First Half MLB Awards

One half of the season is in the books and I think that it's safe to say that this season has been a good one.

Here's a recap of where things stand at the midway point:

After limping out of the gates, the Red Sox have battled back to within a game and a half of the Yankees.  The Indians got off to an unbelievable start but have since settled back into second place behind the Tigers who appear to be the team to beat in the AL Central.  The Rangers and Angels maintain the top two spots in the AL West with slumping Seattle in third.

In the NL, the Phillies have maintained the top spot in the NL East for almost the entire season with the Braves in pursuit.  In the NL Central, the Brewers have asserted themselves.  Given the absence of Pujols and Wainwright, the Cardinals appear to be falling in second place but the biggest surprise in the NL Central has to be the Pirates who remain above .500 (brownie points if you can tell me the last time that the Pirates were above .500 at the All Star break).  The NL West, as always, is a battle.  The World Champion Giants have the top spot ahead of the once surging Diamondbacks but you can't count out the Rockies, who seem to be napping their way through the first half. 

There have been two no-hitters so far, thrown by Francisco Liriano and Justin Verlander.  There have also been a handful of close calls and runs are down across major league baseball.  Mark Teixeira leads the AL in HR while Matt Kemp has been the pace setter in the NL.  Jose Reyes and Prince Fielder have potentially raised their upcoming free agency price tags, putting up big numbers so far while guys like Jayson Werth and Vernon Wells have not found success in their new digs.  Catchers have had a tough go so far; Mauer has spent the majority of the first half on the DL while Buster Posey had his season ended by way of injury.  Meanwhile, Jorge Posada lost his job and Carlos Santana has not bounced back yet. 

Now, on to the fun stuff...
A midway point tradition is to hand out first half hardware.  Hersh and I are casting our votes and as you would expect, we don't agree on everything.  Take a look at our First Half Award Winners and tell us what you think.


NL MVP - Ryan Braun
NL Cy - Cliff Lee
NL ROY - Craig Kimbrel
NL MOY - Charlie Manuel
NL Rolaids - Craig Kimbrel
Player to watch in the second half... Jason Bay

On selecting Cliff Lee and Ryan Braun... Lee has four shutouts at the midway point so, yes, he gets the nod over Halladay.  As for Braun, my feeling is that the Brewers are making a serious run at the division title and mostly because of him. The Mets (Reyes) and Dodgers (Kemp) are going nowhere. 

AL MVP - Adrian Gonzalez
AL Cy - Justin Verlander
AL ROY - Michael Pineda
AL MOY - Buck Showalter
AL Rolaids - Mariano Rivera
Player to watch in the second half... Joe Mauer

On selecting Buck Showalter... the Orioles seem to be improving.  At least heading in the right direction.  Lets face it, they will never have a chance to win that division but to be competitive is a big accomplishment.


NL Cy - Roy Halladay
NL MVP - Matt Kemp
NL ROY - Craig Kimbrel
NL MOY - Clint Hurdle
NL Rolaids - Joel Hanrahan
Player to watch in the second half... Aramis Ramirez

On selecting Kemp and Hanrahan... Kemp is 18 points off the NL lead in BA (.331), he leads the NL in HR (22) and he is 5 off the pace in RBI (63) to go along with 22 SB... he's not great defensively but he has a real shot at a triple crown.  Hanrahan deserves recognition for what he's done - he's second in the NL in saves, 23 for 23, with a 1.21 ERA.  He's a huge reason why the Pirates are above .500.

AL MVP - Adrian Gonzalez
AL Cy - Justin Verlander
AL ROY - Michael Pineda
AL MOY - Manny Acta
AL Rolaids - Mariano Rivera
Player to watch in the second half... Mark Teixeira


  1. You know I'm going to argue for some Reyes consideration. If we did comeback playet, he'd probably get that award. Gotta agree with Hurdle over Charlie. Halladay vs Lee is a push in my opinion, either is deserving, as is Cole Hamels. Great work fellas!

  2. Interesting note... Lee has four shutouts at the midway point. The last pitcher to have more than 5 shutouts in a single season - Tim Belcher in 1989.

  3. NL ROY- Danny Espinosa
    AL ROY- JP Arencibia

  4. I have Espinosa on my fantasy team... his -.250 BA would hurt his chances. Meanwhile, Kimbrel has been one of the best closers in the NL and ROY voters like saves. It's wide open at this point (I think Freeman will make a charge).

    Arencibia is a good pick - doing a nice job playing catcher but Pineda would be a lock if they took the vote today. 7 wins on a bad Seattle team to go along with a tidy 2.65 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 102 innings... stud numbers.

  5. Sports Illustrated came out with the same thing this week, but picked different from us. They took Fielder as MVP and Hamels as CY. They also took Espinosa as ROY. The AL picks were the same as ours.

  6. Pirates last above .500 at All-Star Break in 1992, in 1997 they were 43-43 and in 1999 they were 43-44.


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