The Dodgers had two National League MVP award winners in the decade of the 2010s. The case can be made that they should have had three.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had a very successful decade in the 2010s. Although they were unable to capture a World Series title, they won the NL West seven times and have currently won seven straight from 2013 to 2019. Then there are the two National League pennants they won in 2017 and 2018 but that is not the only hardware the club brought home this decade.
The National League MVP award was won twice this decade by current Dodgers and the argument can be made that there should have been a third one. In 2014, Clayton Kershaw brought home the achievement which is rare for a starting pitcher, and in 2019 Cody Bellinger became the first Dodgers’ position player to win the NL MVP award since Kirk Gibson did way back in 1988.
The 2014 season was a great one for ace Clayton Kershaw who was in the midst of his prime. in 2014, Kershaw put together arguably the finest season of his illustrious career. Clayton went 21-3 with an ERA of 1.77. His FIP supported his strong campaign as it was nearly identical to his ERA at 1.81. He also averaged 10 strikeouts per nine innings pitched while allowing just one walk per nine innings.
The prized moment of his MVP season came on June 18, 2014, against the Colorado Rockies. Kershaw pitched a no-hitter against the Rockies that would’ve been a perfect game if Hanley Ramirez did not commit a throwing error. It is Kershaw’s only no-hitter to date and was the first no-hitter to feature fifteen strikeouts and not a single walk. Arguably the greatest no-hitter ever thrown.
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A more recent MVP award came this year as Cody Bellinger put together the best season of his young career and he won the NL MVP award over Christian Yelich. This year, Bellinger hit 47 home runs and drove in 115 RBI’s to go along with 15 stolen bases. Cody finished with an impressive triple-slash line of .305/.406/1.035. Although he finished two home runs away from Shawn Green’s single-season home run record, maybe one of these seasons Bellinger will hit 50 bombs.
Cody’s NL MVP season was aided by a strong start as he hit .336 with 30 home runs prior to the All-Star break. His second half was less impressive although he still managed to post an OPS of .917 after the break while slugging 17 home runs. After his strong 2019 season, it will be interesting to see how Cody does going forward into his prime. He should have another MVP award or two in his bright future.
Almost MVP honorable mention: Matt Kemp
Although this is about Dodgers who won NL MVP awards this decade it’s worth mentioning Matt Kemp who was robbed of the award in 2011 by Ryan Braun. That season Braun won the award despite finishing behind Kemp in home runs, RBI’s, and stolen bases. In 2011, Kemp finished just shy of a 40-40 season as he slugged 39 home runs and stole an even 40 bases.
Ryan Braun hit 33 home runs and finished with 111 RBI’s to go along with 33 stolen bases. To further the sting of Kemp’s MVP robbery, Ryan Braun tested positive for PED’s the next spring but won an appeal based on a technicality of the drug testing process. Kemp should’ve won the MVP award in 2011 and the Dodgers would’ve finished with three MVP’s this decade.