As the “second half” of the MLB season gets underway later today, I wanted to take a chance to reflect on the very exciting first half that was. We had some great surprises such as the Seattle Mariners and the Paxton no-no. And some disappointing starts, like the L.A. Dodgers (even though they have rebounded and now look to be the NL favorites). Let’s hand out some mid-season awards to a few players and teams that definitely deserve the recognition.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Trout has had another stellar season and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down in 2018. Hitting .310 with an OPS of 1.060, Trout has 25 homeruns, which will definitely screw up the Under 35.5 HRs bet I placed against him before the season started. If Trout can somehow get his team back in the WildCard, I think he would lock up the MVP trophy. He’s currently the betting favorite at the Westgate at -150.
(Others considered: Mookie Betts, Jose Ramirez, Chris Sale)
Jesus Aguilar, Milwaukee Brewers
For the sake of making this a position player (Sorry Jacob DeGrom), Aguilar has been incredible this season. His statline is .298AVG/.621SLG/.994OPS
A late bloomer to the big leagues, Aguilar has been making the most of his chance in Milwaukee after being acquired off waivers from Cleveland last year.
Jesus Aguilar is currently +600 at the Westgate.
(Others considered: Jacob DeGrom, Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman)
- Cy Young
Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
I never realized before that the 7x All Star had never won the Cy Young before. I had always assumed he got one in Chicago. No matter, if Sale keeps up this pace, he will have no problem staking his claim to one in 2018. Sale, 10W – 4L with a league leading 2.23 ERA, has held people off the basebaths to a tune of a .90 WHIP. His 188 strikeouts are good for tops in the big leagues.
(Others considered: Luis Severino, Blake Snell, Trevor Bauer)
Jacob DeGrom, New York Mets
King Felix proved in 2010 that wins are not the most important stat to the Cy Young voters. Let’s hope they think the same when the see DeGrom’s 5W-4L record. The numbers they should focus on are the 1.68 ERA and the 0.97 WHIP with 149 strikeouts. At the Westgate, DeGrom is currently +250.
(Others considered: Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, Aaron Nola)
- Biggest Surprise Team
I didn’t think this team was ready to compete this year. Even with signing Jake Arrieta I thought the Phils were in for another lower place finish. Currently, the Phillies are 53-42 and sit atop the NL East ahead of the Braves by .5 game and 5.5 games ahead of the favorite Washington Nationals. Odubel Herrera, Rhys Hoskins have been key for this team and Carlos Santana has provided at the right moments. The pitching has been pretty good led by Arrieta and Aaron Nola.