With the second-half of the MLB season getting back underway, and the All-Star festivities in the rearview, it’s the perfect time to hand out some awards for the first-half of the season. And afterwards, we might as well have some fun (horribly) predicting what we may see in the second-half of the year.
Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Welp, I guess I’ve spoiled my NL Cy Young pick. Kershaw is certainly deserving of the MVP, though. Kershaw’s 11-2 record and 1.79 ERA are remarkable in this day and age. Think of where the Dodgers would be without him — average at best.
Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros
I honestly tried not to give this to Altuve because he’s the sexy pick right now, but he’s too deserving. The Rangers, Indians, Red Sox and so forth have been such team efforts, but the 5’6” Altuve has been above average or elite in every category to carry Houston on his miniature shoulders.
NL Cy Young
Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
He’s been MVP good, no doubt about it. But let’s take a moment to just acknowledge how good the Bumgarner/Cueto duo has been. That’s going to be scary in October.
AL Cy Young
Chris Sale, SP, Chicago White Sox
Salzar and Kluber have been spectacular in Cleveland, but I’m sticking with the Kershaw argument here. The White Sox have cooled off since their hot start, but the playoffs are still realistic. That’s all because of Sale. Take away his 14-2 record and Chicago’s season is already over.
Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
Seager’s hitting .303 and provides a ton of power for a middle infielder — 17 HRs and a trip to the HR Derby this season. After the start Trevor Story had to the season, it looked like this award would be locked up. But Seager has emerged as a true star for years to come.
Michael Fulmer, SP, Detroit Tigers
Fulmer is running away with the award as by far the best rookie in the AL this season. The Tigers really maximized the value of Yoenis Cespedes by adding this kid. Fulmer went 9-2 in the first-half with a 2.11 ERA. The future’s bright here.
Dusty Baker, Washington Nationals
We thought it was the Cubs vs. everyone else, and just look at where the Nationals are now. The move to Dusty has proved to be well worth it.
Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians
The Cavs may have seriously stolen the Indians thunder in Cleveland, because the Tribe are right behind Texas for the best record in the AL. People are seriously considering the Indians as WS contenders.
- The Red Sox add front end starters in Jeremy Hellickson and Rich Hill which allows them to overcome the Orioles and win the AL East. We get to see David Ortiz operate at the dish in the postseason one last time.
- It’s not all bad for the O’s, though. Two more AL East teams get in behind the Sox and face off in the wildcard game despite a hard push from the ‘Stros: Baltimore vs. Toronto.
- Behind some minor trades, but mostly getting fully healthy, the Indians and Rangers play in the ALCS.
- For the first time in years, the Yankees are forced to become sellers and cash in on Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran.
- The current division winners maintain their dominance and the Nationals, Cubs and Giants go on to win with ease.
- When it comes to the wildcard game, we get one traditional power in the Dodgers, while the surprise Marlins squeak in.
- It’s an even year … it has to be the Giants! Right? Nope. Cubs and Nationals meet in what will be one entertaining NLCS. I reserve the right to change this pick if San Fran adds some bats at the deadline.
- With such dominance at the top of the league, we see more sellers than ever at the bottom on the NL in Philly, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Cincy, San Diego and Arizona — some of which have already been active.
- And, of course, it’s time to botch a World Series prediction. It’s Cleveland’s year, guys. The Indians get hot at the right time behind the perfect balance of offense and starting pitching and top the Cubs. One step closer to ending the curse, but not quite yet for Chicago.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.