Pineda, 22, entered spring as Seattle's potential fifth starter, but he has been nothing short of its ace. Pineda's 2.45 ERA and 8.84 strikeouts per nine tops a staff that features Felix Hernandez and a resurgent Erik Bedard.
RUNNER-UP: Jeremy Hellickson, Rays RHP
NL MVP: PRINCE FIELDER
Even if Albert Pujols were healthy, he might no longer be the best free-agent-to-be first baseman in his own division. Fielder (left) is tied for the NL lead in home runs (21), leads in RBIs (68) and is aiming for both his first .300 season (he's at .305) and first NL Central crown.
RUNNER-UP: Matt Kemp, Dodgers CF
NL CY YOUNG: COLE HAMELS
The best No. 4 starter in baseball history has nine wins, one less than teammate Roy Halladay's league-leading total, and has nearly as good an ERA (2.49 to 2.40), but has been significantly less hittable: He's allowed just 86 hits in 112 innings, and his WHIP of 0.96 leads the NL.