Is Christian Yelich a dark horse MVP candidate going into the second half?

Christian Yelich is remarkably producing more right now than his MVP seasons
Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers
Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Despite losing their west-coast road trip over the past week, the Brewers might actually come away feeling like victors. That is in large part due to the production we have seen from Christian Yelich. In this past road trip alone, Yelich found his power-stroke again and smashed three homers in five days to close out the trip.

The Brewers desperately needed this type of spark as their roster continues to be depleted by injuries. Yelich has been nothing but clutch this season, and continues to come through time after time for this offense.

Is Christian Yelich sneakily having a better year than his MVP campaign?

All Brewers fans remember the second half that Yelich infamously had in 2018, and there's no way anyone can ever expect that. But, when you compare Yelich's first half stats from 2018 to the 2024 season, the two are in different leagues. His stat line this season clears in just about every category when compared.

In 2018, heading into the All-Star break, Yelich was batting .293/.364/.459 with 11 home runs, 12 stolen bases, and an OPS of .823. These numbers are solid, and Yelich earned a nod in the All-Star Game, but they're nothing compared to this season. In 2024, Yelich has a slash line of .331/.412/.532 while adding 11 homers and 20 steals, with a .944 OPS. All of this production, and Yelich spent a month on the shelf with back pains. He has played in just 66 games this season, compared to his 82 heading into the break back in 2018.

Christian Yelich went off in the second half of his MVP season back in 2018, and if he can just maintain his production from the first half of this season, he could definitely match that type of performance.

A lot of people are still sleeping on Yelich, due to the fact that he just now became a qualified hitter. After missing a month earlier in the season, Yelich has played just about every day since, with no lingering back problems.

Part of this resurgence for Yelich is due to his power hitting. This is what made him so dominant during his best years, but also what has held him back since. In 2024 according to Baseball Savant, Yelich ranks in the 91st percentile in Hard-Hit percentage (49.5%), 85th percentile in average exit velocity (91.6 MPH), and 89th percentile in expected slugging (.499 SLG).

Many didn't think Yelich could ever get back to this level of play after his downfall in 2020/21, but he has proved all the haters wrong. He is beyond back, and a joy to watch in the lineup every day. If Yelich continues to hit for power, he'll quickly become most pitchers worst nightmare in the second half.