Southern California reigned supreme in the Major League Baseball awards voting with the announcement that Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels were named MVPs.
In the National League, Bellinger earned 19 first-place votes and 362 points to beat out Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers (10 first-place votes, 317 points) and Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals (one first-place vote, 242 points).
Since moving to Los Angeles after the 1957 season, the Dodgers have produced six MVPs. Bellinger joins a group that includes Maury Wills (1962), Sandy Koufax (1963), Steve Garvey (1974), Kirk Gibson (1988) and Clayton Kershaw (2014).
Bellinger is also the 24th player in MLB history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP. The 24-year-old took home NL Rookie of the Year in 2017, and he's the first player to join that group since Kris Bryant won NL Rookie of the Year in 2015 and NL MVP in 2016.
Bellinger and Yelich, who won the award last year, finished the regular season in a dead heat with 7.8 FanGraphs wins above replacement. Yelich likely would have come out ahead in that battle if he didn't miss the final 18 games because of a fractured kneecap suffered Sept. 10.
Yelich topped Bellinger in batting average (.329 to .305), on-base percentage (.429 to .406) and slugging percentage (.671 to .629). Bellinger had the advantage in homers (47 to 44) and RBI (115 to 97).
Bellinger was also an outstanding defensive player in 2019, as he won his first career Gold Glove as a right fielder, leading all qualified players at the position with 19 defensive runs saved.
The AL MVP race became more interesting after a late-season injury to the perceived favorite, as Trout missed the final 19 games for the Angels after he had surgery on his right foot. His absence opened the door for Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman in the midst of a pennant race.
Voters gave the edge to Trout with 17 first-place votes and 355 points. Bregman received the remaining 13 first-place votes and 335 points, with Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien rounding out the top three with 228 points.
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1⃣ Trout 17 13 - - - - - - - - 2⃣ Bregman 13 17 - - - - - - - - 3⃣ Semien - - 22 6 - 2 - - - - 4⃣ LeMahieu - - 6 10 7 1 2 1 - 2 5⃣ Bogaerts - - 1 6 7 7 2 2 3 - 6⃣ Chapman - - - 1 - 3 10 5 5 2 7⃣ Springer - - - 1 2 1 3 7 5 2 Full voting breakdown: https://t.co/fMngLjsYU6 https://t.co/iREQvHeZQT
Bregman had a strong case and would have been a deserving MVP most years. He was right on Trout's heels with 8.5 FanGraphs WAR and hit a robust .296/.423/.592 with 41 homers and 112 RBI for a team that led MLB with 107 wins.
Since his first full season in 2012, Trout has established himself as the best player of this generation. The 28-year-old now has three MVPs, tied with five other players for most in AL history.
After leading the league with 184 strikeouts in 2014, he has transformed himself into a hitter with no weaknesses:
The only thing missing from Trout's resume is success in October, as he's only played in the postseason once, in 2014, when the Kansas City Royals swept the Angels in the ALDS.