September 8, 2009

Teixeira making strides for MVP candidacy

In the first inning of the first game yesterday, the league leader in home runs, Carlos Pena, had to leave the game after CC Sabathia’s inside fastball broke two of Pena’s fingers. Pena is out for the season. This is important for Mark Teixeira’s run at the AL home run and RBI crowns.

Teixeira blasted two home runs in the second game, giving him 35 homers and 106 RBIs on the season. He leads another Rays infielder, Evan Longoria, in RBIs by four, and trails Pena by four homers.

With Pena’s injury, Teixeira has a good chance to lead the league in home runs and RBIs — two of the three categories in the triple crown.

Most of the baseball world is viewing Joe Mauer as the frontrunner for the AL MVP Award. Yes, his percentages are remarkable, but it would be tough to look past Teixeira if he leads in homers and RBIs.

MVP Note: A lot of Yankees fans see Derek Jeter as the best MVP candidate in pinstripes. I agree, he should definitely be involved in the discussion, but unfortunately Teixeira belongs in the discussion too.

Meaning: there is a good chance the two players will be stealing each other’s votes, and neither will win the MVP. Hopefully the same thing happens with Mauer and Justin Morneau. But we’ll see.

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