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 first half of this 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 July 13, 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 is currently second in the NL in batting average, home runs and RBIs.
Yelich leads all of baseball in home runs (31 and counting), OBP and SLG, and is fourth in the NL in batting average and second in 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 has 68 RBIs and is second in all of baseball in home runs with 30.