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09/19/11 9:18 AM ET

Question of the day: Who should be AL MVP?

The last starting pitcher to win a Most Valuable Player award was Roger Clemens in 1986. Before him, Vida Blue in 1971.

Justin Verlander could join them. He made his latest case on Sunday by winning his 24th game of the season and 12th consecutive start -- a club record for the playoff-bound Tigers.

For a pitcher to win the MVP, he would need an otherworldly season combined with a spread-out field of position players. Verlander tops the Majors with a 24-5 record, 2.29 ERA, 244 strikeouts and 0.91 WHIP. He hasn't lost since July 15.

Toronto right fielder Jose Bautista leads the Major Leagues in homers with 42 and leads the American League in Wins Above Replacement with 8.3, on a team that isn't in contention. Curtis Granderson of the Yankees is battling him for the homer title (40) and leads the Majors in runs (131) while sharing the lead in RBIs (113).

The Red Sox have two certifiable candidates in center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, and Boston badly needs both to finish the year strong. Ellsbury leads the Majors with 330 total bases, and has 27 homers to go with 37 steals. Gonzalez's second half hasn't matched his first, but he still leads the Majors with 199 hits, the AL with a .333 average, and has 26 homers and 111 RBIs.

Today's question: Who should win AL MVP?

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.