On Thursday night, the 2018 MLB Most Valuable Players for both leagues were announced. And the winners are….Christian Yelich and Mookie Betts.
Yeah, that was pretty anticlimactic.
The award race was pretty much wrapped up in mid–September, with both players firmly anchoring their résumés in August.
Christian Yelich, who was acquired by the Brewers prior to this season, was a catalyst for Milwaukee’s surprise NLCS appearance this season. Yelich was huge for the Brewers down the stretch, hitting .307 with 11 homers in August and then hitting .370 with 10 home runs in September and early October. Yelich was electric during the Brewers surge in September. After being 5 games back in the division on September 1st, the club went on to win 10 of 11 and their last 8 in a row to win overtake the Cubs and win the division in a deciding game 163.
Yelich had a career year, as he led the national league in batting average (.328), slugging percentage (.598), OPS (1.000), OPS+ (164), total bases (343), and WAR (7.6). Yelich also hit 36 home runs and drove in 110 RBI’s, both easily career highs.
Mookie Betts finally gets his MVP.
Two years after being named the runner up to Mike Trout in the 2016 MVP race, Betts finally came out on top. Betts had one of the best seasons we’ve ever seen out of the leadoff position, and as was said with Yelich, was a huge part of the Red Sox becoming World Series champions this season.
Betts hit .346, the highest average in the majors this year, as well as sporting a .640 slugging percentage, also the highest in the majors this year. Mookie also hit 32 home runs and stole 30 bases, and led the bigs with 124 runs scored, all the while playing Gold Glove defense.
Mookie and Yelich were both almost unanimous MVP’s, as Mookie received all but 2 first place votes, and Yelich missed out by just one.
Congratulations to Betts and Yelich on two of the most dominant MVP performances we’ve seen in recent history.
Photo: USA Today