Friday, July 22, 2011

Around the League in 81 Games: NL Edition

Now that we are at the halfway point of the season, let's take a look around the league and see who is doing what, starting with the National League.

Most Home Wins: Philadelphia Phillies - Estrada's club came out of the gates quick and the NL North seemed like it was a one horse race. With an impressive 18-0 start at home the Phillies finished the first half with 34 home wins. That is more than some teams have total wins on the season so far!

Road Warriors: Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, and Houston Astros are all about even when it comes to the road record. No big surprise that Pittsburgh and San Diego currently lead their divisions and Houston is tied for the lead in their division.

MVP Candidates: Right now, I'd say my vote would go to the $100 million man: Reid Gold, but there are a slew of worthy candidates such as J.R. Baines, Jack Meadows, Raul Cortes, Pat Jefferson, and Chet Lieber, in no particular order. There are many players right on the fringe and have a lot of time to make up some ground with strong second half performances.

Cy Young Candidates: In my opinion, this award could go to any of these three guys,Henry Barmes, Allan Henderson, and Kenneth Johnson. They are so close, that it is hard to pick one. In the end, I would probably go with Johnson and his five complete games and four shutouts. Of course, there are about 7-10 more candidates that could put up strong bids in the second half as well.

Rookie of the Year: This one is a bit more difficult to choose from. Bruce Stephenson doesn't qualify for the pitching category yet, but is having a strong season at 8-1, with a 2.90 ERA. Luis Moreno, Daric Butler, Trevor Lockhart, and Roosevelt Haynes are all having solid years. Haynes and Lockhart are your typical speedsters, so don't discount their lack of power as not being worthy for the ROY!

The playoff race could get pretty exciting in the NL East and NL South, as Washington is in last and only 7 games out in the East and the South has a tie atop the leader board while St. Louis is only trailing the Astros and Braves by 4 games.

Who are your ultimate winners and losers in these races?

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