By Ryan Mayer CBS Local Sports
The All-Star Game won’t take place until next Tuesday signaling the scheduling midway point of the season, but most teams have already reached the true midway point having played at least 81 games. As we did at the quarter season mark, it’s time to look at the award races and hand out some midseason awards. We’ll start in the American League.
AL MVP: Mike Trout CF Los Angeles Angels
Trout took this spot at the quarter season mark, and he’s done nothing to disabuse me of the notion that he deserves the MVP. He continues to put up ridiculous numbers in the batter’s box hitting .299/.393/.575 with 21 HR’s and 45 RBI. He’s also 5th in the majors in WAR at 4.6 according to FanGraphs. There is some definite competition in this race with Josh Donaldson having a very good season for the Blue Jays and Miguel Cabrera continuing to be his normal self for the Tigers. However, Cabrera is on the DL. Donaldson is very close, but I’ll give it to Trout for now.
AL Cy Young: Chris Archer SP Tampa Bay Rays
Archer’s win-loss record isn’t reflective of his overall performance this season. Win/loss records are terrible indicators of individual pitching performance, so take a look at some of the peripheral numbers with Archer. He’s got a 2.18 ERA, 1.95 BAA and a 0.95 WHIP. Looking even further his 2.46 FIP (fielding independent pitching) and .269 BABIP are good indicators that his numbers aren’t inflated this season. Dallas Keuchel and Sonny Gray have stayed in the conversation and this should be a great race coming down the stretch of this season.
AL Rookie of the Year: Devon Travis 2B Toronto Blue Jays
He’s had some injury issues during the course of the first half, which has led to him only playing 46 games. However, he’s back on the field now and he’s in the midst of a fairly weak class of rookies in the AL. Hitting .292/.344/.494 helps as well.
NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt 1B Arizona Diamondbacks
Goldschmidt takes over the top spot in this race from Bryce Harper in my quarter season awards. The Diamondbacks first baseman has had a ridiculous first half hitting .348/.466/.622 with 20 HR’s and 67 RBI. He’s also outperformed Harper on the base paths with 15 stolen bases to Harper’s 4. There’s not much separating the two but the added value on the bases this year puts him just ahead of Harper at the moment. It should be a close race down the rest of the season.
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer SP Washington Nationals
Scherzer has earned every penny of his salary to this point of the year. He sits 2nd in ERA at 1.82, 1st in WHIP (0.78) and 1st in BAA (.181). Aside from that, Scherzer is far and away leading all pitchers in the NL in WAR (4.7) and FIP (1.93). He will run away with this race if he continues his performance into the second half. Greinke is in the race too he’s been having a fantastic season so far. He leads the NL in ERA at 1.48 and is in the top 5 in WHIP (0.89) and BAA (.200).
NL Rookie of the Year: Kris Bryant 3B Chicago Cubs
Bryant came up a couple weeks into the season, which is why I didn’t give this award to him the last time around. Now he’s gotten past any and all objections to his claim to the top spot. Hitting .278/.381/.481 with 12 HR’s and 49 RBI. He’s also leading all NL rookies in WAR at 3.5. Bryant’s performance at the halfway mark gives him the lead. Yasmany Tomas, Maikel Franco, and Joc Pederson have strong cases. There’s a ton of young talent to watch in the National League.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that's where you'll find him. Agree/Disagree? Thoughts, comments, complaints? Email or tweet him.
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