Christian Yelich’s Uphill Climb for NL MVP
Christian Yelich doesn’t care about individual awards. I don’t know that, but he is not the type of player who worries about those sort of things. Yelich knows he’s been red hot since the All-Star Break and knows that he’s one of the best players in the National League. He will garner some attention for Most Valuable Player, but the Brewers may need a division title to dethrone the Chicago Cubs’ Javy Baez for the crown. It’s an added element to the race for the division.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 2, 2018
Since Ryan Braun’s MVP in 2011, the combination of players that have won the National League MVP are intriguing and notable. Other than Andrew McCutchen, they came from major markets, and Giancarlo Stanton is the only one to be on a team not contending for the postseason. The major market will help Baez here. He became one of the more recognizable stars in baseball this season, and the baseball writers will likely want to anoint him as the next big thing in baseball.
There’s also the St. Louis Cardinals conversation. Granted, they’ve lost three straight games but Matt Carpenter’s home run tear has been impressive plus a major reason why the Cardinals are back in the playoff hunt. He will be right there along with Yelich and Baez for the chance at the NL MVP race. My guess is they will not have a runaway winner.
Yelich is approaching a monster stat line to finish the season. He currently second in the National League in average trailing former Brewer Scooter Gennett. He’s fifth in slugging, fourth in OPS and one of the six players totaling a WAR over five. He is four home runs away from 30 on the season, and if he surges for another double-digit number this month, he’ll finish with 35. Yelich needs four more stolen bases to be a 20-20 player. Baez and Carpenter are leaders in their own right with these categories, but Yeli could have the most complete line of them all.
It’s a fun added element to the final month of the season.