It's been an unbelievable 1st half of baseball, and for the moderator, he couldn't be happier about "The Year of the Pitcher"! 4 no-hitters, 2 perfectos, and the perfecto that wasn't in addition to countless no-no's taken into the 8th or 9th innings only to be broken up when I started watching.
Biggest Surprise (team): San Diego Padres. The Braves and Reds have been nice stories, but NOBODY picked the Padres to sniff 1st place, and nearly everybody picked them to finish last in their division. While their offense is still anemic, they have been carried by a very solid rotation anchored by Matt Latos (who got robbed of an All-Star selection) and a redonkulous lockdown bullpen of Gregerson, Adams, and Bell. If you're trailing SD after 6, as Jigsaw would say: "Game Over!"
Biggest Disappointment (team): Seattle Mariners. There are a few teams that come to mind namely the Cubs and D'Backs but neither of them had the expectations that the Mariners had. The additions of Figgins and Lee combined with the Angels expected to have a down year made them the trendy pick to ship the AL West. Although they lead the league in team ERA, they are last in nearly every offensive category. Figgins, Lopez, Bradley, their entire lineup outside of Ichiro has been a total disaster. Love their trade of Lee to get a bonafide middle of the order bat in Justin Smoak and some solid prospects tho.
AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera. Leading the league in average and RBI's and 2nd in HR's, Cabrera has redeemed himself from his late-night escapades at the end of 2009 to pace the Tigers to within half a game of 1st place. Detroit's starters have certainly struggled but the Tigers offense paced by Cabrera has more than picked up the slack.
NL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez. It pains me not to pick another pair of grossly underrated players in Carlos Gonzalez and Joey Votto, but it is AGon who has his team in 1st place despite being the only legitimate bat in the Padres' lineup. No matter how good their pitching is, without AGon the Padres would be near .500 and the Padres offense would be approaching 1960's Dodgers levels of ineptness.
AL Cy Young: David Price. Leading the league in ERA and Wins despite pitching in the brutal AL East, Price has anchored the Rays' rotation and has them in 1st place in the Wild Card race.
NL Cy Young: Josh Johnson. This should come as no surprise to anybody who knows me. Yes he's only 9-3, but JJ has outpaced Ubaldo in every other pitching category: walks, Strikeouts, HR's allowed, WHIP, and features an MLB leading 1.70 ERA. If JJ got better run support and didn't have a hands of coal defense behind him, he'd have at least 12-13 wins behind him, and would be the unanimous pick for this award.
More to come later...