The Dodgers finished the first half of the season with the best record in baseball. The team’s success early on has been no secret and the league is starting to realize the Dodgers can beat you in several different ways. The beauty about this team is that at any given moment a new player can step up and be the hero.
With that being said there are still a few players that deserve recognition for the team’s success. I’ll look into a few players that won the team awards starting with the Dodgers team MVP.
MVP- Clayton Kershaw
There were so many players I could’ve chose from to be the MVP of the Dodgers in the first half. There has to be multiple players having great seasons anytime a team is nearly 30 games above .500 at the All-Star break. You could definitely make an argument for Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner and Corey Seager, but the guy I’m going with is the man who has continued to remain as consistent as an pitcher in league history, Clayton Kershaw.
At this point it’s like we take Kershaw’s greatness for granted. Kershaw is so good that just a few weeks ago people were saying Kershaw has gotten off to a slow start for his standards and he was no longer the best pitcher in the game. Yet he still is 14-2 with a 2.18 ERA while having 159 strikeouts. Those 14 wins are the most Kershaw has ever had at the All-Star break and also leads the majors.
A few weeks ago I would’ve said Bellinger but he has cooled off a bit recently over the last week and hasn’t hit a homerun in his last 10 games until this weekend. The main reason I’m going with Kershaw over the rest of the pack is because he has been the healthy and more reliable than anybody else. Turner has had an incredible season flirting with .400 all year, but he has spent some time on the DL and has played in only 62 of the Dodgers 87 games this season. Seager has had a really good season but he hasn’t put up MVP level numbers. Kershaw is the most dependable and the most respected player in that clubhouse. Kershaw is still the centerpiece of this Dodgers team.
Cy Young- Clayton Kershaw
More from Dodgers Way
- Former Astro seemingly takes uncalled for shot at Cody Bellinger after Cubs deal
- Are Giants falling off and joining Dodgers at back of Carlos Correa chase?
- Dodgers’ 2023 lineup without Trea Turner isn’t as impressive as it should be
- Don’t hold your breath on Dodgers making Justin Turner decision soon
- Recapping who Dodgers gained and lost in Rule 5 Draft
My MVP choice for the Dodgers pretty much gave up who my Cy Young is. I know Alex Wood is having a unbelievable year and I’ll get into the season he is having in the next section but Kershaw is still the easy Cy Young of the team. As great as Wood has been Kershaw has pitched 51.2 more innings than him. That is a much larger sample size and Kershaw consistently goes deeper into games than Wood. Kershaw is relied upon much more, easy choice here.
Biggest surprise- Alex Wood
This was the hardest choice to make. There a lot of players who have had breakout seasons this year. However there are two clear choices for this, Alex Wood and Cody Bellinger. You couldn’t go wrong with either one, but ultimately I went with Wood. The reason why is because coming into this season nobody had Alex Wood on their radar while Bellinger was considered one of the best prospects in baseball. Because Bellinger was such a highly touted prospect there was a chance they he did have the ability to produce at this level, we just didn’t believe it would happen this quickly. However, Wood was an afterthought this season and nobody really thought he pitch at this level. Bellinger had all the potential while Wood was just considered another guy. If you would’ve asked me at the beginning of the season what would be more of a surprise Bellinger having 24 home runs and 56 RBI at the break with Adrian Gonzalez injured or Wood being 10-0 with a 1.67 ERA I probably would’ve Wood would be the most shocking,
Biggest disappointment- Adrian Gonzalez
There aren’t very many Dodgers having off season. The one guy that has probably had the roughest season fall off is probably Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez has had a tough season so far dealing with injuries and seeing his production decline significantly. He has seen Bellinger and take over as the full-time starter at 1st base. In 49 games this year Gonzalez is hitting .255 with only 1 homerun and 23 RBI. He is also slugging an incredibly low .339. There is still some hope for Gonzalez however, his clutch experienced bat can really come in handy come playoff time. For the mean time Gonzalez is working on getting 100% healthy to help the Dodgers down the stretch of the season.
2nd half breakout- Corey Seager
Seager has had a very good 1st half, he was named to the all-star team for the second year in a row. But I still think Seager hasn’t quite took off this season. He is as consistent as just about any other Dodger, but you can make the argument that he has been only the 3rd best hitter on the team so far. Seager is hitting .298 with 13 homeruns and 45 RBI and .900 OPS. These are really solid numbers but I think he poised to have a huge second half post all-star break. He is already showing signs that he is due to go on a hot streak hitting .370 in his last 19 games. I expect Turner to continue to play at a high level but see his average to start to decrease little by little. There is a chance Bellinger hits a rookie wall post all-star break and starts to see his homerun rate plummet, but Seager is just starting to hit his stride this season. Look for him to enter the MVP race by seasons end.