Ben Verlander talks dives into his team of the month lead by Houston Astros Yordan Alvarez, Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani, Atlanta Braves Dansby Swanson and Michael Harris II.
Ben Verlander breaks-down his halfway season NL and AL Rookie of the Year, CY Young, and MVP awards with Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani, Houston Astros Justin Verlander, St. Louis Cardinals' Paul Goldschmidt, Miami Marlins Sandy Alcantara, Atlanta Braves Michael Harris II.
Ben Verlander talks about the battle of the NL East between the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves. Braves back in business with key performances by rookie Michael Harris II, Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Olson, and Austin Riley. Meanwhile the Mets anticipate the return of Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom with a 2.5 lead.
Major League Baseball handed out its awards for June on Saturday. Here's a look at the honorees.Players of the Month Christopher Pasatieri / Getty Images Sport / GettyHouston Astros designated hitter/outfielder Yordan Alvarez, who won Player of the Week earlier in June, was named AL Player of the Month. The 25-year-old hit a blistering .418/.510/.835 over 23 games with nine homers, 28 RBIs, 19 runs scored, and as many walks (13) as strikeouts.Kyle Schwarber just loves June. The Philadelphia Phillies slugger took home NL Player of the Month honors, marking the second consecutive June he's won this award. Schwarber's 12 homers led all players. Overall, he hit .272/.385/.680 with a 189 OPS+, 27 RBIs, and a pair of multi-homer games. Schwarber is the first Phillies player to win this honor in any month since Dom Brown in May 2013.Pitchers of the Month Quinn Harris / Getty Images Sport / GettyThe American League's top pitcher was Chicago White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease. Just one of the 11 runs Cease allowed in June was earned, which gave him a sparkling 0.33 ERA to go along with a 1.21 WHIP, 45 strikeouts, and one home run allowed over five starts. He had a pair of double-digit strikeout outings, including a career-high 13 Ks in seven innings on June 26.Sandy Alcantara became the first Miami Marlins pitcher to win NL Pitcher of the Month since Jose Fernandez in April 2014. The 26-year-old right-hander posted a 1.89 ERA and 0.88 WHIP with 34 strikeouts and only eight walks. He pitched at least seven innings in all six of his starts, including a complete-game victory on June 29, and limited opponents to a meager .199 average with only two homers in 47 2/3 innings.Rookies of the MonthFor the second consecutive month, Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez is the AL's top rookie. Rodriguez followed up his award-winning May with an even better June, hitting .280/.361/.542 with seven homers, 14 extra-base hits, 16 RBIs, 22 runs scored, and five of his AL-leading 19 stolen bases. The 21-year-old is the first Mariners rookie to earn this distinction in consecutive months since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001. Rich Schultz / Getty Images Sport / GettyAtlanta Braves outfielder Michael Harris II was named NL Rookie of the Month in his first full month as a big leaguer. Harris, who was only called up on May 28, grabbed hold of a starting spot in Atlanta's outfield by hitting .347/.371/.574 with four homers, 13 extra-base hits, 16 RBIs, and four stolen bases. He also had a 13-game hitting streak and hit safely in all but four of his 27 contests.Relievers of the MonthCleveland Guardians reliever Emmanuel Clase was named AL Reliever of the Month, the second time he's claimed the honor. The 24-year-old was untouchable, notching 11 saves while not allowing a run or walking a batter in 15 appearances. His remarkable month also included 16 strikeouts and an opponent slash line of .137/.137/.157. Jim McIsaac / Getty Images Sport / GettyNew York Mets flamethrower Edwin Diaz added to his trophy collection by claiming NL Reliever of the Month honors. Diaz only threw 9 2/3 innings in June but dominated in the short span, collecting five saves with a 0.93 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 21 strikeouts, and only one walk in 10 outings. This is Diaz's sixth career Reliever of the Month distinction, breaking a tie with Josh Hader for the most all time. He won his first five in the AL with the Mariners.Copyright © 2022 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
Ahead of his delayed season debut last week, Oneil Cruz was a relative long shot to win NL Rookie of the Year. A week later, he's among the favorites.After his long-awaited premiere outing, the young Pirates star quickly dazzled MLB fans with a week of highlight plays. Cruz is favored at most shops - and was briefly the favorite at Barstool Sportsbook earlier this week - but is currently priced with the third-shortest odds (+500) on the board, just behind Padres starter MacKenzie Gore (+400) and red-hot Braves bat Michael Harris II (+425). PLAYER ODDS MacKenzie Gore +400 Michael Harris II +425 Oneil Cruz +500 Nolan Gorman +600 Spencer Strider +600 Juan Yepez +1500 Brendan Donovan +1700 Jack Suqinski +2200 Seiya Suzuki +2500 Alek Thomas +2700 Christopher Morel +5000 Luis Gonzalez +7500 CJ Abrams +10000 Edward Cabrera +10000 Hunter Greene +10000 Matthew Liberatore +10000 Nick Lodolo +10000 Max Meyer +10000 Bryson Stott +10000 Graham Ashcraft +10000 Ethan Small +15000 Mark Vientos +15000 Joey Bart +20000 Brett Baty +20000 Brennen Davis +20000 Ryan Pepiot +20000 Heliot Ramos +20000 Matt Vierling +20000 Luis Campusano +25000 Cade Cavalli +25000 Ryan Rolison +25000 Mickey Moniak +25000 JJ Bleday +30000 Sixto Sanchez +30000 Drew Waters +50000 It's been a winding road for Cruz, who entered the season as the favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year with the expectation that he'd make Pittsburgh's roster for Opening Day. That call never came for the top-15 prospect, and Cruz toiled away in the minors as fellow rookies got off to hot starts.Then news broke that he'd make his first major-league appearance, and we highlighted him as a potential dark-horse candidate to win the award at 21-1 odds. Sure enough, Cruz impressed in his record-setting debut with his arm and his bat. The 6-7 shortstop gunned down a would-be runner at first with a 96.7 MPH throw - fastest by any infielder this season - and later smacked a three-run double at 112.9 MPH, the hardest-hit ball by any Pirates batter this year.Cruz has continued his electric play throughout his first week of the campaign. On Monday, he crushed his first home run of the season into center field on a frozen rope that left his bat at 109.8 MPH and exited the park in roughly two seconds. Take a look for yourself: Oneil Cruz drills his first HR of the season! ( : @MLB)pic.twitter.com/kaggCEHlpl theScore (@theScore) June 28, 2022 If that's the start of a power surge for Cruz, the rest of the field is in trouble. The 23-year-old is hitting .250 with a subpar .438 slugging percentage, and his eight strikeouts with zero walks are a concern. But he's already batted in eight runners in eight games with just one solo home run to support it, as four of his eight hits have gone for extra bases.If Cruz doesn't improve his plate discipline, that could hamper his chances of putting together a strong end-of-season line. However, a slugger with Cruz's frame and natural power has plenty more highlight-reel plays to come at the plate and in the field, and he doesn't look like he's slowing down anytime soon.C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at [email protected] © 2022 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.