We are one week away from the MLB All-Star break and inching ever closer to the July 31st league-wide non-waiver trade deadline. We have watched more than one half of the season and we are starting to get a good idea of the playoff picture, trade fits, standings, and award candidates. That’s why I felt that it was the perfect time to release a massive guide to the second half of the baseball season. My guide is here, complete with predictions and analysis on the trade deadline, final standings, playoffs, and season awards.
Table of Contents:
Trade Deadline Predictions- PG. 2
Standings Predictions- PG. 3
AL Playoff Predictions- PG. 4
NL Playoff Predictions- PG. 5
World Series Predictions- PG. 6
Season Awards Predictions- PG. 7
Concluding Thoughts- PG. 8
AL MVP CANDIDATES
1. Aaron Judge
Judge is having one of the best seasons ever as a Rookie. Judge slash line is currently .329/.448/.691 posting a 197 wRC+ and a 5.5 WAR that currently leads the league. Judge also leads the league with 30 HRs and ranks 2nd in AL with 66 RBIs. The 6’7 young star has shown great progress after his struggles last season posting a slash line of .193/.263/.345 with a 63 wRC+ and a -0.3 WAR. This is a no brainer unless Judge slows down mightly you’re loooking at your AL MVP.
2. George Springer
Springer has been the spark of the 1st place Houston Astros since moving to the leadoff spot. Springer slash line is currently .310/.380/.613 posting 164 wRC+ and 3.7 WAR. Springer has 27 HRs which ranks 2nd in MLB and ranks 5th in RBIs in the AL from the leadoff spot. Springer who’s 29 is having a career year at the plate looks to lead the Houston Astros to a World Series.
3. Jose Ramirez
Ramirez is having a career season with Cleveland Indians. He is a great utility player he can play LF,RF,SS and 2B which is very valuable to the Indians. Ramirez current slash line is .332/.388/.601 posting 157 wRC+ and a 3.9 WAR. Ramirez 3.9 WAR ranks 5th in the AL and his wRC+ also ranks 5th in the AL. Ramirez has 17 HRs and 48 RBIs which ranks 17th and 26th in the AL. Ramirez is a very underrated player who went 2-2 in the ASG, keep a eye out for Ramirez doesn’t look like he’s slowing down anytime soon.
NL MVP CANDIDATES
1. Paul Goldschmidt
What can you say about Goldschmidt, basesballs most underrated superstar, who is consistently one of the best players in the league. Goldschmidt’s current slash line .312/.428/.577 posting 153 wRC+ and a 4.0 WAR. Goldschmidts 153 wRC+ ranks 3rd in the NL and his 4.0 WAR ranks 2nd in the NL. Goldschmidt also posting 20 HRs and 67 RBIs which ranks 8th and 4th in the NL. With the Arizona Diamondbacks having a great season look for Goldschmidt to stay at the top of the NL MVP race.
2. Bryce Harper
The young phenom is having another great season after winning the NL MVP in 2016. Harper’s current slash line is .325/.431/.590 posting 161 wRC+ and a 3.8 WAR. Harper’s 161 wRC+ ranks 2nd in the NL and 3.8 WAR is 4th in the NL. Harper has 20 HRs which is tied for 8th in the NL and his 65 RBIs are 5th in the NL. Harper is a great young star for the game and looks to be at the top of NL MVP race for many more years to come.
3. Joey Votto
Votto is another great superstar who is having a phenomenal season with the Cincinnati Reds. Votto’s current slash line is.315/.427/.631 posting 167 wRC+ and a 3.8 WAR. Votto’s 167 wRC+ ranks 1st in the NL and his 3.8 WAR ranks 3rd in the NL. Votto has 26 HRs which is tied for 1st in the NL with Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Votto ranks 3rd in NL RBIs with 68. Votto is such a pheonmenal player and has been the face of the Reds franchise for many seasons.
Early Friday morning, MLB writer Peter Gammons joined The Mully and Hanley Show on 670 The Score in Chicago. It seemed like the typical discussion about baseball on a sports radio network and in all honesty, it was… Until Gammons dropped a bombshell for Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs.
Projected to hit free agency after the 2018 season, Bryce Harper has been linked to the Cubs. According to Gammons, Harper would consider joining the Cubs and their core group with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in 2019. We’re still ways away from Harper potentially hitting free agency, but speculation about where Harper will play in 2019 has been a topic of discussion since his previous two-year contract extension with the Nationals.
There are a few things to consider:
- Harper’s agent is Scott Boras. Boras is well known around the league for his tough negotiations and getting his clients every penny they deserve… and more.
- Harper is only 24 years old. While chasing a championship will be on his mind, he’s got plenty of years to do so.
- The New York Yankees have been previously rumored to be a possible destination for Harper.
- It has been speculated that Harper could receive the richest contract in MLB history, possibly reaching the plus side of $400 million.
- Kris Bryant and Harper both grew up in Las Vegas. Not really too important, but Harper and Bryant are reportedly close.
Obviously, more information will be posted as it becomes available and these are early reports that Harper may be interested in playing for Chicago, but any news about a superstar like Bryce Harper is worth noting. Stay tuned!