MLB

BIGPLAY Staff MLB Midseason Awards

Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers

Which superstar sluggers and pitchers are leading the major award races?

Photo courtesy of AP

As the second half of the 2019 MLB season gets underway, it’s time to take a look at which players and managers are leading the way for each yearly award. Some things aren’t much different than they were a couple of months ago in the quarter-season ballots, while some races have flipped dramatically.

A first-place vote earns five points, a second-place vote earns four points, etc. The other voters include Chase Richardson, Dan Starr, Mike Burvee, Imari McPherson, Jaden Stambolia, and Aidan Jensen.

Final voting for the MLB Midseason Awards

AL MVP – Mike Trout

Chasing his third AL MVP win over the last six seasons, Mike Trout completely ran away with the midseason MVP award. He went into the All-Star break on an absolute tear, knocking six homers with 10 RBI in his last five games. The 27-year-old outfielder owns a 5.9 WAR with 28 bombs, 67 RBI, and a terrific 1.098 OPS, leading the AL in each of those categories. Trout is still the best player in baseball and that won’t slow down anytime soon.

NL MVP – Cody Bellinger

In the tightest voting race, Cody Bellinger narrowly edged out the reining NL MVP Christian Yelich. Both slugging outfielders finished first or second in each of the seven ballots. Bellinger’s 6.6 WAR leads all of baseball while his 70 runs scored leads the NL. The 6-foot-4 star has clocked 30 homers with a 1.124 OPS. However, Yelich’s MLB-leading 31 homers and 1.140 OPS have him in hot contention with Bellinger. This should make up for one of the most exciting MLB award races in recent years.

AL Cy Young – Justin Verlander

After finishing as the AL Cy Young runner-up last season, Justin Verlander is back and better than ever. Poised to make another run at the award, the 36-year-old leads baseball with a minuscule 0.81 WHIP. He also owns a 2.90 ERA while striking out nearly 11 batters per nine innings. Verlander is looking for his second career Cy Young award and is almost guaranteed to finish top-three for the sixth time.

NL Cy Young – Hyun-Jin Ryu

That’s right, the Los Angeles Dodgers have the MVP and Cy Young winners. The last time that an NL team accomplished that (besides 2014 when Clayton Kershaw won both awards) was in 2005 with Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals doing it. This year, Hyun-Jin Ryu leads the NL with 10 wins and a 0.91 WHIP while leading all MLB pitchers with a stellar 1.70 ERA and 9.9 SO/BB ratio. He’s been both incredibly consistent and dominant all season, but Max Scherzer is very quickly closing the gap.

AL Rookie of the Year – Brandon Lowe

The first unanimous vote on the ballot, Tampa Bay Rays’ utility-man All-Star Brandon Lowe earned all seven first-place votes for AL Rookie of the Year. He’s tied for the lead among AL rookies with 16 homers while leading the AL with 40 runs and 49 RBI. Other sluggers such as Eloy Jimenez and Michael Chavis are keeping things close while Baltimore Orioles hurler John Means’ 2.50 ERA should also make things interesting.

NL Rookie of the Year – Pete Alonso

Somewhat unsurprisingly, both of the Rookie of the Year votes were unanimous. Fresh off winning the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby, Pete Alonso’s 30 regular season bombs and 1.006 OPS made him an easy choice for the NL Rookie of the Year. He’s currently on pace to break Aaron Judge’s rookie home run record. Alonso is one of the few bright spots left on the New York Mets, but at least they have the derby champ!

AL Manager of the Year – Rocco Baldelli

Hanging tight after leading the quater-season voting, Minnesota Twins’ manager Rocco Baldelli still leads the AL Manager of the Year race. His squad still sits atop the AL Central with a 5.5-game lead over the red-hot Cleveland Indians. Minnesota leads the league with 166 home runs and is tied for the league-lead with 509 runs scored. Paired with a strong pitching staff (sixth in baseball with a 3.97 ERA), it’s easy to see why Baldelli and the Twins are destroying expectations this season.

NL Manager of the Year – Dave Roberts

Yes, again, more Dodgers. Dave Roberts last won this award in 2016 but led the Dodgers to two straight World Series appearances in 2017 and 2018. Now, he’s got his squad dominating the rest of the league to a tune of a 60-32 record with an insane 13.5-game lead in the division. All signs point towards another NL pennant for the Dodgers, and hopefully, for their sake, their first World Series win since 1988.

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