The MLB All-Star Game on July 14 marks the official halfway point for the MLB season. With the halfway point comes a tradition unlike any other: picking MLB Award winners that won’t win until November. We are seeing tight races across the league, and if the first half is any indication, we are in for a wild second half of the season.
AL: Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers (Honorable Mentions: Mike Trout – Angels, Josh Donaldson – Blue Jays)
Miguel Cabrera has been the best player in the AL so far this year, but a recent left calf strain will put him on the DL for six weeks and will likely remove him from contention going forward. It’s a shame as Cabrera was dominating at the plate, leading the AL in batting average and ranking seventh in RBIs. His injury is a devastating blow to the Detroit Tigers, who are struggling to get into the AL Wild Card mix. This opens the door for Trout and Donaldson to come in and steal the MVP away from Cabrera, as both players need to boost their batting averages to make a definitive claim to the throne.
NL: Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals (Honorable Mentions: Paul Goldschmidt – Diamondbacks, Buster Posey – Giants)
Bryce Harper is currently running away with the NL MVP. He is having the best season of his career, ranking second in the NL in Home Runs and batting average, fourth in RBIs, and first in WAR. His numbers across the board have been spectacular and he is a key part of the Nationals emerging as one of the hottest teams in the league. Harper finally seems to have reached his potential. While Paul Goldschmidt is trying his hardest to keep pace, the NL MVP is Harper’s to lose.
Cy Young Award:
AL: Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros (Honorable Mentions: Sonny Gray – As, Chris Archer – Rays)
Keuchel has been a shining star for the Houston Astros this season. He currently has the best record of all AL pitchers (11-3) and opposing hitters have not found a way to generate runs off of him, as his ERA stands at 2.14 through July 8. His current record combined with his 4.6 bWAR rating gives him the edge over equally exceptional pitchers Gray and Archer.
NL: Zack Greinke – LA Dodgers (Honorable Mentions: Max Scherzer – Nationals, Gerrit Cole – Pirates)
This is probably the most exciting battle to watch heading into the All-Star Game and likely will be in the second half as well. Greinke has been phenomenal, posting a 7-2 record and a 1.48 ERA. He has been virtually impossible to score runs on, only allowing 20 runs during the entire season to date. Even a no-hitter and a recent hot streak from Max Scherzer can’t overshadow what Greinke has been doing.
Manager of the Year:
AL: A.J. Hinch – Houston Astros (Honorable Mentions: Ned Yost – Royals, Paul Molitor – Twins)
Patience has finally paid off for the Astros. Their young talent was finally ready to come together and take over the American League and they have done just that. Houston currently sits with the second-best record in the AL (49-38) and has a 1 and 1/2 game lead over pre-season favorite Angels. Hinch has finally put all the pieces together and the road to the playoffs look bright under his watch.
NL: Mike Matheny – St. Louis Cardinals (Honorable Mentions: Matt Williams – Nationals, Joe Maddon – Cubs)
It’s time to give some love to the best franchise in all of baseball. In a division that may produce three playoff teams this season, the Cardinals have absolutely dominated. They withstood the loss of their ace Adam Weinwright to a torn left Achilles injury and still have a league-best 55-30 record through July 8. The Cardinals continue to be the most consistent, stable organization in baseball and it’s time for Matheny to get rewarded for the incredible job he has done, with this season being some of his finest work to date.
My Personal All Star Game Starters:
C – Stephen Vogt – Oakland Athletics
1B – Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers (Injury Replacement: Albert Pujols- LA Angels)
2B – Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
3B – Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
SS – Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox
OF – Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
OF – Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
OF – Brett Gardner – New York Yankees
SP – Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
C – Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
1B – Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
2B – Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins
3B – Todd Frazier – Cincinnati Reds
SS – Brandon Crawford – San Francisco Giants
OF – Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
OF – Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins (Replacement: A.J. Pollock- Arizona Diamondbacks)
OF – Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
SP – Zack Greinke – Los Angeles Dodgers
*Note: All stats are as of Thursday, July 9th, 2015.
See all the action for yourself with MLB All-Star Game tickets available at Ticket Liquidator.