A month ago, the National League MVP discussion focused around just two players. But now the field is beginning to open up, and a few more are making strong cases to take home the honor of being the league’s most valuable player. Here are the top five players with the best current odds to win the NL MVP.
Cody Bellinger +200
Bellinger got off to a scorching hot start, and at one point was the runaway favorite after hitting close to .400 and demolishing the field in RBI. The 23-year-old came back to Earth a little bit over the last couple weeks but is still putting up MVP-worthy numbers.
Bellinger still leads the National League, and all of MLB, with a .355 batting average. He’s third in the league with 22 home runs and tied for second with 57 RBI, but leads in OBP at .451 and is second in hits. Not to mention, the Dodgers are cruising to yet another division title. Barring a huge second-half collapse, Bellinger will be a front-runner all season.
Christian Yelich +500
Last year’s MVP is putting together a very solid case to repeat in 2019. Yelich has continued his superstar pace for a Brewers team fighting for first place and has now closed the gap between himself and Bellinger in many categories.
Hitting .342, Yelich leads all of baseball with 26 home runs, a .745 slugging percentage, and 1.189 OPS. He is also second in the NL in runs and OBP. And if that wasn’t enough for his case, he also leads the league with 16 stolen bases. The battle between him and Bellinger down the stretch will be a treat to watch.
Josh Bell +900
While much of the focus is on Bellinger and Yelich for the MVP race, don’t sleep on Bell. The Pirates first baseman has been the breakout player of the season and has cemented himself as one of the league’s top power hitters.
Bell has been driving in runs consistently, with a league-high 64 RBI. He’s also the league leader with 26 doubles. Elsewhere, he’s top 10 in nearly every other offensive category, even runs and triples. The 26-year-old switch-hitting Bell is very much in play to win his first MVP award.
Javier Baez +1000
Last year’s MVP runner-up is having a near identical campaign in 2019. So far, for a first-place Cubs team, Baez’s slash line is .288/.325/.550. For comparison, he finished last season with a line of .290/.326/.554.
With 17 home runs and 46 RBI, Baez is still a bit behind the previous three candidates. But fortunately for him, he ranks in the top 10 in hits and doubles while putting together another Gold Glove-caliber season at shortstop. While he’s a little ways away from being a favorite, a strong second half could definitely change that.
Nolan Arenado +1000
Arenado may be the most consistent MVP finalist in the National League. Every year, he puts together rock-solid numbers and elite defense at the hot corner, and this season has been no exception.
As the NL’s hit leader with 89, Arenado is second with 57 RBI, sixth with a .327 average, fifth with 51 runs, and seventh with a .971 OPS. He will put together another season of at least .300/30/100 but needs to go well beyond that in order to overcome the Coors Field bias and stand out over the other candidates.