Cody Bellinger – 1B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Best: 9.0 WAR
According to WAR, Cody Bellinger was the most valuable player in the entire MLB for the 2019 season. Flat out. Bellinger’s 9.0 WAR stands alone, with the closest National League player (Christian Yelich) is a full 1.7 WAR behind him, that’s an entire Kiké Hernandez.
As I stated in the NL Cy Young Best and Worst, WAR feels like a cheap best stat, due to it’s overuse in determining a player’s value. However, when it comes to MVP there’s a precedent for the player with the highest WAR to take home the hardware.
Worst: 2nd Half Splits
There was no hotter hitter on the face of the earth this past April than Cody Bellinger. Finishing the first month of the season with an insane .431/.508/.890, and a 1.397 OPS, belting out 14 home runs in 30 games. That’s insane.
Bellinger finished the first half with a .336/.432/.692 slash line, a 1.124 OPS and 107 hits, 30 of them going over the outfield wall. However, in the second half of the season, Bellinger fell back down to the Earth, finishing with a .263/.371/.546, .917 OPS and 17 home runs for the second half.
If Bellinger didn’t return back to mortality in the second half, this award is his. But his inability to slam the door in the back half of the season could leave him vulnerable.
Best: 126 RBIs
Anthony Rendon went into this season playing for a new contract. On a Washington Nationals squad who had just lost their star slugger in the three-hole, Rendon was looked to as a potential offensive replacement for Bryce Harper.
Rendon rose to the occasion and then some.
Hitting in the third spot in the lineup consistently, Rendon was the engine that drove an offense built on basepath speed and moving the line. With Trea Turner and Adam Eaton in front of him, Rendon drove in more runs than any other player in the majors this year.
On a team that was missing an offensive hero, the Nationals were lucky that Rendon stepped up early and often.
Worst: 13 Double Plays
I’m going to be very honest here. I couldn’t really find a bad stat for Rendon’s 2019. He didn’t strike out a lot, he didn’t get caught stealing, he didn’t have an atrocious second half. Anthony Rendon was consistent as hell.
That’s not to say his season wasn’t without its tough spots. every player slumps. Rendon, on the other hand, was consistently good all season long. Seriously.
So let’s talk about his penchant for grounding into double plays.
The Washington Nationals grounded into 112 double plays, just slightly below the league average. Anthony Rendon accounted for 13 of those, the most on the Nationals.
That’s it. That’s the worst thing I could find about his season.
Christian Yelich – OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Best: Slashline of .329/.429/.671, OPS of 1.100
Christian Yelich is a beast. After being traded by the Marlins to the Brewers ahead of the 2018 season, Yelich went off in Milwaukee. The guy just refused to stop hitting, finishing the year with an MVP-winning slash line of .326/.402/.598, and a 1.000 OPS.
Just a reminder… Yelich finished his 2019 season with a .329/.429/.671, OPS of 1.100 slashline, and he didn’t even finish the season.
If Yelich had stayed healthy and finished off the season, there’s no telling how high his numbers would have gone, but then again… that’s a reason he might not take home the MVP trophy.
Worst: 130 Games Played
The worst part of Christian Yelich’s season was his injury. However, despite missing 32 games this season, Yelich’s numbers still hold weight. Especially when you consider the fact that after 130 games, he ALREADY HAD BETTER NUMBERS THAN HIS PREVIOUS SEASON WHEN HE GOT 29 FIRST PLACE VOTES.
So Who Wins?
To be very honest with you all, I have no idea.
For the first time in a long time, this is a dead heat. If I can predict anything, it’s a tight horse race like the AL Cy Young Voting.
Every player has their MVP qualities.
Bellinger started off the season on the surface of the sun. Rendon was Mr. Consistency for Washington. Christian Yelich was Yelich from 2018, but better.
My gut tells me Yelich, but my brain says Bellinger, while my heart says Rendon.
… I’m a mess.
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