We've got some midseason baseball awards

We've got some midseason baseball awards

MVP, Cy Young, Manager of the Year? We pick them all as we head toward All-Star Break

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Let’s hand out some fake awards, because why not. The baseball season is nearing the halfway point, with the sport shutting down for the All-Star Break after this coming Sunday. Some familiar names have dominated headlines, but a few surprises have worked their way into the conversation as well.

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AL MVP - Shohei Ohtani

AL MVP - Shohei Ohtani

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In the American League, for my money, it’s Shohei Ohtani. It seems like a new milestone, a new record, a new “ohhh did you see that?!” moment happens with Ohtani on a nightly basis. This week he set the record for most home runs in a single season by a Japanese-born player (32), previously held by Hideki Matsui. Just a casual reminder, he did so on July 7. Before the All-Star Break. Also, a reminder that he’s also a starting pitcher with a 4-1 record.

It’s only fair to also give a nod to young phenom Vlad Guerrero, Jr., who has emerged into a prolific batter. He leads the AL in batting average (.341), on-base percentage (.439), OPS (1.118), hits (104), and RBI (73). It’s squarely a two-horse race between Guerrero and Ohtani for the AL MVP.

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NL MVP - Fernando Tatis, Jr.

NL MVP - Fernando Tatis, Jr.

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On the National League side of things, It’s Fernando Tatís, Jr.. A five-tool player who can do literally everything on the baseball diamond, Tatís leads the NL in home runs (28, the most ever before the break for a shortstop), slugging percentage (.680), OPS (1.058), and stolen bases (20). The guy does everything, and he does it with the passion and swagger that the face of the league should.

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NL CY YOUNG - Jacob deGrom

NL CY YOUNG - Jacob deGrom

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This award is Jacob deGrom’s for now and forever until he retires, amen. I’ll spend two sentences on deGrom, who is having the best season in his Hall-of-Fame career. He has a 1.08 ERA and a fastball that regularly clocks in above 100 mph, and he’s surrendered only 39 hits so far this season in 92.0 innings of work. He averages 14.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Right now, he is arguably as dominant a pitcher as we have ever seen.

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AL CY YOUNG - Lance Lynn

AL CY YOUNG - Lance Lynn

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In the American League, It’s a little tighter, but not by much. A surprise front runner has emerged on the South Side of Chicago in Lance Lynn, who has been dominant so far this season. He has a 1.99 ERA to go along with a 9-3 record (not that wins should really mean anything for pitchers, but I digress), and has 105 strikeouts, giving the White Sox a true ace at the top of their rotation. He’s also incredibly fun to root for and uh, likes to swear.

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AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR - Alex Cora

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR - Alex Cora

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Managers are a fun thing to talk about, especially because a lot of them have done really stupid things this year, like Tony La Russa being stuck in the dark ages, and Joe Girardi requesting that Max Scherzer be searched for sticky substances about a thousand times in one game. In terms of managers that actually are doing well, though, Alex Cora has taken a Red Sox team that traded away Mookie Betts and has them in first place in the AL East with a 54-34 record. For a team that many assumed would not be competitive and has had to weather the start of the season without ace Chris Sale, Cora has performed a miracle to stop what certainly would have been a coup by the Boston faithful.

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NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR - Gabe Kapler

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR - Gabe Kapler

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In the National League, who in the hell thought the San Francisco Giants would not only be relevant, but would be in first place in a division with the Dodgers and Padres? They’re 54-32 with the best record in baseball, and I bet you can’t name five players on their team not named Posey and Yastrzemski. We were cautiously optimistic in May, and here we are at the All-Star Break still talking about them. A hat tip and standing ovation to second-year manager Gabe Kapler, whose team has no business being in first place, but is anyways.


Enjoy the festivities of the All-Star Game next week, and buckle up for the second half of the season. The way some of these guys are playing, we could see some records broken.

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