Let’s be clear about this to begin with. The MVP award, which stands for most valuable player, isn’t always awarded based on its title. Typically your team has to be playing well. The award will often go to the best player on the best team. This makes things complicated when a guy like Shohei Ohtani gets involved. Based on his contributions, he is the most valuable player in baseball. The guy can pitch and hit. He’s coming off a year in which he won MVP, and you could make the argument that to this point he’s having an even better season. The problem is the Angels suck.
The Yankees on the other hand, have had a sensational year. Right fielder Aaron Judge is leading the way for the team. Judge is hitting .284 to go with 33 HR and 70 RBI. Judge is a serious threat to get to 60 home runs this year.
The Yankees dominance, along with Judge’s stellar play is why he’s our Midseason AL MVP. Aside from Judge and Ohtani, Rafael Devers and Yordan Alvarez have also had great years. If you’re looking for a sleeper Alvarez’ AL MVP futures odds are +1300. Keep an eye on him in the second half of the season.
The NL MVP race is a little bit less stacked. Paul Goldschmidt has always been an elite player, but this year he’s really exploded. The first baseman is hitting .330 to go with 20 bombs and 70 RBI. His team is also a half game back for first place in the NL Central. Over in Los Angeles, Freddie Freeman has done his thing this season. He’s led the league in hits to this point and also has 46 extra base hits.
Pete Alonso has guided the Mets offense to first place in the NL East. The right handed slugger leads the league in RBI, with 78. We’re giving this award to Goldshmidt because of his contact/power balance. Freeman wasn’t hitting the ball out of the yard at an MVP rate, and Alonso’s batting average is .265. This race will be interesting going forward because it is far from locked up.
AL Cy Young
Justin Verlander has been one of the biggest surprises of this baseball season. Coming into the season, the 39 year old had only pitched in one game since the 2019 season. After undergoing Tommy John Surgery, many thought Verlander’s days were numbered. Instead he has returned as one of the best pitchers in the game. He’s gone 12-3, with a 1.89 ERA. If there was a comeback player of the year award in baseball, Verlander would have that wrapped up.
Additionally, the Houston Astros are leading their division comfortably. Looks like Verlander is going to be getting another crack at his first world series ring. Shane McClanahan is also putting together a great year. McClanahan’s got a 10-3 record, with a 1.71 ERA. He also started for the AL in the all star game. It’s going to be a tight race between these two guys down the stretch, but right now Verlander has the edge. Also keep an eye out for Alek Manoah and Shohei Ohtani as we get into the second half of the season.
NL Cy Young
The first half NL Cy Young was Tony Gonsolin. Prior to this year the righty had never appeared in more than 15 games in a season. Heading into the All star break Gonsolin is 11-0 with a 2.02 ERA. His 0.84 WHIP has been the best in baseball. Wins and losses have lost some value, due to the advanced analytics explosion in baseball. This said, we’ve got to give a lot of credit to the guy for putting up a donut in the loss column to this point. Marlins righty Sandy Alcantara is another guy that’s in this race. Alcantara has been less fortunate then Gonsolin in regards to the team he’s on, which makes his 9-4 record with a league leading 1.76 ERA even more impressive. Max Fried and Clayton Kershaw are other guys that could gain traction in this race in the latter half of the year.
AL Rookie of the Year
Bobby Witt Jr.
Right now, this is the biggest runaway award. The first half AL Rookie of the Year was Julio Rodriguez by a mile, and I’d be shocked if it goes any other way when the award is handed out after the season. You could place an AL Rookie of the Year futures bet on Rodriguez for -370. The Dominican born product had a tough first month of the year, but has exploded in the Mariners lineup ever since. Rodriguez, who began the season on the Mariners active roster, is hitting .275 with 16 home runs. Rodriguez is also third in the league in steals, with 21 of them.
The 21 year old has ascended up the Mariners lineup, and is quickly making himself a household name. Jeremy Pena and Bobby Witt Jr. are also having solid rookie year campaigns. It would take a lot for either of these two to catch Rodriguez, as the Mariners outfielder has established himself as the clear leader in this race.
NL Rookie of the Year
Michael Harris II
The first half NL Rookie of the Year was probably the race with the least firepower. Michael Harris II got the call to the big leagues in late May, and has since been a major asset to the Braves at the plate and in the field. In 48 games, Harris is hitting .283 with eight home runs. The 21 year old has also made plenty of highlight reel plays in center field. He’s only played in half the season to this point, but his impact on the Braves puts him at the top of this list.
Seiya Suzuki was a big international signing over the off-season, and he got off to a solid start this year. Unfortunately, Suzuki suffered a finger injury and missed over a month because of it. In 54 games, Suzuki is hitting 272 with six home runs. Strider is another guy in this race to pay attention to. The pitcher started the year in the Braves pen, but has since made a fabulous transition into the team’s rotation. The season award may end up being a two man race between Strider and his teammate Harris.
AL Manager of the Year
Manager Aaron Boone has the Yankees sitting at 64-28 entering the all star break. Many people thought the Yankees would be good this year, but no one thought they’d be this good. The storied franchise hasn’t won a World Series since 2009. Boone, who has been the manager since 2017, had started to get some heat for this. Nobody is complaining so far this season, as Boone has done a phenomenal job leading this roster and avoiding any slumps. On the other side of the country, Scott Servais has got the Mariners in the midst of a 14 game winning streak. The team is quickly gaining national attention. The Mariners haven’t made the playoffs since 2001, but if they do this year Servais will definitely have an argument for the manager of the year award.
Brandon Hyde is another guy that’s done a great job with his roster. The Orioles are currently 46-46 and came into the season in a tough division with no expectations. The team’s call ups and recent 10 game winning streak have created excitement in Baltimore. Despite the great job Hyde has done, if the Orioles don’t make the playoffs or at least come very close, he’s going to have a tough time winning this award.
NL Manager of the Year
First year Mets manager, Buck Showalter, has really turned things around for this team. He’s got a talented roster, but he’s also had to deal with the injuries of Max Scherzer and Jacob Degrom. The Mets roster was talented last season, but they were never able to put things together, partly due to distractions. Showalter is an experienced manager who’s done an excellent job of keeping the focus on baseball in Queens. Elsewhere in the division, Rob Thomson has done an incredible job in Philadelphia. Thomson got his first managerial gig when Joe Girardi was fired in early June. Since then Thomson has gone 27-14, bringing the Phillies back into the playoff picture.
The reason we couldn’t put Thomson ahead of Showalter was because he’s only managed in 41 games. If they keep it up, Thomson could very well end up winning the main award in November. Padres first year manager Bob Melvin has put together a solid first half in San Diego. He’s been without his star player, Fernando Tatis Jr., and has the Padres sitting in playoff position midway through the year. The Padres would have to go on an even bigger run in the second half in order for him to seriously contend for the award, but don’t count him out.