If the MLB plays in 2020, we’ll have awards for a 50-game season. It sounds ridiculous but that’s just the way things will go. To win the NL MVP, you’re going to need to hit for a high average, hit plenty of home runs, and have a high RBI total on the season. Will the NL MVP winner have a fluke season or will a top player win the major honor?
In a shortened MLB season (if there is a season at all), it’s hard to know what stats will be needed to win the MVP award. There are going to be hitters hitting .350 or above on the season. That’s a given. But the player who hits .350 or better while leading the league in home runs has a much greater chance at winning the MVP.
Christian Yelich +450
Christian Yelich won the NL MVP in 2018 and was basically “robbed” from a second MVP last season. Yelich had a career season in his first stint with the Milwaukee Brewers. He hit .326 with 36 home runs and 110 RBI’s including 22 stolen bases, 343 total bases, and won the Silver Slugger award along with the MVP.
Let’s say we only get 33 percent of the season.
His numbers would be 12 homers and 36 RBI’s in about 54 games along with seven stolen bases and 114 total bases. It’s crazy to think that numbers like that could ultimately win an MVP award but in a shortened season, a player that can hit around 15-20 homers would be looked at as the MVP.
In 2019, his season was cut short due to a knee injury in mid-September. Before that injury, he was hitting .329 and had 44 homers with 97 RBI’s. He stole more bases at 30 and became the 13th player in MLB history to have 40 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season. Again, in the 2019 season, he won the Silver Slugger award.
The MVP is likely going to come down to homers and batting average. Yelich has been tremendous in his first two seasons with Milwaukee. If he has a hot stretch to begin the season, an MVP award for Yelich is likely.
Cody Bellinger +900
Christian Yelich lost the 2019 MVP to Cody Bellinger. The young Dodgers outfielder hit .305/.406/.629 with a 1.035 OPS, 47 home runs, 115 RBI, 121 runs scored, and 9.0 WAR.
Again, in a shortened season, numbers like these would be ideal. A player will need a high average and plenty of home runs to be considered for the MVP in a shortened season.
In a shortened season, Bellinger would hit near 16 home runs and 40 RBI’s on the season.
Will there be a player that can hit 20 homers and accumulate 50 RBI’s?
Here’s an interesting thought. The Dodgers just traded for Mookie Betts from the Red Sox. Having Betts and the other Dodgers in the lineup will certainly help Bellinger if he wants to reach those kinds of stats.
The Dodgers are likely going to be one of the best teams in the NL this season. A ridiculous lineup and a team that will win plenty of games should help Bellinger in his quest to go back-to-back.
Pete Alonso +2500
I continue to talk about a player needing a high average and a solid amount of homers. But what if a player hit one homer every two games?
Pete Alonso, who knocked 53 home runs in 2019 during his rookie season, could be that one guy to hit over 20 homers in a shortened season. While his average certainly won’t be high enough like Yelich or Bellinger, Alonso features ridiculous power where if he gets hot to begin the season, Alonso could lead the NL in home runs by plenty and steal the NL MVP award after leading the Mets back into the playoffs.
Alonso, at +2500, is a longshot but with his raw power and success last season, it would be hard to count Alonso out of these MVP talks in a shortened season.