Being that this MLB’s midsummer night’s dream, or, maybe nightmare (if your team’s season is in the toilet already)… ummm… I mean break…let’s give out some mid-summer awards….
1) Who is your NL and AL MVP?
Dan: I have to give my AL MVP vote to Mike Trout. Right now, according to ESPN.com, Trout is boasting a 5.9 WAR which is higher than Miguel Cabrera despite him having a worse OBP/BA, but, has more HR & RBI. He is 2nd in the AL in OBP/BA though with Cabrera directly behind him. Nobody is playing better, in my opinion, than Mike Trout.
In the NL, I’m giving my MVP to Bryce Harper. Nobody can top him, not even Mike Trout. A better OBP, more HRs, RBI and he has a 6.2 WAR. There’s nobody on top of the NL like Harper and I can’t see anybody else getting it at this point.
Joe: In the AL it’s gotta be Mike Trout… slash line of .312/.405/.614 is overall superior to all the other statistical slash lines and arguably without his bat in the lineup are the Angels in the playoffs?
In the NL, the favorite for MVP is probably Bryce Harper but I’m going with Paul Goldschmidt … the dude has 60 runs scored, 20 doubles, 21 HRs, 70 RBIs, 68 walks, 16 stolen bases and a slash line of .340/.455/.610
He actually is better than Harper in almost every category except doubles (a difference of 1) Homers (a difference of 5) and Harpers slash line is arguably a tad better but only by a slim margin. Plus, believe it or not the D’backs have a shot at making the playoffs as a wild card and would they have that shot without Goldschmidt leading the way… I think not.
Steve: Let’s start in the American League. I think it really is between two Angels, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. I give the nod to Trout as he sports a slightly better average, and, can do so much more with his defense than Pujols. But, Pujols is having a great rebound year. Probably will end up with 40 HR’s if he stays healthy.
In the National League, it has to be Bryce Harper of the Nationals. Leading in most offensive categories right now and can play a little defense. He is having a career year, and scary part is, he is probably going to get better.
2) Now… who is your NL and AL Cy Young?
Dan: Honestly, the AL Cy Young is too close for me to really give a definite winner but I’m not going to be that person to sit in the middle and not pick, so, I’ll pick Dallas Keuchel out of Houston. Sonny Gray out of Oakland is having an amazing season pitching a better WHIP/ERA, K/9 and K/BB ratio but Keuchel is getting almost a full run less in support per game, has 2 shut outs, 3 complete games, almost a full point ahead in WAR, 8 less wild pitches, hasn’t hit a batter this season (Gray has hit 2). He has an insane 1.80 ground-ball to fly-ball ratio, which nobody even comes close to from a quick run through the stats page on ESPN.com. He also has faced 50 more batters, 185 more pitches. He’s also only given up 2 stolen bases while Gray has given up 5. Also, Keuchel has 15 quality starts in 19 starts to Gray’s 13 quality starts in 18 starts.
In the NL, I think the race is clear. Zack Greinke boasts the lowest ERA in the MLB at 1.39, has a WHIP of 0.84 and is having an amazing season only walking 20 batters, striking out 106. He’s by far the Cy Young winner in the NL. An interesting note, he gives up more fly-balls than ground-balls, yet, still is boasting the stats he has. Just pure amazing.
And, they deserve the pick…
Greinke has an 8-2 W/L record, with 106 Ks and only 8 walks (ratio of 5.3 to 1); a 0.84 WHIP and 1.39 ERA… that ERA is a throw back to when guys like Koufax and Gibson were pitching around the late sixties. Opponents are batting only .191 against Greinke.
Gray has a 10-3 record, with 108 Ks and only 10 walks (ratio of 3.6 to 1); a 0.96 WHIP and 2.04 ERA. Opponents are batting only .198 against Gray.
His record isn’t showing much as he is not getting the run support, but, Sale is the best pitcher in baseball right now in my opinion.
In the National League its close, but, I give Zack Greinke the nod just ahead of Max Scherzer.
Greinke has sported a nice shutout streak, and is pitching probably better than he did during his Cy Young season in 2008. Scherzer is having an awesome year, but Greinke to me has had the better stats.
3) And… Who is the NL and AL Rookie of the Year?
Dan: I think the AL Rookie of the Year is Billy Burns, the only player with qualifiable stats that really even is doing something. Has a .303 batting average, OBP of .34 and has a couple home runs, 16 RBI.
In the NL, it’s clearly Kris Bryant who’s having a great season just like he was projected to have. .269 batting average but a .376 on-base percentage, has 12 home runs and 51 RBI, he’s doing an absolute incredible job in Chicago both at the plate and in the field. Clearly a rookie-of-the-year top candidate and likely winner at the end of the season.
Joe: NL ROY… Kris Bryant… who else? Cubbies held him down in the minors so they could squeeze an extra year out of him before free agency and when he finally came up to the Bigs he produced as advertised… slash line of .269/.376/.472 with 12 homers, 51 RBIs and 47 runs scored. Add that month, or so, he missed to his totals and he probably is at least close to the league leaders in RBIs and Runs.
