It's All-Star break time! Let's recap the wild first half by handing out some fantasy awards. Hey, while we're at it, let's make some bold second half predictions too.
NL MVFP (Most Valuable Fantasy Player)
If this were a true MVP voting, I'd have to put Yadier Molina at the top of my list. Sadly, handling a pitching staff and gunning down runners are not fantasy categories. So, Paul Goldschmidt wins the NL MVFP. It was a close call between Goldy and Cargo, but I'll take production over a little more speed.
The difference between real MVP and fantasy MVP doesn't really matter in the American League. Miguel Cabrera is a freak. He is the best hitter I have ever seen. Period. It sucks to be Chris Davis because he might hit 60 homers and still not walk away with an MVP trophy. All hail Miggy.
NL Cy Young
Like Cabrera, Clayton Kershaw rules over his peers on all levels of competition. I mean, come on. This guy does not get enough attention. His ERA is under 2 and his WHIP sits at 0.9083. Ungodly.
AL Cy Young
The AL Cy Young was a little harder to hand out. Thinking in terms of fantasy baseball, I thought King Felix was definitely deserving of the award. His ERA is 2.531 compared to Scherzer's 3.193. But, Scherzer wins the strikeout category 152-140. Also, his 0.9794 WHIP bests Felix's 1.0962 WHIP. A near perfect 13-1 record didn't hurt Max either.
NL Rookie of the Year
Forget Puigmania, Shelby Miller and Jose Fernandez should be getting the attention amongst NL rookies. My decision to give this award to Fernandez over Miller may shock some people. The numbers are very similar. They have pitched the identical amount of innings (104.2). Miller has 9 more K's and 4 more wins, but Fernandez has a lower ERA (2.752) and a lower WHIP (1.0796). He also has 11 quality starts, compared to Miller's 8. Fernandez has given up 15 less hits, but has walked 11 more batters than Miller. It's really a toss-up, but I'll give it to Fernandez. He can't help the fact that his team blows and I like the fact that he gets to call Miami's spacious park his home.
AL Rookie of the Year
American League rookies have nothing on NL rookies so far in 2013, but somebody has to win the award still right? It goes to Iglesias because he is batting .375 and he has no real competition. The kid has a nice glove too, but I seriously thought his average would never exceed .250.
NL Biggest Fantasy Bust
This Top 5 has a lot to do with average draft position. Of course B.J. is having just the most terrible year ever, but Matt Kemp was drafted in the middle first round of most drafts. I don't think his shoulder is healthy at all and I really don't see him hitting for power any time soon. Matt Cain wins the NL Pitcher's bust award with an ERA over 5. I don't think anybody saw that one coming.
AL Biggest Fantasy Bust
Hamilton takes home the worst award the American League has to offer. However, he is in a different position than Kemp. Hamilton seems to be turning it around lately. He does have 14 homers, but is still batting a dismal .2269 and has only 39 RBI. Dickey is the AL's biggest pitching disappointment. He has a 4.686 ERA. I predicted that it would be around 4.5 before the season started.
NL Biggest Fantasy Surprise
The good stories in baseball make up for the busts. Patrick Corbin has been phenomenal. His record sits at 11-1 and his ERA is in the low two's. Dom Brown has clubbed 23 homers before the break and is also batting a solid .274. I guess lowering the hands really worked wonders.
AL Biggest Fantasy Surprise
What the heck? Raul Ibanez is 41 years old and he is on pace to hit 41 home runs. I quit. Chris Davis has to be listed right behind Ibanez because, even though he had a nice year in 2012, nobody expected him to surpass his season totals in 94 games.
Best Buy Low Options for the Second Half
1. Matt Cain
2. B.J. Upton
3. Jason Heyward
4. Rickie Weeks
5. CC Sabathia
I have faith in these guys. Yeah, they have stunk it up in the first half, but everybody deserves a second chance. Matt Cain is too good of a pitcher to be doing what he is doing. B.J. has always been a second half hitter. Heyward has too much talent to be batting .227 (even though he did it in 2011). Rickie Weeks's numbers don't jump out at you, but he has been slowly improving since his horrid start. And lastly, CC CAN YOU PLEASE JUST FINISH A BALL GAME?! I have watched every one of his starts and it seems like he is just cruising along until he gets burned in the 6th or the 7th . Very frustrating. His defense was not behind him against Minnesota on Sunday and I know everybody is worrying about his velocity, but I saw him throw a 94 MPH, probably out of anger, in that game.
Best Sell High Options for the Second Half
1. Jeff Locke
2. Chris Davis
3. Domonic Brown
4. Jason Grilli
5. Yasiel Puig
I respect the success of these guys, but I just don't see it continuing. Locke is not this good of a pitcher. He is spotting his fastball well, but I don't see him keeping up his 2.147 ERA. I'm sticking to my Chris-Davis-strikes-out-a-lot-and-it-will-catch-up-to-him-soon-theory. Brown's OBP is 0.3193 and I think he needs to learn how to hit the ball somewhere besides down the right field line before I trust him. I am worried that the innings will catch up to Grilli, who has never had to deal with this type of workload ever. Puig plays like a maniac. Chances are, he is going to get hurt. He is an amazing talent, but I am willing to sell.
Random, and maybe even Bold, Second Half Predictions
Chris Davis will not finish the year with more than 50 homers.
Matt Kemp will finish the year with a single-digit home run total.
Josh Hamilton will drive in over 60 runs in the second-half.
Miguel Cabrera will win the Triple Crown... again.
Jason Kipnis will have a 25 homer - 40 steal season.
Clayton Kershaw will keep his ERA below 2.00.
Matt Cain will return to form, but Justin Verlander will not.
Derek Jeter will play in over 50 games after the break.
Max Scherzer will finish the season with 3 losses or less.
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