Dodgers’ Top of the Order is Loaded with MVP Candidates

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: Justin Turner
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: Justin Turner /
5 of 5
LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 12: Cody Bellinger /

Cody Bellinger

74-23. That is the best way to summarize Cody Bellinger’s impact to this Dodger team. When he was called up, Los Angeles was 9-11. Since his debut though, LA has gone a video game-like 74-23. That is a 123 win pace.

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His 34 home runs place him second only to MLB-leader Giancarlo Stanton (42) in the National League. But Belli also came up three weeks after the season had started so who knows how close he’d be. Since Bellinger’s debut, only Stanton has more home runs in baseball (35). Bellinger also has the second best slugging percentage in the NL, behind only, you guessed it, Stanton.

He has had a similar spark plug effect to that of Yasiel Puig in 2013. The team was underperforming before his arrival (although it was extremely early) and proceeded to go on a tear after his call-up. But he’s been the energizer while putting up elite numbers like his 34 dingers and .972 OPS (after Sunday’s win).

The cleanup hitter on the best team in baseball will always get looked at in the MVP discussion, and Belli is certainly putting up eye-catching numbers. He has been clutch all season with 16 of his home runs coming after the 7th inning and a .400 batting average in high-leverage situations.

He’s also played left field and first base this year and has shown off his elite defensive capability. But ultimately, the 74-23 is his biggest argument for MVP. You just can’t argue with that record.

Next: Re-evaluating the Forsythe Deal

Not many teams, if any, can say that their number one through four hitters are legitimately in the MVP discussion. Just another mind-boggling number from this historic 2017 Dodgers team.