Th AL is not as clear cut but I’ll go with Billy Burns… arguably he just has the best stats of any of the AL’s rookies… .303/.340/.399 slash line and has 17 steals in 19 tries… doesn’t walk much (12) but then he doesn’t strikeout much either (40)… in other words the guy puts the ball in play… he learns a little discipline with the bat and he may be able to raise his runs and RBI totals up a tad.
Steve: Kris Bryant wins in the NL, and, I don’t think it will be close. This kid has been everything as advertised for Chicago. He participated in the HR derby, and, made the All Star team in his first season. Keep in mind he didn’t even start the season in the big leagues.
In the American League there really is no clear cut star that stands out, but ,I will go, as of right now, with Carlos Correa of the Astros. Correa enters the All star break with a .276 average, and 7 HR. Sure the numbers don’t stand out, but, I think, Correa is going to get better as the season progresses and he wins the award.
4) Something a little different… who are the NL and Al biggest disappointments this season so far… or as recently depicted by an ESPN writer wrote… who is the LVP… the Least Valuable Player?
I don’t really have a least valuable player, but, this team started off in the dumpster with the worst record in the majors. They were supposed to compete for the NL Central title and be in the playoff hunt the whole season but now they’re trying to claw their own way out of the grave they dug themselves in. They’ll be lucky to get into the playoff contention towards the end of the season.
The AL’s biggest disappointment has to be the Oakland Athletics after the season they were having last year in the race for the AL West crown with the Angels, they’re now in last place in the West and don’t look like they’ll be competing this season.
Joe: In the AL… Robinson Cano… his numbers, for him, are really in the toilet… if he keeps up his current pace he may not even get 75 runs scored with 60 RBIs… and his slash line for 2015 (.251/.290/.370) is not even close to his career slash line (.306/.354/.492).
In the NL… Steven Strasberg… guy was supposed to really bloom this year with Max Scherzer slotted in as the Nationals ace… taking the pressure off Strasburg to be that ace.
He’s always been just about ready to jump into the limelight of stardom that was predicted for him from day one of his being drafted, and, has actually had some damn decent numbers even if his won/loss record didn’t indicate it… simply put, he’s never had a season where his ERA was above 3.16 or his WHIP was over 1.12.
Until this year… ERA 5.16, WHIP 1.49.
I really thought Cashner would be a 20 game winner this season, and, compete for the NL Cy Young. But instead, he already has double digit losses. Sure, the Padres don’t know how to score runs when he pitches, but, he has been a disappointment.
5) Which NL and AL player have been the biggest surprises? Not necessarily an award winner but the player who has brought his game to an entirely other level… be it a higher one or a lower one.
Dan: The NL player who was the biggest surprise to me is
. I never expected him to be having the success he is, topping his career-high in HR and RBI in a season, having the best BA in his career.
The AL, for me, is Brian McCann definitely turning it around at the plate raising his BA and raising his OBP 40 points after making his switch from Atlanta to the Yankees in the off-season.
Joe: In the AL… I think it has to be Alex Rodriguez… the guy was injured for almost a full year and then suspended for another year… At 39 and trying to come back from being out of the game for about two years nobody predicted he would do well… yet… .278/.382/.515 slash line with 18 HRs, 51 RBIs and 48 runs scored… at that pace we’re talking a season of 36 HRs, 100 plus RBIS and about 95 plus runs scored… comeback player of the year?
In the NL.. the Mets young pitching staff doing the unthinkable…winning and making the Mets into a contender for at least a wild card. Jacob deGrom (9-6, 2.14 ERA & 0.92 WHIP, Matt Harvey (8-6, 3.07 ERA & 1.08 WHIP), Noah Syndergaard (4-4, 3.11 ERA & 1.11 WHIP) and Steven Matz, (presently on the 15 day DL but in two games was 2-0, 1.32 ERA & .878 WHIP.)
Steve: I don’t know how you can argue with Dallas Keuchel of the Astros. Absolutely dominant at home, and, started the All Star Game for the American League. Keuchel came out of no where really, and, has only been in the big leagues a couple of years. He is leading the Astros this season with his pitching, and, he should contend for the Cy Young Award this season.
This day in baseball…
1902 – John McGraw was named manager of the New York Giants, a job he would hold for thirty years
1909 – Ed Summers of the Detroit Tigers pitched all eighteen innings of a 0-0 tie with the Washington Senators, the longest scoreless game in American League history
1920 – Babe Ruth broke his own season record of twenty-nine homers with his thirtieth as the New York Yankees beat the St. Louis Browns 5-2. Ruth would finish the season with fifty-four
1941 – Joe DiMaggio extended his hitting streak to fifty-six games with a 3-for-4 day as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 10-3.
1948 – After 8 1/2 years as Brooklyn manager, Leo Durocher stunned baseball by becoming manager of the Giants in midseason.
1970 – The Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 before 48,846 in the first game at Three Rivers Stadium.
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