NL MVP Candidates to Keep an Eye on in 2020

Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich in March 2019. Photo by John Fisher/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (10182742ao)

Baseball season is just around the corner, with the beginning of the MLB season just starting in April.

The National League is set to be a competition filled with powerhouse teams and star players. The Washington Nationals, the surprise winners of the league and the World Series last season, have a strong roster, but do they have one of the league’s top MVP candidates?

Let’s take a look at the top three NL MVP candidates for the 2020 season.

Christian Yelich, Brewers

The 2018 NL MVP finished in second place in a close vote for the 2019 award, coming in just behind Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger. He looks to be one of the favorites for this year’s award.

The outfielder batted .329 last season with 44 home runs and 97 RBI despite only playing in 130 games due to injury. Expect more big production from the California native, who just agreed to a 9-year, $215 million extension with his team, in 2020. A great eye at the plate and a power surge that coincided with his trade from the Marlins to Milwaukee has turned him into one of the top players in the league, and expect his production to continue in 2020.

Mookie Betts, Dodgers

The biggest trade of the 2019-20 MLB offseason sent perennial All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers, establishing a new big star in the National League.

Betts and Yelich were named MVPs in the same season, with the Nashville native having won the award in the American League during his tenure in Boston. A move to Los Angeles places the talented outfielder in the middle of a stacked lineup, which should lead him to drive in even more runs than he has in previous seasons.

Expect Betts to compete for the hardware in his first year as a Dodger.

Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves

Acuña is one of the top young stars in baseball. The Braves center fielder was exceptional in 2019 at the ripe age of 21, finishing the year with 41 long balls and 37 stolen bases.

Expect the young Venezuelan talent to continue his rise in 2020 for a team that looks to contend for a World Series title. Acuña improved his plate discipline in the 2019 season, a development that led him to post a higher-than-expected .365 on-base percentage along with his power production.

Power-speed combinations like Acuña’s are rare in today’s game and don’t be surprised if his gaudy home run and stolen base totals lead him to compete for the MVP Award.