldson 3B, Tor; Mookie Betts OF Bos ; Manny Machado 3B, Bal.                      

All 3 legit but a cut below Trout and Altuve, the winner of the East will likely make 1 of the above third in the voting.                                    

**Cy Young Award: Corey Kluber, Cleveland 

He's one of a handful of good candidates but nobody with the WOW factor in 2016. Kluber is the best pitcher on the best rotation in the American League. He's been on fire lately with eight straight quality starts and a 5–0 record with a 1.78 ERA during that period. That said the Cy Young Award battle is wide open.

Next Best: Danny Duffy, KC                                                                                                                           

Heading into September he's the best starter in the league (11-1, 2.66 ERA) but Duffy's problem is he didn't get his first start until mid-May so his numbers aren't what they could be.                                                            

In the Hunt: Zach Britton, Bal; J.A. Happ Tor; Rick Porcello Bos

**Rookie of the Year: Michael Fullmer P, Detroit 

A no-brainer, Fullmer (10-4, 2.58) has the best ERA among American League starters. He went 33 1/3 innings without giving up a run, the second-longest scoreless streak by a rookie in 45 years, just short of Fernando Valenzuela's 35-inning record that has stood since 1981.

Next Best: Max Kepler OF, Minnesota

The Twins rookie was called up in June, hit 8 home runs in July and started August with a 3-homer game at Cleveland.

In the Hunt: Tyler Naquin OF, Cleveland



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