MLB First Half Awards

The All-Star break is upon us and the first half of the season has been filled with surprises and today, we'll take a look at our First Half Award Winners.

But before we get to that, I'd like to offer you my three top story lines so far (in no particular order)... 1. Despite the common belief that the Red Sox would struggle to win after their fire sale, they sit atop the AL East with more wins than any other team in baseball.  2. Miguel Cabrera's quest for a second consecutive Triple Crown depends upon his ability to keep up and surpass Chris Davis' unbelievable home run pace.  3. The emergence of youth - 39 first time all-stars in this year's All-Star game is more than any other Mid-Summer Classic in baseball history.  Honorable mention to Mariano Rivera and Jason Grilli for their amazing stories.

Without further adieu, here are our picks for the First Half Awards.  


NL MVP – Paul Goldschmidt
NL Cy – Adam Wainwright
NL ROY – Shelby Miller
NL MOY – Clint Hurdle 
NL Rolaids – Jason Grilli
Player to watch 2nd half – Hanley Ramirez

Went rogue with Goldschmidt (not buying Carlos Gonzalez, either because of the Coors factor and overall team play.  I challenge you to show me a player that has meant more to any of the division leaders than Goldschmidt (fact is, you probably can’t name too many Diamondbacks, at all).  

It’s a shame that Jean Segura and Matt Harvey will both miss rookie eligibility in their first full seasons… while both will be considered for the big awards (MVP and Cy) I think that their team standings could doom their chances of winning.  Wainwright leads the league in wins and has been an absolute stud for the Cardinals so I went with him for the Cy… you could go with any number of names including Clayton Kershaw and Matt Harvey who are both having phenomenal years (in spite of winning 15 games combined) but in a tight race that includes a lot of guys (Patrick Corbin should get plenty of consideration), I’ll take Wainwright.  

Hanley has been on a tear since coming off the DL... everyone is talking about Yasiel Puig but it's clear to me that Hanley has been the spark for the surging Dodgers.  There are a lot of rising stars in the Central - Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen have the Pirates playing great but unfortunately, I have a sinking feeling that the Pirates will stumble in the second half… they have gotten so much out of Francisco Liriano and Jeff Locke and Wandy Rodriguez and the rest of their makeshift rotation but you can’t help but wonder how that rotation will respond if and when a couple of things start to go wrong.  Gerritt Cole is a beast and could easily be the Rookie of the Year or he could crumble under the heavy workload.  I think he’ll have to keep it going for them to survive.  The Reds have a great team and it's hard to pinpoint any one player that will be a difference maker for them in the second half... the NL East is arguably the worst division in baseball right now.  The Braves should have enough of a lead to keep the Phillies and Nationals at bay but it could come down to the wire.

AL  MVP – Miguel Cabrera
AL Cy – Max Scherzer
AL ROY – Nick Franklin
AL MOY – John Farrell
AL Rolaids – Mariano Rivera
Player to watch 2nd half – Jason Kipnis

With Miguel Cabrera, it’s pretty clear that we are witnessing greatness.  Chris Davis has been an amazing story but Miguel Cabrera leads the leagues in runs, hits, runs batted in, walks, batting average, on-base percentage, OPS and adjusted OPS.  He’s an amazing player that seems to be getting better.  It’s absolutely shocking that 2013 marked the first season he was selected to start an all-star game.  

Max Scherzer became the first pitcher since Roger Clemens (1986) to win his first 13 starts; a feat which has only been accomplished five times since 1920… he’s also second in the AL in strikeouts second among starters in WHIP.  Advanced metrics might point you elsewhere but I’ll take Scherzer here.  

Picking Mo’ might seem cheesy but he’s 30 for 32 in save opportunities (one of three relievers in the AL with +30 saves).  Joe Nathan is probably the most deserving but I’ll take Mo’ in his retirement year as the somewhat sentimental selection.

Jason Kipnis is pulling it all together; quietly having a great season for the over-achieving Indians (who are currently 1.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers for first in the AL Central).  I'm not sure if the Indians have enough to supplant the Tigers and the Wild Card is going to be tough to earn this year so this could be wrong but no one is really talking about the Indians and that makes them very dangerous.


NL MVP- Paul Goldschmidt
NL Cy-Adam Wainwright
NL ROY-Gerrit Cole
NL MOY- Clint Hurdle
NL Rolaids-Jason Grilli
Player to watch second half-Joey Votto

Every morning I watch the highlights from the games the night before on ESPN and it seems Goldschmidt is always on there.  Have to give him first half MVP.  Almost went with Harvey as my Cy, but he has been human his last few starts.  I also think the Pirates will fade in the second half, but will finish above .500.  With Jeff Locke and Cole, they have some pitching to carry them now.

AL MVP- Miguel Cabrera (who else ?)
AL CY- Max Scherzer 
AL ROY- Nick Franklin
AL MOY- Joe Girardi
AL Rolaids- Mariano Rivera
Player to watch 2nd half.-Prince Fielder

Cabrera is best player on the planet right now and his stats are better than last years triple crown year.  He could win a second as I think Davis will cool down in second half.  With injuries to David Price, Jered Weaver and C.C. Sabathia, Scherzer has been the best pitcher so far.  Girardi has kept the Yanks in it despite his whole team on the DL.  Nobody has done a better job of keeping a team together.


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