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Believe it or not, we’re almost halfway through the season, and it’s officially not too early to talk about the MVP race in the National League. Right now there are 2 clear front runners with a 3rd who’s raking since his late start. And there are still plenty of players in the race. Including possibly a pitcher.


The Favorites

Mookie Betts

  • 2.0 WAR (Leads MLB, 23 games)
  • .319/.374/.681
  • 9 HR, 19 R, 21 RBI, 2 SB
  • 99% zone contact rating

It’s been Mookie Mania out in LA. He is officially the Dodger’s leadoff hitter, with possibly the hottest hitter in the NL, Corey Seager, batting right behind him. Combine Mookie’s ability to get on base, his speed, and the double king in Seager, and you get a lot of runs. And right now Mookie cannot miss. Quite literally, he’s only swung and miss on one strike in the zone.

He leads all of baseball in WAR right now by a 0.3 margin. That margin is 0.4 in the NL. But what separates Mookie as the clear favorite right now is his team and his defensive prowess. He’s top 5 in Defensive WAR and top 3 in Offensive WAR. (Fun fact: Kike Hernandez is 1st)

Fernando Tatis Jr.

  • 1.6 WAR (T-2nd in NL, 25 Games)
  • .313/.389/.729
  • 11 HR (1st in MLB), 22 R, 28 RBI, 5 SB
  • Leads baseball in barrels (14) and hard hit balls (42, 95+ MPH)

The latest news on Tatis came after hitting a grand slam on a 3-0 count in a blowout against the Rangers. The Rangers retaliated by throwing behind Machado on the next at bat. They had said an unwritten rule had been broken. Tatis apologized, but he really shouldn’t have had to. He’s a clear contender for MVP and every at bat counts. Especially bases loaded.

But beyond that, the new kid has been absolutely electric atop the Padres lineup. He’s reproducing exactly what he did in his almost ROY campaign and more. He’s leading the lead in exit velocity, hard hit %, and is just about top 5 in OPS. He’s defensively above average at a premiere position, has electric speed, and more swagger than any other player since Griffey. His biggest struggles are in swinging and missing.

Juan Soto

  • 0.9 WAR (in 12 games)
  • .409/.490/.955
  • 7 HR, 14 R, 15 RBI, 1 SB
  • Leads league in xSLG and xwOBA

He had a late start due to Covid-19 and waiting for approval. He’ll be playing only his 13th game tonight but seems to be homering every single night. He’s improved tremendously defensively. And as of right now he’s the best hitter in all of baseball. As soon as he qualifies he will be an OPS leader. He’s currently sitting at 1.445, way ahead of 1st place Winker at 1.196.

Since returning he’s homered once in every 7 at bats. He has 6 walks compared to 5 strikeouts so far. 10 out of 18 hits have been for extra bases. His OPS+ is 275. Oh and he’s still only 21 until October 25th.


Honorable Mentions

Charlie Blackmon

  • 1.3 WAR (23 games)
  • .433/.475/.633
  • 3 HR, 19 R, 22 RBI
  • Leads MLB in Batting Average. Has the most realistic remaining shot at .400
  • Biggest issue is the Coors splits and defensive woes

Corey Seager

  • 0.9 WAR (17 Games)
  • .306/.359/.611
  • 6 HR, 15 R, 16 RBI, 4 2Bs
  • Expected line of .385/.520/.844
  • Just got moved to the top of the Dodger’s lineup
  • Leads MLB in Barrels per plate appearance at 16.7 (2nd is Soto at 15.7, 3rd is Lowe at 13.5).
  • Biggest problem was missing games with back pain

Bryce Harper

  • 1.0 WAR (17 games)
  • .364/.493/.673
  • 4 HR, 17 R, 12 RBI, 3 SB (0 CS)
  • .500/.619/1.000 against lefties this year
  • .480/.567/.880 in his last 7 games with 2 HR
  • Still the Phillies aren’t doing very well

Mike Yastrzemski

  • 1.5 WAR (25 games)
  • .318/.434/.670
  • 6 HR, 21 R, 19 RBI, 3 3B, 7 2B, 1 SB
  • 18/22 BB/SO ratio

Max Fried

  • 1.6 WAR (T-2nd in NL)
  • 29 IP, 5 Starts, 3 Quality Starts
  • 3-0, 1.24 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 28 SO
  • 11.1 Scoreless Innings Pitch streak
  • Has only given up more than 1 run once

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