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Subject: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Right fielder Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 07:04:33

 Yasiel Puig will be hitting fifth in the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ lineup for Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves.The Cuban slugger moved up two spots on Friday night after hitting seventh in a 6-0 victory in Game 1 at Dodger Stadium. Puig was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and a walk on Thursday night. He also scored a run.Manager Dave Roberts moved catcher Yasmani Grandal to eighth after he went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts hitting in the fifth spot in Game 1.The Dodgers kept their lineup intact in facing their second straight right-hander. Anibal Sanchez started for the Braves on Friday after righty Mike Foltynewicz made his postseason debut in Game 1.Left fielder Joc Pederson leads off for Los Angeles , followed by third baseman Justin Turner, first baseman Max Muncy — who hit a three-run homer in Game 1 — and shortstop Manny Machado. After Puig, center fielder Cody Bellinger, second baseman Enrique Hernandez, Grandal and pitcher Clayton Kershaw round out the order.Atlanta manager Brian Snitker made just one lineup change, inserting Kurt Suzuki at catcher in place of Tyler Flowers, who struck out in his first three at-bats before singling in the ninth. Suzuki will hit in the same fifth spot that Flowers did.The Braves outhit the Dodgers 6-5 in Game 1, but Atlanta only had singles. Besides Muncy, the Dodgers got homers from Pederson and Hernandez.Left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr., third baseman Johan Camargo and first baseman Freddie Freeman were the top three for the Braves. Right fielder Nick Markakis was hitting cleanup, followed by Suzuki, second baseman Ozzie Albies, center fielder Ender Inciarte, shortstop Charlie Culberson and Sanchez. The Baseball Writers' Association of America announced the finalists for each major MLB award earlier this week, including the three players in the running for the AL and NL MVP awards.In the American League, Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, Cleveland Indians infielder Jose Ramirez and Los Angeles Angeles center fielder Mike Trout finished in the top three in the balloting.On the National League side Jason Kipnis Jersey , it was Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez and Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich as the leading vote-getters.With the field now trimmed to three, it's time for some updated look at each MLB race, complete with odds and predictions.AL MVPMookie BettsBillie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty ImagesOddsMookie Betts, RF, Boston Red Sox: 1-4Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels: 17-3Jose Ramirez, 2B/3B, Cleveland Indians: 19-1Stat ComparisonBetts:186 OPS+, 84 XBH (32 HR), 80 RBI, 129 R, 30 SB, 10.9 WARRamirez:150 OPS+, 81 XBH (39 HR), 105 RBI Lonnie Chisenhall Jersey , 110 R, 34 SB, 7.9 WARTrout:199 OPS+, 67 XBH (39 HR), 79 RBI, 101 R, 24 SB, 10.2 WAROutlookMLB MLBYour 2018 AL MVP finalists:mookiebettsmrlaparaMikeTrout xLG3flO3CkBetts was runner-up to Trout in the 2016 voting, and those two will dominate the balloting once again this year.However, it's Betts who is the clear front-runner this time around.The 26-year-old led the AL in batting average (.346), slugging percentage (.640) and runs scored (129) as one of the driving forces behind a juggernaut offense in Boston.With 30 steals and 32 home runs, he was one of just two 30/30 players around baseball this year.Betts was also his usual brilliant self defensively in right field, tallying 20 DRS with a 21.1 UZR/150 to win his third straight Gold Glove Award.Mike TroutMasterpress/Getty ImagesWhile Trout had another excellent season鈥攍eading the AL in walks (122), on-base percentage (.460), OPS (1.088) and OPS+ (199)鈥攈e did it while playing for sub-.500 Angels team that finished a distant fourth in the AL West.Fair or not, playing for a winning team still factors heavily into the voting.After finishing third in the voting a year ago, Ramirez actuallyimproved in a number of statistical categories , including OPS+ (145 to 150), home runs (29 to 39), RBI (83 to 105) and steals (17 to 34), to join Betts as a 30/30 player.However, a case can be made that he wasn't even the best player on his own team, as Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (131 OPS+, 38 HR, 92 RBI, 25 SB, 7.9 WAR) is headed for a top-10 finish in the voting as well.In the end, the biggest surprise on the AL side was that Ramirez finished ahead of Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez, whohit .330/.402/.629 with 37 doubles, 43 home runs and an AL-leading 130 RBI.Prediction:Betts wins AL MVPNL MVPChristian YelichMorry Gash/Associated PressOddsChristian Yelich, LF, Milwaukee Brewers: 1-9Javier Baez, 2B/SS, Chicago Cubs: 23-2Nolan Arenado Bob Feller Jersey , 3B, Colorado Rockies: 49-1Stat ComparisonArenado:133 OPS+, 78 XBH (38 HR), 110 RBI, 104 R, 2 SB, 5.6 WARBaez:126 OPS+, 83 XBH (34 HR), 111 RBI, 101 R, 21 SB,6.3 WARYelich:164 OPS+, 77 XBH (36 HR), 110 RBI, 118 R, 22 SB, 7.6 WAROutlookMLB MLBYour 2018 NL MVP finalists:Nolan Arenadojavy23baezChristianYelich CulW8H0IyjYelich has garnered MVP votes just once in his career Satchel Paige Jersey , finishing 19th in the balloting back in 2016.That speaks to the significant strides he made this season in his first year with the Brewers, as he helped lead Milwaukee to a surprise NL Central title.The 26-year-old won the NL batting title and finished two home runs and one RBI away from winning the Triple Crown.An otherworldly month of September where he hit .370/.508/.804 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI in 27 games helped the Brewers chase down the Cubs in the standings and solidified his standing as the MVP front-runner.At this point, the question is not whether he'll win the award. It's whether he'll win it unanimously.There have been just two unanimous NL winners in the past 15 years鈥擜lbert Pujols in 2009 and Bryce Harper in 2015.Javier BaezJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesBaez should scoop up the majority of the second-place votes after turning in a breakout season with the Cubs.The free-swinging infielder showed a slightly more refined approach at the plate, trimming his strikeout rate (28.3 to 25.9 percent) and improving his hard-contact rate (32.4 to 35.8 percent) in the process.His quick-twitch athleticism was still on full display on a daily basis, though, as he was a game-changer on the basepaths and defensively at second base and shortstop, along with his gaudy offensive numbers.Arenado edged out the likes of Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter to finish third in the voting.As usual, he filled up the stat sheet while playing excellent defense at third base for a contending Rockies team.However, his dramatic home (1.105 OPS, 23 HR, 62 RBI) and road (.772 OPS, 15 HR, 48 RBI) splits water down his overall stat line.Prediction:Yelich wins NL MVP unanimouslyAll stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.

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