Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts was named the 2018 American League Most Valuable Player on Thursday, capping off a spectacular season in which his team won their fourth World Series in 15 seasons, and Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich earned the NL MVP honors after leading Milwaukee to an NL-best 96 wins and a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Yelich was pretty much the run away favorite and almost unanimous winner, receiving 29 out of 30 first-place votes, with the other vote going to NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom. Cubs second baseman Javier Baez finished second and Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado placed third.
In Betts’ fourth full season, the 26-year-old Silver Slugger led the Majors with a .346 batting average, 129 runs and a .640 slugging percentage, along with 47 doubles, 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases. Betts is the only player to win the batting title in the same season in which he also had at least 30 homers and 30 stolen bases. He reached base at least four times in 20 games, which was also tops in the league.
Since being traded to Milwaukee from Miami, Yelich dominated in Wisconsin with a .367 batting average and a .444 on-base percentage since July 8. He is the Brewers’ second NL MVP Award winner, joining teammate Ryan Braun, who won in 2011.