2020 NL MVP Breakdown
In the NL, it was tough to come up with just five players for this breakdown. Some of the notable players that didn't make this breakdown: Marcell Ozuna, Michael Conforto, and Trea Turner.
Here are the cumulative stats for the favored leaders in the NL:
Manny Machado (3B San Diego Padres)
This has been by far Machado's best offensive season by mostly every metric, traditional and advanced. It's a career high OPS, on pace to break his HR total from 2016 of 37, on pace to top his stolen bases at 14, if this were a full season. He's finally stopped messing around with playing SS, focusing directly on 3B and DH. He's increased his walk and lowered his strikeout percentage. Essentially, this is peak Machado and it's enough to win an MVP. Here's a grand slam to win the game versus the Rangers.
Corey Seager (SS Los Angeles Dodgers)
Another player having another career year, Corey Seager is killing the ball this year. He's in the top 5th percentile for every batted ball statistic. Much like Machado, Seager is on pace (if it were a complete season) to break his career HR high of 25. Playing for the juggernaut Dodgers doesn't hurt either, especially when he's not the only MVP candidate on his own team.
Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS San Diego Padres)
Meet the most polarizing player in the league right now (Trevor Bauer a close second), Fernando Tatis Jr. He's made waves this year hitting grand slams on a 3-0 pitch in a 7-run game (see above video), all while being a Gold Glove defender at SS. I will go on the record and admit that I was anticipating a down year, thanks to his extremely high BAbip last year, and I was completely wrong. Because Tatis Jr plays a premium position, and can hit with the best of them, this makes Tatis Jr a serious contender for MVP
Freddie Freeman (1B Atlanta Braves)
Once Freeman contracted COVID and lost a considerable amount of weight, it was assumed that this was a lost year for the 1B. That couldn't be further away from the truth. He's 5% under his career K rate and 5% more on his walk rate. Thanks to his stellar teammates (Acuna and Albies), Freeman has had a ton of RBI opportunities. He's also peaked in his slash line with a solid .349/.461/.640 that leads the group.
Mookie Betts (OF Los Angeles Dodgers)
What's crazy about this Mookie season is that it's not even his best year, yet here we are. You could argue that offensively this is the best team Mookie has been on his career. Mookie straight up won't swing and miss, and also is still one of the best defensive outfielders in the game. What puts him in contention for MVP is his WAR. Out of the group, Mookie is first which might push him above the other players with the stat nerds like me.