WAR is not the be-all-end-all of stats. There are some who swear by it and others who despise it. We even have various versions of the stat since different sites can’t agree on the formula. For what it’s worth, FanGraphs has Betts leading the majors with 3.2 WAR. Trout is third on their list with 2.8 WAR. The most significant difference is how FanGraphs rates defense, as their UZR metric is far more kind to Betts.
It may not be a perfect stat but WAR is the closest metric we have to evaluate the full value of a player. It’s the closest we can get to being able to compare players from different eras.
When it comes to the MVP race, many voters have come around to including WAR as a factor but it’s not the deciding factor. The player with the best WAR has to be in the conversation but doesn’t win the award by default.
If Betts remains ahead in the offensive categories it may carry him to his first MVP award since voters typically put more emphasis on production at the plate. He may even further close the gap in DRS given his strong track record in the field.
Ultimately, that may not even be enough to surpass Trout in the WAR category. The reason essentially boils down to the position they play. Betts may fall short of being the most valuable player as far as Baseball-Reference is concerned but he should still be considered the frontrunner for MVP.