Did one swing by Yelich Push the NL MVP Odds to Bellinger?
One swing in September significantly changed the National League MVP race. No, it wasn’t a home run. Or even a hit. A swing that resulted in a foul ball off of Christian Yelich’s kneecap all but locked up the NL MVP for Cody Bellinger.
Bellinger and Yelich had been in a tight race all season long for the NL MVP, with their odds nearly mirroring each other’s, but Bellinger has pulled ahead recently and it looks like he has pulled ahead for good. Bellinger’s NL MVP chances have skyrocketed in recent weeks.
Bellinger and the Dodgers clinched the NL West on the same day that Yelich suffered his season-ending injury, which is a cruel twist of fate for Yelich and the Brewers. The outfielders were battling back and forth all season long, and it’s unfortunate to see such a good player go down with an injury — especially one that will end his season.
Yelich Goes Down and Bellinger MVP Odds Go Up, Up, and Away
It had appeared that Yelich’s NL MVP chances had an opportunity to increase and reach Bellinger’s level over the final few weeks of the season, but that no longer is the case. The Brewers are making a run at the playoffs, while the Dodgers coast in the final few weeks of the season, but Milwaukee no longer has Yelich in the spotlight.
Don’t get me wrong, Yelich still had a great case for the NL MVP before the injury, but a shortened season — with Bellinger already a bit ahead of him — adds insult to injury for the Brewers outfielder.
Yelich ended his tremendous season with 130 games played, a .329 batting average, an insane OPS of 1.100, 44 home runs, 30 stolen bases, 100 runs, and 97 runs batted in. That marks career-highs in multiple categories, including home runs, stolen bases, batting average, on base percentage (.429), slugging percentage (.671) and OPS.
Meanwhile, Bellinger continues to rake for the Dodgers.
Bellinger is up to career-highs nearly across the board. He has 44 home runs, 108 runs batted in, 30 doubles, 112 runs, a .306 batting average, .408 on base percentage, .629 slugging percentage, and 1.037 OPS. Those are all career highs.