Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Named National League MVP Finalist

Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts was named a finalist for 2020 National League MVP. He’s accompanied by Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado.

Betts is the Dodgers’ second MVP finalist in as many seasons, following Cody Bellinger who won the award last season. Prior to Bellinger, Corey Seager finished third for NL MVP in 2016.

Betts’ first season with the Dodgers was unlike any other in MLB history, though their trade with the Boston Red Sox was further validated with a World Series win. The 2018 American League MVP appeared in 55 of 60 games this year, batting .292/.366/.562 with nine doubles, 16 home runs and 39 RBI.

A bit of an uneven start to the unique season was quickly improved upon once the Dodgers settled on batting Betts in the leadoff spot of their lineup. While he enjoyed a productive campaign, Betts did not lead the NL in any major offensive categories.

However, the 28-year-old did finish with the best WAR (3.4; Baseball-Reference) amongst all players this past season. Betts’ value extended beyond production at the plate, as he played Gold Glove-caliber defense in right field.

Frank Robinson is the only player in MLB history to win MVP in both leagues, and that figure to holds true this year. Freeman previously was voted the NL Outstanding Player — over Betts and Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto — as part of the 2020 Players Choice Awards, which often is a precursor to MVP.

The 2020 NL MVP winner will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 12.

History of Dodgers MVP winners

2019: Cody Bellinger
2014: Clayton Kershaw
1988: Kirk Gibson
1974: Steve Garvey
1963: Sandy Koufax
1962: Maury Wills
1956: Don Newcomb
1955: Roy Campanella
1953: Roy Campanella
1951: Roy Campanella
1949: Jackie Robinson
1941: Dolph Camilli
1924: Dazzy Vance
1913: Jake Daubert

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