Brewers’ Yelich shows off MVP credentials post-ASB

Ryan Braun has been bullish on Milwaukee Brewers teammate Christian Yelich from the start.

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The veteran outfielder tabbed Yelich as a possible MVP candidate back in March, just a few months after the 26-year-old arrived in Milwaukee.

“I think he’s got a chance to be in the running for the MVP race this year,” Braun said. “I really think he’s that good.”

And while those sounded like standard-issue teammate platitudes at the time, it’s starting to look like Braun wasn’t too far off.

Yelich racked up three more hits in the Brewers’ loss to the Los Angeles on Thursday, raising his average to .321, his best mark since April 22, tops in the National League and third in the majors.

He hasn’t quite broken into the NL MVP conversation — currently dominated by Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman and Colorado’s Nolan Arenado — but Yelich has been on one since the All-Star Break.

Yelich has an eye-popping .475/.492/.915 slash line in 59 at-bats since the break, and leads the majors with 54 total bases over that span.

MLB, 2018 – Most Total Bases Post All-Star Break

Player Team Total Bases
Christian Yelich MIL 54
Rhys Hoskins PHI 48
Matt Carpenter STL 44
Kris Davis OAK 42
Rougned Odor TEX 38
Jonathan Schoop BAL/MIL 37

Other notes:

— The Brewers and the Colorado Rockies, in town Friday night, have gotten a ton of production from the No. 3 and No. 4 spots in the lineup this season. Milwaukee leads the league in combined RBI from those spots with 167.

— Colorado slugger Charlie Blackmon is 0-for-8 so far this month, but has a history of heating up in August. Blackmon has a league-leading 1.163 OPS in August over the past two seasons.

— Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar has been a positively lethal two-strike hitter this year. He leads the majors with 45 two-strike RBI.

— The Rockies haven’t scored much lately, but neither have their opponents. Colorado is averaging just 3.10 runs per game over their last 10, but has a combined 2.67 ERA over its last eight.

— Braun is on an eight-game hit streak, and is hitting .348 with a .965 OPS over that span. He’s a career .303 hitter after the break, seventh-highest among active players

Statistics courtesy of STATS