It is way too early -- way too early -- to begin serious MVP discussions, but if the voting were held today, the National League winner would be clear: Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger. Yes, even over reigning MVP Christian Yelich.
Sunday afternoon the Dodgers outlasted the Brewers at Miller Park (LAD 6, MIL 5) and Bellinger was a big reason why. He had RBI singles in the first and second innings, and, in the eighth inning, he robbed Yelich of a home run. One inning after that, Bellinger socked what proved to be the game-winning home run off Josh Hader.
That is only the second home run Hader has allowed to a left-handed hitter in his career. (Anthony Rizzo took him deep last season.) Also, it is already Bellinger's third home run against a southpaw this season. He hit six homers against lefties all of last year.
"With two strikes against him you literally just try to put it in play," Bellinger told reporters, including David Vassegh of Dodger Talk, following Sunday's game. "He just threw that one worse than his first two and better for me."
Bellinger went 3 for 4 with the home run and 3 RBI (and the home run robbery) on Sunday. He is currently hitting .424/.500/.882 on the season with 11 home runs. Yelich has 13 home runs, but Bellinger has him beat in ...
- Batting average: .424 to .353
- On-base percentage: .500 to .456
- Slugging percentage: .882 to .856
- Wins above replacement: 2.1 to 2.0
The Dodgers took three of four in Milwaukee this weekend and they currently sit atop the NL West at 15-9. (Yelich and Brewers are in second place in the NL Central at 13-10.) There is a lot of season still to be played and the MVP races are far from decided. At this point though, Bellinger is as good a bet as anyone. He's been the best player in baseball so far in 2019.