Midseason MLB awards -- from MVP to most exciting player

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Barring a spate of postponements, the 1,215th game of the 2023 MLB season will be booked sometime Thursday.

What's the relevance of that number, you ask? Well, there are 2,430 games over the course of a season -- 162 games, 30 teams, two teams playing in each game. So when that 1,1215th game becomes official -- we don't know which one it will be, as it depends on the order in which Thursday's games are completed -- we will have as much regular-season baseball behind us as we have to look ahead to.

Most years, this actual halfway point of the season goes unrecognized because baseball people tend to think of the All-Star Game as the halfway mark. Indeed, the game itself is informally billed as the Midsummer Classic. So let's honor this true halfway point by handing out a few midseason awards. Some of these categories are obvious and literal, while others are just made up because I wanted to note something interesting. (You can decide which awards fall into which category.)

Note: AXE ratings will be mentioned. They are alluded to and explained here.

Best half-season player: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

Ohtani's 161 AXE is a mind-bending number that dwarfs even the epic seasons being posted by 2023 standouts like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Corbin Carroll. This is Ohtani in full blossom -- and it's both magnificent and a little terrifying.

Think of it like this: There is a non-zero chance that Ohtani wins the American League Triple Crowns in both hitting and pitching this season. I mean, sure, the odds of that happening are astronomical. But they aren't zero.