6:52 PM ET
A season that started on the COVID-19 restricted list ended with the 2020 NL MVP for Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. Here’s a closer look at the stats and performances that separated Freeman from finalists Mookie Betts and Manny Machado for the award.
The number that says it best
1.102. Freeman’s 1.102 OPS was second to only Juan Soto, who missed 13 games for the Nationals, in the majors this season. For the sake of comparison, that’s higher than both 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger (1.035) and runner-up Christian Yelich (1.100) posted last season. In fact, according to ESPN Stats & Information, Freeman’s OPS was the best by a Braves player since Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby posted a 1.130 OPS for the Boston Braves in 1928.
Freeman led the majors in extra-base hits and his performance at the plate was clearly superior to Mookie Betts’ 2020 offensive numbers. The big question was whether voters would value that over the Dodgers outfielder’s all-around game.
A deeper dive
Moving up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup seemed to take Freeman’s game to another level this season. In his 100 at-bats batting