On-Base Perception

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MLB All-Star break awards

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim acknowledges teammate Torii Hunter after he was driven home on a double by Hunter in the seventh inning of a game against the the Baltimore Orioles. (July 7, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

The All-Star Game is over and the second half is about to begin. Let's take a look at who's had the top performances in each league during the first half of the 2012 season:

AL MVP

MIKE TROUT, ANGELS

Trout leads the AL with 4.8 WAR, a .341 average and 26 stolen bases. He's also hit 12 home runs, scored 57 runs and driven in 40 RBIs in just 290 plate appearances. But the real reason he tops this list is because the Angels were going down the drain before his arrival. He's revived that team almost entirely on his own.

Runners up: Josh Hamilton, Rangers; Robinson Cano, Yankees
Yankee with the best chance: Cano (.313, 20 home runs, 4.3 WAR)

NL MVP

ANDREW MCCUTCHEN, PIRATES

The powerful spark for the first place Pirates, McCutchen leads the league with a .362 average and .625 slugging percentage. He also has 58 runs, 60 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and has produced a 4.5 WAR to date. Plays the demanding position of center field and is helping a team that shouldn't contend do just that. But here's the most amazing fact about McCutchen's season: At the start of play on May 8, he had ZERO home runs. Now he has 18 in 56 games, three of those multi-homer games.

Runners up: Ryan Braun, Brewers; Joey Votto, Reds
Met with the best chance: David Wright (.351, 11 home runs, 4.9 WAR)

AL Cy Young

JUSTIN VERLANDER, TIGERS

Jered Weaver and Chris Sale have better ERAs to be sure, but Verlander brings depth to his starts that the others do not. Verlander, 9-5 with a 2.58 ERA, has thrown 132.2 innings in the first half, striking out 8.68 batters per nine in the process. He also leads the AL with 3.8 WAR. Sale has thrown only 101.2 innings and Weaver just 96.2.

Runners up: Chris Sale, White Sox; Jered Weaver, Angels
Yankee with the best chance: CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.45 ERA, 8.83 K/9, 2.7 WAR)

NL Cy Young

R.A. DICKEY, METS

Dickey is tied for the lead league with 12 wins and is fourth with 9.23 strikeouts per nine innings. His 3.2 WAR is second only to Zack Greinke, but Dickey gets the nod here for what he's meant to his team. Plus, the act of throwing back-to-back one-hitters with at least 10 strikeouts in each had never been done in the modern era until Dickey went to work this summer. He's also been durable, throwing 120 innings. That places him fourth, but the NL innings leader, Clayton Kershaw, has only thrown 0.2 innings more than Dickey.

Runners up: Zack Greinke, Brewers; Johnny Cueto, Reds; Gio Gonzalez, Nationals

Tags: Josh Hamilton , Robinson Cano , Mike Trout , CC Sabathia , R.A. Dickey , Zack Greinke , David Wright , Joey Votto , Ryan Braun , Chris Sale , Justin Verlander , Jered Weaver , Johnny Cueto , Gio Gonzalez , Milwaukee Brewers , Yankees , Mets , Cincinnati Reds , Chicago White Sox , Detroit Tigers , Anaheim Angels , Washington Nationals

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