MLB Midseason Awards
NL Rookie of the Year
Winner – Pete Alonso
Runner up – Fernando Tatis Jr.
Other contenders Mike Soroka, Alex Verdugo
A deep race compared to the AL between this class. I will be honest with you the three other rookies who do not win this award will be better than the AL winner. Pete Alonso has 32 home runs and 72 RBIs and posts OPS+ of 166 or better something only three other have done. Those three are Aaron Judge, Jose Abreu and Mike Trout, very good company there. Alonso also ranks fifth in WAR among NL position players and fourth in NL offensive WAR. You also add that to being sixth in RBIs and fifth in slugging in the NL as well. Only other player close on that list is Verdugo who ranks top 10 in NL defensive WAR. Tatis Jr. is behind simply because he missed all of May with a hamstring injury. When playing he does have a close OPS+ to Alonso ,he has less power and is worse on defense compared to Alonso. Tatis Jr. also only has 34 RBIs and a OBP of .392 but that .325 batting average is what is keeping him close in this race. Soroka is having a quiet year compared to the exciting Alonso. Soroka is 10-1 with a 2.24 ERA and 82 strikeouts so far and a 1.048 WHIP. It is a compelling case but a bigger name like Alonso has the edge so far especially when Soroka has only made 17 starts. As for Verdugo he seems like the odd man out here despite as mentioned above being top 10 in defensive WAR in the NL. His hitting stats are still good as well hitting .304 and having a OPS of .857 and 44 RBIs. If Verdugo was in the AL he win the award easily as unfortunately the NL is too stacked this year.
AL Rookie of the Year
Winner – Brandon Lowe
Runner up – John Means
Other contenders – Eloy Jimenez
Well talk about a boring race without the presence of Vladimir Guerrero Jr, compared to the NL race this one is lackluster. So far the advantage goes in favor of Brandon Lowe. Lowe is hitting .276/.339/.523 with 16 homers, five steals and OPS .862, 49 RBIs and has good defensive stats as well. As for John Means his case is tough to present. Means is on the worst team in baseball so he does not get that much attention as Lowe. His stats are not bad with a 3.6 WAR and a 8-5 record with a 2.95 ERA but it will be very hard for him to upstage a position player who plays every day. As for Jimenez his stats are not as good as Lowe giving him an outside shot at upstaging him in the race. Going on the IL list again after already missing 21 games does not help him either.
NL Manager of the Year Dave
Winner – Dave Roberts
Runner up – Brian Snitker
Being up fourteen in your division and being tied for the best record in baseball should automatically win Dave Roberts this award. When you are on pace to win 100 games again for the second time in three years that should also automatically make it a lock. Brian Snitker has done well to balance a team full of young players and veterans to potentially win the NL East again for the second straight year barring a collapse. However the nod should just go to Roberts for what was mentioned above.
AL Manager of the Year
Winner – Aaron Boone
Runner up – Rocco Baldelli
Unlike the NL, this race could go either way as both present great cases. Aaron Boone has had a lot put on his plate for a second year manager. Losing your ace and your two stars for multiple months due to injury does not help to go along with other key injuries. Yet the Yankees have dominated the AL East and are tied for the best record in baseball with the Dodgers. Instead of being out of the playoff contention like most teams do when injuries happen. Boone kept the team together to not only secure a playoff spot but be World Series contenders. Baldelli has made the Twins an AL contender and has done a great job keeping consistency with the Twins. However Boone work so far this season is unmatched especially for a second year manager.
NL MVP winner – Cody Bellinger
Runner up Christan Yelich ,
Other contenders Anthony Rendon, Josh Bell,
Baring a sudden second half collapse this is an easy pick unless you are a Brewers fan in Cody Bellinger. It looked like back in April this would be a close race between Yelich and Bellinger. Since then Bellinger has put a big gap between the two. Bellinger has a batting average of .336 71 RBIs and 30 home runs. Bellinger also leads other categories OPS+, runs scored, all three WARs and has more walks and better defense then Yelich. Only thing keeping Yelich in this race is that Yelich is hitting .329/.433/.707 with 31 home runs and a 180 wRC+. Where Bellinger has is at 336/.432/.692 with 30 home runs and a 184 wRC+. While these are similar to Bellinger it will not be enough for Yelich to overtake him. The rest of the guys on the other contenders list will get votes in the final for their productive seasons but will not win the NL MVP.
AL MVP winner – Mike Trout
Other contenders Alex Bergman, Rafael Devers, Matt Chapman
Well another one that is very easy Trout is winning MVP barring a collapse. Trout leads the AL in home runs, OBP, walks, slugging and all three WARs. Add that onto his .305 batting average, 75 RBIs and his stellar defense. Mike Trout is the best player in baseball but you still have to make a case for the other contenders on the list. Rafael Devers is having a great year with his hitting stats of .324/.377/.546. Alex Bergman case is helping carrying the Astros lineup with Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa all being out with injuries this year. Bergman also has 24 home runs and 61RBIs .407 OBP. Matt Chapman sits second behind Trout in WAR and offers 59 RBIs as well .915 OPS. However it is clear cut Trout is winning AL MVP.
NL Cy Young
Winner Hyun- Jin Ryu
Runner up – Max Scherzer
Other contenders – none
This is the arguably the closest awards race and probably most watched as well between two very great pitchers. Hyun- Jin Ryu has a 0.75 ERA at home games at Dodger Stadium to go along with his current 11-2 record, a 1.76 ERA, and 14 walks, which are stats that are hard to ignore. As for Max Scherzer he leads the league in strikeouts as usual with 181 and spots a 2.30 ERA. Scherzer because of being consistent year in and year out is the best pitcher in baseball and had a dominant June to put his name in the race. Despite leading Ryu in innings pitch and being first in WAR as well. Scherzer has missed two starts so far in the second half of the season which puts him behind Ryu in the race for now. However I expect this race to go down to the wire as Scherzer is closing quick once he returns.
AL Cy Young
Winner – Charlie Morton
Runner up – Justin Verlander
Not going to lie I was ready to hand this to Justin Verlander on a silver platter. However the last couple of weeks have changed the order of this race. Charlie Morton currently has a 11-3 record with a 2.61 ERA and 152 strikeouts and is second the AL in wOBA. Right now Morton currently ranks first in ERA, sixth in strikeouts, fourth in WHIP and third in BBA and first in FIP. Now Verlander on the other hand has a 12-4 record and a 2.99 ERA with 172 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.765 and a WAR of 4.1 compared to Morton 3.7. It is a close race but I am ready to give the edge to Morton for now. However it would not shock me if the two flipped again when I revisit these awards in October.
By Ashkan Motamedi