The 2019 MLB Season is less than a month old, but Los Angeles Dodgers rising star Cody Bellinger has already generated some early MVP buzz thanks to his stellar play. That has naturally sparked comparisons between Bellinger and defending National League MVP Christian Yelich, who is also off to another strong start.
Bellinger and Yelich have seen a lot of each other, dating back to last year’s NL Championship Series. Both struggled throughout much of the seven-game series, but Bellinger got the last laugh with a walk-off single in Game 4 and a two-run home run to put the Dodgers ahead for good in Game 7, eventually winning NLCS MVP.
As young stars under long-term contracts for teams that figure to compete for the NL pennant for several more years, it seems as though Bellinger and Yelich are already being asked about a potential rivalry between the two.
Bellinger, for his part, enjoys the experience of facing off with the Brewers superstar, per SportsNet LA:
“Yeah, for sure. He’s obviously a great due off the field as well, so he’s an easy guy to root for. Yeah, some friendly competition, for sure. … We were talking before the game a little bit. Just conversations, talking about baseball. Like I said, he’s a great dude on and off the field, so it’s going to be fun competing against him all year.”
Bellinger and Yellich are currently tied for the NL lead in home runs. Both entered Thursday’s game with nine apiece, then each hit their 10th that night — Bellinger in the sixth inning off Matt Albers and Yelich in the ninth off Kenley Jansen.
The Dodgers and Brewers will not see each other again in the regular season after this weekend’s series at Miller Park. Of course, Bellinger and Yelich will likely find themselves on the same field in Cleveland sometime in July, representing their teams at the All-Star Game.
Regardless, it appears Bellinger will be keeping an eye on Yelich as the two hope for a long season of going back and forth on the NL batting leaderboards.