We’re past the halfway mark of the season, but heading into the All-Star break, so it’s a good time to hand out some midseason awards.
By PETE GRATHOFF
The Kansas City Star
• AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers. With a good game today, Cabrera has a chance to go into the break with 30 homers and 100 RBIs, which is a good season for most players. Cabrera leads the AL in average and on-base percentage and has the inside track to a second straight MVP. But it looks as if he’ll be pushed by Baltimore’s Chris Davis, who already has 35 homers and 26 doubles, and has a better slugging percentage, as well as Davis’ teammate Manny Machado, who could set the record for doubles in a season.
• NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks. Goldschmidt leads the NL in RBIs (77), has 21 homers and is third in OPS (.957). But there are a lot of good candidates, including Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez, Cincinnati’s Joey Votto and St. Louis’ Yadier Molina, so this isn’t written in stone.
• AL Cy Young: Max Scherzer, Tigers. The former Mizzou star has a 13-1 record, still remarkable despite Saturday’s loss, but Scherzer gets the nod for his 0.95 WHIP and 146 strikeouts. He’s the best pitcher on a staff that includes Justin Verlander.
• NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers. He leads the NL in ERA (1.89) and WHIP (0.90) and his 129 strikeouts are second to the Mets’ Matt Harvey. It’s been a sensational season for Harvey, who finishes just a tick behind Kershaw, but ahead of Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright.
• AL rookie of the year: David Lough, Royals. A homer pick? Not necessarily. He’s third among AL rookies in slugging percentage (.449), second in doubles (11) and third in home runs (six). Boston’s Jose Iglesias may be his toughest competition.
• NL rookie of the year: Jose Fernandez, Marlins. Cardinals starter Shelby Miller has gotten a fair amount of ink, but Fernandez has been slightly better. He has a 2.83 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP and 99 strikeouts in 982/3 innings. The Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig easily could end up the runaway winner of this award.
• AL manager of the year: John Farrell, Red Sox. After an absolute disaster under Bobby Valentine in 2012, the Red Sox probably were going to improve no matter who took over. But the Red Sox have the best record in the AL. Clay Buchholz returned to dominance before being injured, but his absence still hasn’t slowed Boston.
• NL manager of the year: Clint Hurdle, Pirates. That 20-year streak of not finishing above .500 has to end this year, right? Pittsburgh is playing .600 ball and thinking playoffs, so if that keeps up, it’s Hurdle’s award to lose. However, the Pirates have tanked in the second half of the last two seasons, so that could be the team’s biggest, er, hurdle.