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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 11: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Nationals Park on May 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

MLB Midseason Awards: Who Would Take Home The Hardware If The Season Ended Today

The with the MLB All-Star game in the rearview mirror, the pro baseball season has officially hit its halfway point. While there are still a little over two months for players to prove why they deserve awards come October, it’s always fun to examine who would take home the hardware if the season were to end today. That being the case, let’s talk about our midseason award winners and how the race could look by the time the postseason comes around.

american league mvp: josé ramírez, third baseman, cleveland indians

2018 stats: .304 BA, 30 HR, 72 RBI, 70 R, 20 SB, .404 OBP, .637 SLG, 7.0 WAR

For the first couple of months of the 2018 season, it seemed as though LA Angels center fielder Mike Trout would run away with his third MVP award, but José Ramírez has been unbelievable for just about all of 2018 so far. They’re still neck-and-neck at this point, but I’m going to give the slight edge to Ramírez, who leads all of baseball in home runs and is second only to Boston’s JD Martinez RBIs among American League players. Ramírez’s Indians are also first in the AL Central, while the Angels are stewing at an even 50-50, although that’s only good for fourth place in a fantastic AL West, another reason as to why I’m giving him the midseason AL MVP.It’ll be a tight race for the remainder of the year and Trout could easily come out on top, but Ramírez has my vote so far.

Runner-up: Mike Trout, Center Fielder, Los Angeles Angels

Third Place: Mookie Betts, Right Fielder, Boston Red Sox

national league mvp: nolan arenado, third baseman, colorado rockies

2018 stats: .310 BA, 25 HR, 72 RBI, 66 R, 2 SB, .394 OBP, .592 SLG, 4.0 WAR

After finishing as a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove winner, and in the top 8 in MVP votes every year since 2015, 2018 seems to finally be Nolan Arenado’s year to bring home the MVP. Not only is he on pace to maintain his status as one of the most statistically dominant, but his Rockies could very well have their best final record of Arenado’s tenure with the team by the end of the season. They sit in third place in a very strong NL West and only a game and a half out of the second Wild Card spot, so we could very well see them in the postseason. Sure, this is in part due to the National League being extremely weak this year, but you can’t deny Arenado’s prowess both at the plate and in the hot corner.

Runner-up: Max Scherzer, Starting Pitcher, Washington Nationals

Third Place: Jacob deGrom, Starting Pitcher, New York Mets

american league cy young: chris sale, starting pitcher, boston red sox

2018 stats: 11-4, 2.13 ERA, 0.894 WHIP, 197 SO, 135.0 IP, 6.0 WAR

Another year, another season of dominance from Chris Sale. Since 2012, Sale has never finished lower than sixth in AL Cy Young voting, and 2018 could very well be his best season yet. He’s on pace to have a career best in both ERA and WHIP, both of which are currently good for second place in all of baseball. The Red Sox also have the best record among all Major League teams, which only helps Sale’s shot at garnering his first ever Cy Young.

Runner-up: Justin Verlander, Starting Pitcher, Houston Astros

Third Place: Luis Severino, Starting Pitcher, New York Yankees

National league cy young: max scherzer, Starting Pitcher, Washington Nationals

2018 stats: 13-5, 2.43 ERA, 0.924 WHIP, 189 SO, 140.2 IP, 5.7 WAR

It has been a crazy tight NL Cy Young race between Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom over the first half of the 2018 season. Both pitchers have been absolutely lights out, so much so that they are both making solid cases for MVP honors as well as the NL Cy Young, but I have to give the slightest of edges to Scherzer as of right now for one main reason: the huge discrepancy between their two records. Scherzer’s 13-5 is far superior to deGrom’s 5-4, although this is obviously largely due to the Nationals being a way better team than the Mets. Nonetheless, Cy Young voters take records into account, and while I don’t think it should play as big a role as it does, it has to put Scherzer over deGrom despite the latter’s superior 1.68 ERA. Come season’s end, Scherzer may actually just run away with the NL Cy Young, given the high probability of deGrom being traded to an AL team, but that’s neither here nor there at the moment.

Runner-up: Jacob deGrom, Starting Pitcher, New York Mets

Third Place: Aaron Nola, Starting Pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies

American League Rookie of the year: shohei ohtani, starting pitcher/designated hitter, los angeles angels

2018 batting stats: .282 BA, 7 HR, 22 RBI, 24, R, 2 SB, .363 OBP, .513 SLG, 2.3 WAR

2018 pitching stats: 4-1, 3.10 ERA, 1.135 WHIP, 61 SO, 49.1 IP, 2.3 WAR

Separately, the two stat lines above aren’t necessarily numbers which indicate an Rookie of the Year winner, but they’re something pretty special when you put them together. During the past offseason, Ohtani was one of the most hyped up prospects I’ve ever seen, and while he certainly hasn’t been the “Japanese Babe Ruth” so far, he has been mostly capable of living up to those lofty expectations. He’s been excellent both on the mound as well as at the plate, with his midseason RotY chances only being hurt due to the fact that he missed most of June with an elbow injury. However, given the fact that Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres is the most probable runner-up at this point despite having made his Major League debut toward the end of April, it sort of balances out.

Runner-up: Gleyber Torres, Second Baseman, New York Yankees

Third Place: Miguel Andújar, Third Baseman, New York Yankees

National league rookie of the year: Juan Soto, left fielder, washington nationals

2018 stats: .311 BA, 10 HR, 31 RBI, 34 R, 2 SB, .422 OBP, .546 SLG, 1.2 WAR

The NL Rookie of the Year race is a tough one to judge, as both Juan Soto and Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson go back and forth in terms of who leads specific statistical categories, but they have vastly different WARs. Anderson has a WAR of 2.7, which is obviously far superior to Soto’s 1.2. However, I’m making the case for Soto despite this, considering that he debuted in the Majors on May 20, while Anderson started out the 2018 season on the Marlins roster. Over the past two months, Soto has been by far the best rookie in the National League and I believe he’ll finish 2018 with the NL RotY in tow. I mean, on June 29, he became the first teenager in MLB history to record a 4-hit game, in which he also hit  a pair of home runs. It’s a toss up due to Soto’s dominance and Anderson’s longevity, but I have to give the edge to Soto considering how incredible he has been.

Runner-up: Brian Anderson, Third Baseman, Miami Marlins

Third Place: Seranthony Dominguez, Relief Pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies

 

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Written by Mike Conn