MLB’s MVPs are almost always among the league leaders in the wins above replacement (WAR) stat, which attempts to gauge a player’s overall contribution to his team’s success. To that point, both of last year’s MVP winners were their respective league’s WAR lord: Mookie Betts in the American League (10.9) and Christian Yelich (7.6) in the National League.
WAR FOR NL MVP
In the National League, the season has shaped up into a two-way WAR battle between Yelich and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger. The latter has enjoyed a red-hot ride up to the All-Star break, and should he stay dialed in, will be the prohibitive favorite to win this year’s MVP honors.
UPDATED September 6, 2019
Bellinger didn’t receive a single vote in NL MVP voting last year, after being named an All Star and Rookie of the Year the year before that. The third-year player currently leads the NL in WAR and total bases, is second in home runs, and seventh in RBIs.
Yelich leads the National League in runs created, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. He is third in the National League in overall WAR, but first in offensive WAR.
New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is a long shot to catch Bellinger or Yelich in the MVP voting, but should be a shoo-in for National League Rookie of the Year honors. The 24-year-old slugger leads the NL in home runs, has racked up more than 100 RBIs in his inaugural campaign.