Clayton Kershaw, the 2014 National League MVP, starts on the mound, adding one to the quartet of former MVP winners we saw in Game 1 — Mookie Betts (2018 American League) and Cody Bellinger (2019 NL) for the Dodgers, Christian Yelich (2018 NL) and Ryan Braun (2011 NL) for the Brewers.
There have been seven previous postseason series and 28 previous postseason games involving five MVP winners, but all of those included at least one MVP from that season. Game 2 of this series might mark the first postseason game with five MVPs from previous years.
That’s if Braun plays, after getting removed in the fourth inning of Game 1 with a mid-back strain.
The last such series was the 1982 ALCS between the Brewers and Angels. All five games featured Don Baylor, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, and Fred Lynn, plus that year’s AL MVP Robin Yount.
The last Dodgers postseason game with five MVP winners was Game 1 of the 1963 World Series at Yankee Stadium. That game included both MVPs from that season — Sandy Koufax, who struck out a then-record 15 batters for the Dodgers, and catcher Elston Howard for the Yankees — in addition to Maury Wills (1962 NL), Mickey Mantle (1956-57, 1962 AL), and Roger Maris (1960-61 AL).
Those two teams also produced two five-MVP games in the 1956 World Series. That was the year of Mantle’s first MVP. Don Newcombe, who won both NL MVP and the first (then major league) Cy Young Award that season for Brooklyn, started in Games 2 and 7, joining fellow MVPs Jackie Robinson (1949 NL), Roy Campanella (1951, 1953, 1955 NL) and Yogi Berra (1951, 1954-55 AL).
5 former MVPs in a postseason game
|1956 World Series||2, 7||Yankees, Dodgers||Yogi Berra (1951, 1954-55 AL), Roy Campanella (1951, 1953, 1955 NL), Mickey Mantle (1956 AL), Don Newcombe (1956 NL), Jackie Robinson (1949 NL)|
|1960 World Series||2, 4, 7||Pirates, Yankees||Yogi Berra (1951, 1954-55 AL), Dick Groat (1960 NL), Mickey Mantle (1956-57 AL), Roger Maris (1960 AL), Bobby Shantz (1952 AL)|
|1963 World Series||1||Dodgers, Yankees||Elston Howard (1963 AL), Sandy Koufax (1963 NL), Mickey Mantle (1956-57, 1962 AL), Roger Maris (1960-61 AL), Maury Wills (1962 NL)|
|1964 World Series||1-7||Cardinals, Yankees||Ken Boyer (1964 NL), Dick Groat (1960 NL), Elston Howard (1963 AL), Mickey Mantle (1956-57, 1962 AL), Roger Maris (1960-61 AL)|
|1975 World Series||1-7||Reds, Red Sox||Johnny Bench (1970, 1972 NL), Fred Lynn (1975 AL), Joe Morgan (1975 NL), Pete Rose (1973 NL), Carl Yastzremski (1967 AL)|
|1979 NLCS||1-3||Pirates, Reds||Johnny Bench (1970, 1972 NL), George Foster (1977 NL), Joe Morgan (1975-76 NL), Dave Parker (1978 NL), Willie Stargell (1979 NL)|
|1982 ALCS||1-5||Brewers, Angels||Don Baylor (1979 AL), Carew (1977 AL), Reggie Jackson (1973 AL), Fred Lynn (1975 AL), Robin Yount (1982 AL)|
|2020 wild card series||2||Dodgers, Brewers||Cody Bellinger (2019 NL), Mookie Betts (2018 AL), Ryan Braun (2011 NL), Clayton Kershaw (2014 NL), Christian Yelich (2018 NL)|