Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant should be NL MVP, it’s really not that close
As the 2017 MLB regular season winds down, the topic of NL MVP comes to mind. Who deserves it? Who had the most to deal with? How much was so and so relied upon to help his team win each week? These are just a few questions that pop up during this discussion. However, as I look around the NL, Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs stands out as the favorite. The third baseman should repeat as the NL MVP because of a few important factors, so let’s take a look at them.
The Chicago Cubs haven’t been as productive with the bats this season. Addison Russell and Ben Zobrist are having downs years. Kyle Schwarber is hitting close to .200, and the rotation hasn’t been as crisp this season either.
Other teams like the Nats and Dodgers were deeper teams that received contributions from a huge variety of players.
The Nats with Murphy, Harper, Scherzer, and Rendon dominated the NL East. Meanwhile, LA was in cruise control out west. Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Clayton Kershaw, and Corey Seager looked like they were on a mission from day one. But, for me, the MVP race came down to two Cubbies: Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.
I understand Anthony Rizzo has more homers and RBIs, but he doesn’t hit division rivals very well. Against the Cardinals, Pirates, and Brewers, Rizzo is batting .250, .323, and .208 respectively.
Bryant is hitting .156, .381, and .345 against those teams respectively.
That’s important to know since those three teams have been in the hunt for that NL Central crown for most of the 2017 season. So, for Bryant to show up more often than Rizzo and help push these teams away from first place holds weight especially when other teams haven’t played meaningful baseball in quite some time.
He played in more meaningful games this season.
Sure the Dodgers and Nationals have MVP level players like Bryce Harper, Cody Bellinger, Daniel Murphy, and others, but when was the last meaningful game these guys played in?
The Nats closest challenge was the Marlins, which entered Thursday 20 games back in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have a 9.5 game lead over Arizona.
The D’backs and Rockies were really good this year, however, they pretty much had the wild cards locked up for most of the year thanks to their high-powered lineups and improved starting pitching.
The Chicago Cubs have not only rallied past Milwaukee to take first place in the Central, but they’ve played in important games almost all of this season and they’ve held the Brewers, Cards, and Pirates back.
If the NL MVP doesn’t go to Bryant, and it probably won’t this year, then it should be time for voters to reconsider how they select the winner of this award. Especially when you consider the boring and fairly uneventful season the NL just experienced.