We’ve reached the baseball’s midway point of the season: The MLB All-Star break. The competition for the end of the season awards is already heating up. Let’s take a look at the contenders for the major awards at this point in time.
First, we’ll begin with the American League MVP award. David Ortiz is having a historically brilliant final season in the MLB. At 40 years old, Ortiz is batting .332 with 22 home runs and 72 RBIs. He’s also leading the league in on base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS. A player with a different style but still incredibly effective is Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros. The 5’6 165 pound second basemen is leading the AL with a .341 batting average. He’s also second in stolen bases and fourth in OPS. The league leader in home runs is Mark Trumbo of the Baltimore Orioles. He has 28 long balls, along with 68 RBIs and is batting .288. Finally, we can’ forget about Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout. Trout is batting .322 with 18 home runs, 58 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. He’s also second in walks and third in OPS. The only thing that might ruin his candidacy is the fact that the Angels are one of the worst teams in the American League.
Let’s shift to the Cy Young award, where there’s pretty much only 2 serious contenders. The Cleveland Indians have been one of the hottest teams in all of baseball. Their top pitcher is Danny Salazar, who is having the best season of his career. On the year, he’s 10-3 with a 2.75 ERA, which is good for second in the AL. Another pitcher having a great season in the AL Central is Chris Sale of the White Sox. Sale is leading the league in wins with 14. He also leads the league in innings pitched, complete games, third in strikeouts and fourth in WHIP.
Now we’ll head to the National League, where the MVP race is wide open. Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs has been one of the most productive players in all of baseball. He’s leading the NL in home runs with 25, and ranks third in RBIs with 65. He’s also first in runs, and fifth in OPS and slugging. The Washington Nationals signed Daniel Murphy last off-season and many wondered if he could put up big numbers like he did in the 2015 postseason. Murphy hasn’t disappointed. He’s leading the National League with a .348 batting average. He’s also second in RBIs, second in slugging and third in OPS. Finally, Nolan Arenado has had terrific year so far for the Rockies. He’s first in RBIs with 70, second in home runs with 23 and third in runs. But like Trout, Arenado might suffer the consequences of his team being towards the bottom of the league.
Finally, probably the tightest race of these four is in the NL Cy Young award. Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw could be the leader in the club house. He’s 11-2 with a league leading 1.79 ERA. He also leads the league in WHIP, ranks second in complete games and fourth in strike outs. Last year’s winner, Jake Arrieta, seemed to be the front runner for most of the season, but two losses in a row have hurt him. He still has a record of 12-4 with a 2.68 ERA. The San Fransisco Giants signed Johnny Cueto to a six year deal last off-season, and it seems to have been a great move. Cueto is 13-1 with a 2.47 ERA. He also leads the league in innings pitched and complete games. Stephen Strasburg is 12-0 this season for the Nationals with a 2.62 ERA. And finally, Jose Fernandez has made the Marlins relevant this year, with an 11-4 record and a 2.52 ERA.
Who do you think is going to win these end of the season awards?