Who is Astros' midseason MVP?
Picking the Astros’ Most Valuable Player at roughly the midpoint of the season is harder than trying to predict who will win the jumbled National League Central. The only thing that’s certain is a strong case can’t be made for any pitcher other than left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who is 8-6 with a 2.96 ERA in 18 starts. Roy Oswalt is 5-4 with a 3.81 ERA in 18 starts, but he went seven decisions into the season before getting a win.
More than likely, the Astros’ MVP is going to come from an offensive player. Hunter Pence and Miguel Tejada certainly could make a strong case. They’re the team’s two All-Stars and have been hitting better than .300 for most of the season, and manager Cecil Cooper has thrown his support behind Michael Bourn. But in this corner, the pick is first baseman Lance Berkman.
Berkman was hitting .273 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs entering Thursday. He leads the team in homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, walks and on-base percentage. Sure, he hit .162 in April, but he’s batting .314 with 12 homers and 41 RBIs since, and perhaps it’s no surprise the Astros have played better over that stretch.