|Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout are still MVP favorites, but both have had recent struggles. (US Presswire)|
As we enter the last week of August, it's again time to turn our eye to the awards races and we start with the biggies -- Most Valuable Player. Later it'll be the National League race, but first we start with the American League.
Mike Trout, Angels: Regardless of what Sports Illustrated's cover tells you, Trout is human -- and August has proven it. An infield single to lead off Sunday's game in Detroit snapped an 0-for-9 skid but he struck out in his final three at-bats, giving him 27 on the month, one shy of his high of 28 in June. He's hitting .286/.368/.510 this month -- numbers most would be happy with, but not exactly what we saw in his first three months of the season.
Derek Jeter, Yankees: Jeter's seemingly done just about everything in his Hall of Fame worthy career, but he's never won an MVP. Jeter finished second in the voting in 2006 and third twice, in 1998 and in 2009. This season he's hitting .323/.364/.448, his best marks since 2009.
Josh Hamilton, Rangers: Just in time for the stretch run, the Hamilton of the first part of the season is back -- well, at least a guy resembling that guy is back.Over his last 19 games he's hitting .338/.412/.690 with six home runs, including another on Sunday. Hamilton's not quite back in the thick of the two-man race, but he's heating up and repeat of his first month-and-a-half would put him in the thick of it.
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: The Tigers' slugger is playing on two bad ankles, but sat for just the first time this season on Sunday. Despite recording just two hits in his last six games, he hit .545/.516/.909 in the six games before that. Cabrera's health will be a major factor in his push to overtake Trout.
Justin Verlander, Tigers: It takes a phenomenal season for a pitcher to win an MVP -- like Verlander did last year. He's 12-7 with a 2.50 ERA this season and is the best pitcher in the game, but he's unlikely to repeat.
Josh Reddick, A's: The A's gave Reddick a day off on Friday hoping that would help him snap out of his recent slump and it may have worked. He went 3 for 4 on Saturday with a double. Still, in his last 18 games, he's hitting just .183/.227/.296 with two home runs.
Robinson Cano, Yankees: Cano hasn't homered since Aug. 12 and since that game, he's hitting .237/.370/.316 in 12 games. He's still hitting .309/.374/.541 with 25 homers on the season, but Jeter's taking over the Yankee vote.