Friday, July 3, 2009

At the Half (NL)...

NL North: Thanks to the league's leading offense, Hartford is running and hiding from the rest of the division again. 2B Alberto Pinzon leads the attack with a 1.049 OPS in his MVP bid. Sioux Falls is bidding to top .500 and is lurking on the fringe of the wild card race.

NL East: Sorry guys, but this is the least interesting race in Belle. Not only is everyone under .500, but Burlington is running away with it. Free agent SP Frank Huff has been decent with 8 wins and a 4.26 EA, but not the dominator the Lake Monsters envisioned when they signed him for $18 million per. Huff and Albie Rivera will have to get hot for Burlington to go anywhere in the playoffs.

NL South: Charleston, winner of 3 of the last 4 championships, looks even more dominant this year. At 38, Matty Vaughn is having his best season...and that's saying something (5 Cy Youngs). The Apologists are in hailing distance of the all-time team ERA record (3.01 by San Jose in Season 3). Nashville is just off a little from the 94-101 win teams of the last 4 years. They could go on a streak and lock up the first wildcard anytime, though. Austin brought up 7 rookies at game 22 and has played .630 since.

NL West: The race to watch with Las Vegas, San Jose and Oakland separated by 2 games. The Bad News Bees II's surge has been fuled by improved pitching and the slugging of ROY and MVP-contender Derrek Walker (.346, 23 HR). The Surenos are getting an MVP performance from Wilfredo Feliz and have their own outstanding rookie catcher in J.T. Burns (.279, 24 HR). RF Hughie Bruskie leads the 69er offense with .307 and 23 HR.

MVP: Wide open. Gary Goodwin will be in the mix if Toledo trades him at the deadline. San Jose's Derrek Walker and Oakland's Wilfedo Feliz are certainly in it. Hartford's Alverto Pinzon, Nashville's Dickie Hudson and Hartford's Luke Joyner are 1-2-3 in RBI.

Cy Young: Charleston's Matty Vaughn is the clear leader but it's not over. Nashville's Jesus Javier is right on Vaughn's heels with a 2.11 ERA. Vaughn's teammate Kazuhiro Lim is 10-1, 2.74. Hartford's Felix Woodward (12-3, 3.13) and Vegas' Adrian Jensen (11-5, 3.19) could work inot contention.

ROY: San Jose's Walker leads the pack; Oakland's Burns, Sioux Falls' Richie Scheffer (2.99, 22 HR), Oakland's Erubiel Maduro (.266, 14HR), and Austin's Clarence Richard (.303, 17 HR) are the pack.

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