This week marks the halfway point in the season for most teams. Nearly every team has played a total of 80 games, meaning the first half of their season will be complete. It has certainly been an unpredictable first half in the National League.
Milwaukee holds the best overall record in the National League after a dreadful 2013 season, and has a comfortable lead in the NL Central. Atlanta is currently hanging onto a half game lead in the East, with Washington right on their heels, and are expecting a return of their star Bryce Harper in the near future. The West has been wild as both the Dodgers and Giants are both tied for the division lead, and one of the two are almost certain to capture the West crown, as the next closest team is 10 game back.
It will be interesting how the playoff picture turns out in the National League, but which players and managers will be in contention to take home award honors at the halfway point in the season?
There would be two players currently being the favorites to take home National MVP honors at this point in the season. Both Giancarlo Stanton and Troy Tulowitzki have had a great first half of their season. Tulowitzki leads the NL with a .353 batting average and leads the majors in runs scored, while Stanton leads in home runs and RBIs, also carrying a solid .313 batting average which is good for top five in the NL. Both teams sit at third place in their division. So who gets the award?
National League Most Valuable Player: Giancarlo Stanton
Other in contention: Troy Tulowitzki and Paul Goldschimdt
The National League Cy Young picture is also debatable between two pitchers who have been remarkable in the first half. Johnny Cueto has a stellar 1.88 ERA, which leads the NL. He has also tossed three complete games, two of which were shutouts. What is more impressive is his home is a very hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Despite a terrific ERA, Cueto is just 8-5 on the year. Adam Wainwright is tied with a NL best 10 wins, and is second behind Cueto with a 2.01 ERA. After missing several starts, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has been phenomenal in his last three starts. The Cy Young is a close call.
National League Cy Young: Adam Wainwright
Others in contention: Johnny Cueto, Clayton Kershaw, and Zack Greinke
Manager of the Year at this point in the season for the National League is really obvious. Milwaukee has the best record in the NL, and second most in baseball behind Oakland.
National League Manager of the Year: Ron Roenicke
Others in contention: Bruce Bochy, Don Mattingly, and Matt Williams
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