Who was the first-half MVP for the Nationals?
Picks: Max Scherzer (8 votes), Matt Adams (1 vote)
No surprise here, but the District on Deck staff almost unanimously dubbed Scherzer, the Washington Nationals’ staff ace, as the team’s first-half MVP. As our own Ross Shinberg said, “[It’s] Max Scherzer. And it’s not close.”
Check out Scherzer’s stats and his ranks among NL starters: 12 wins (first), 134.2 innings (first), 12.2 K/9 (first), 2.41 ERA (third), 2.80 FIP (third), and a 0.90 WHIP (first).
Scherzer’s biggest value this season has come as a stopper. The Nats are 14-6 in his 20 outings thus far, and just 34-42 in all other games.
Scherzer has already toed the rubber 14 times following a loss and has pushed the Nats to victory in 9 of those contests. And in the five instances when he failed to snap a losing streak, Scherzer was not exactly to blame; the 33-year-old still posted a 2.90 ERA in those five losses.
Adams, in the midst of a career year at the plate, earned one vote for team MVP, as he has helped stabilize the offense following lengthy injuries to Ryan Zimmerman at first base and Adam Eaton, Howie Kendrick, and Brian Goodwin in left field.
Third baseman Anthony Rendon also deserves a mention here, even as he missed out on the All-Star Game yet again. Rendon is slashing .285/.352/.526 this season along with his usual elite defense at the hot corner. The always-underrated Rendon has provided the Washington Nationals with a big power boost of late, bopping 20 extra-base hits in his last 29 games.