Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich has won the National League Most Valuable Player award and Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts has taken home the American League MVP honor, per announcements from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
2018 NL MVP: Christian Yelich.— BBWAA (@officialBBWAA) November 15, 2018
Full voting details: https://t.co/tDbAFziWNi
2018 AL MVP: Mookie Betts.— BBWAA (@officialBBWAA) November 15, 2018
Full voting details: https://t.co/Rcqr8qZo72
Yelich received 29 out of a possible 30 first-place votes to beat out finalists Javier Baez, of the Cubs, and Nolan Arenado, of the Rockies, for the NL MVP. Along with the 29 first-place votes, Yelich received one second-place vote to give him 415 points. Baez finished second after he had 250 points on 19 second-place votes, four thirds, five fourths and two fifths. Arena took third after he had 203 points, highlighted by three second-place votes, eight thirds, nine fourths and five fifths.
As for Betts, he received 28 out of 30 first-place votes to beat out finalists Mike Trout, of the Angels, and Jose Ramirez, of the Indians for the AL MVP. Betts also had two second-place votes to 410 points. Trout took second in the voting after garnering one first-place vote, 24 seconds, two thirds, one fourth and two fifths. Ramirez rounded out the three finalists with 208 points, highlighted by one second-place vote, 10 thirds, 11 fourths and three fifths.
Yelich became the fourth different MVP winner in Brewers’ history, along with Rollie Fingers (AL MVP in 1981), Robin Yount (AL MVP in 1982 and 1989), and Ryan Braun (NL MVP in 2011). As for Betts, he became Boston’s 11th different player to win the MVP, joining Tris Speaker (1912), Jimmie Foxx (1938), Ted Williams (1946, 1949), Jackie Jensen (1958), Carl Yastrzemski (1967), Fred Lynn (1975), Jim Rice (1978), Roger Clemens (1986), Mo Vaughn (1995) and Dustin Pedroia (2008).
The 26-year-old slugger led the NL in batting average (.323), OPS (1.000), WAR (7.4), slugging percentage (.598), total bases (343), runs created (131.4) and runs created per 27 outs (8.72). He also finished tied for second in RBI (110) and third in homers (36).
Yelich moved to the frontrunner position in the MVP race after he put on a memorable final month of the season that saw him hit .370/.508/.804 with 10 homers and 34 RBI. Yelich had a shot on the final day of the regular season to become the first player in the NL to win the Triple Crown since the Cardinals’ Joe Medwick back in 1937, but went 3-for-4 with an RBI in Game 163 to fall one RBI short of leading that category and two homers short of finishing first in that stat.
In addition to the MVP, Yelich won a NL Silver Slugger award this year.
Betts led the Red Sox to the best record in baseball (and a World Series title) this year in large part because he was arguably the best player in the game.
The 26-year-old right-handed hitter led all of MLB in batting average (.346), slugging percentage (.640), runs (129), WAR (10.9) and runs created (141.8) and ranked in the top three among the entire AL in extra-base hits (first with 84), OPS (second with 1.078), runs created per 27 outs (second with 10.72), doubles (second with 47), and on-base percentage (second with .438). Defensively, Betts led all MLB right fielders in defensive runs saved (plus-20), UZR (15.3), RZR (.959) and DEF (10.1).
In addition to the MVP, Betts won an AL Silver Slugger award and an AL Gold Glove award for his efforts this season.