As the 162 game regular season comes to a close the national league’s most valuable player award race has just about become a tossup. Three phenomenal ball players have propelled the race to the point where picking just one seems like a disservice. The three obvious choices for the award are Christian Yelich the reigning MVP, Cody Bellinger the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year, and the always reliable Anthony Rendon who is the dark-horse in this race. Without further to do lets get into the numbers…
Cody Bellinger, OF/1B, Los Angelas Dodgers
Following a rather disappointing sophomore season Cody Bellinger decided he was not going to be just a rookie fluke. His second season saw almost every major statistical number take a decline, and his team lost their 2nd World Series in a row. 2019 Cody though, is a different animal. He has mustered a fantastic case for the MVP award, and once again his team is sitting at the top of the NL. The argument people make is he’s the best player on the best team in baseball, which is a flawed argument because well Mike Trout is easily winning the MVP this year on a non playoff team. Bellinger’s MVP case however derives from his fantastic numbers both hitting and in the field. His average has been declining over the past few weeks but it is still a career high by a landslide, and its still over .300! He is currently slashing .302/.405/.625, all while being 1 of 3 players in the NL with an OPS over 1.000. You would never guess who the other two players are. He’s clobbered 45 homers, driven in 110 rbi, and scored 117 runs thus far and still a week remains. He’s been extremely versatile in the field, proving he can be a gold glove both at first and the corner outfield. He sits alone with the highest bWar at 8.6 in the entire Major leagues, and fourth on fWar with a 7.4. WAR does a great job of showing how truly valuable a player is compared to others at his position in his given league, thus proving Cody is a great candidate. Is he the clear winner though…
Anthony Rendon,3B, Washington Nationals
Over the last six years Anthony Rendon has been a model of consistency for third baseman around the major leagues. He’s been in the MVP voting top ten twice, hits 35+ doubles a year, 20+ homers, and over 80 runs driven in a season. This year he has taken his game to the elite level becoming one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball. He has been an rbi machine with 119, has 34 dingers to go along with 40 doubles and like Bellinger and one other player has an ops over 1.000 at 1.025. His slash line is very impressive with a staggering average of .326 and an on-base and slugging percentage of .412/.613 respectively. He has been the unquestioned captain of the Nationals on their pursuit of the top wild card spot all season. His bWar is 6.5 and fWar is 7.0 which is amongst the top 10 in the majors for hitters, but quite frankly is lower than both of other candidates which will hurt his MVP campaign. Many of the baseball writers who have vote live and die by the War stat so theres that to deal with. Nonetheless Rendon has transformed from a extremely solid third baseman into a superstar launched by an MVP run.
Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
The former NL MVP decided to follow his breakout season by one-upping it in nearly every major statistical category. Despite fracturing his knee cap with about a month to go his numbers still stack up with the rest of the league just fine. His slash line is other worldly leading in all three categories of average, on-base percentage, and slugging. His line is .329/.429/.671 with the number one OPS in all of baseball with an 1.100 even. He’s blasted 44 homers(sorry cardinals fans), 97 runs driven in, and swiped 30 bags. Even more impressive is how his bWar is 7.1 which is good for 8th in all the majors, and a fWar of 7.8 which is second in all the majors. He did all of this missing 32 games which is truly remarkable. The biggest negative to his repeat MVP case is the fact that the Brewers may miss the playoffs, while both the other candidates will be playing October baseball.
The Pick: Christian Yelich
This race was extremely difficult to decide a winner but if one player deserves it the most strictly on numbers it has to be Yelich. Leading in the league in every slash line category, and was well on his way to 50 bombs with 100 driven in. Some think the injury will work against him but i think its a testament to his elite ability that he was able to put up those numbers in only 130 games. Would I be shocked if either of the other two were picked… absolutely not.
Published by Fran