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Mookie Betts, Christian Yelich Capture MVP Awards

Betts notched his first MVP award with 28 first-place votes over the Angels' Mike Trout, who earned two.

Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts and Brewers slugger Christian Yelich were named the AL and NL MVP Award winners, respectively, on Thursday.

Betts, 26, notched his first MVP award with 28 first-place votes over the Angels' Mike Trout and Boston teammate J.D. Martinez, who each earned one.

After finishing second in the AL MVP race to Trout two years ago, Betts cemented his status as the top candidate this time around by winning the batting title with a .346 average. The Red Sox right fielder was the team's first batting title winner since Bill Mueller in 2003. In doing so, Betts also became the first batting champion in MLB history to record a 30-30 season (32 homers and 30 steals). He also had 47 doubles, five triples, 129 runs and 80 RBIs, and his 1.078 OPS was second in MLB behind only Trout (1.088). In addition to an All-Star selection, Betts captured his third Gold Glove award and his second Silver Slugger to his resume.

Yelich also won his first MVP Award, earning 29 first-place votes en route to securing the honor. NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom received the final first-place vote.

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Despite being an MVP sleeper for most of the season, Yelich made his case with a stellar second-half performance, including a September surge that helped the Brewers secure their third division title in franchise history. Yelich's .770 slugging percentage after the All-Star break was the best mark in the past 14 MLB seasons. He finished as the first battling champion in Brewers history at .326 and led the NL in slugging, OPS, OPS+ and total bases. Milwaukee went 20–7 throughout his second-half run and rallied from a 3.5-game deficit to clinch the NL Central title over the Cubs.

Yelich is the first Brewers player to win NL MVP honors since Ryan Braun won in 2011, while Betts is the first from Boston to pick up the AL accolade since Dustin Pedroia in 2008.