Chicago Cubs: Is there a legitimate MVP candidate on this team?

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Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Kris Bryant – .249/.360/.441, .801 OPS, 17 2B, 4 3B, 15 HR, 65 RBI

Bryant may not have hit the lofty expectations that most fans that we set for him, but there’s no debating the impact he’s had on this team and it’s “ahead of schedule” push for the playoffs. The strikeout have been a concern, and the average isn’t the .400 many expected (heavy sarcasm), but Bryant leads the team in RBIs while not being a terrible third baseman like everyone thought.

The power stroke seems to come and go, but when he hits them they look effortless.While he’s struck out 132 times, it’s important to point out he’s not going down swinging at three terrible pitches. On the contrary, he’s missing on pitches in the zone, and not before he sees a few. Bryant currently sits seventh in the NL in P/PA (pitches per plate appearance) at 4.16. Addison Russel is fifth at 4.17 and Dexter Fowler is 10th at 4.13. Remember how the Cubs chase three of the Giants four starters from the game early? This is how you do it.

The league has had more time to adjust to Bryant than Schwarber, and the ball has been put back in KB’s court. If the last seven games are an indicator, his .333 (7-for-27) with a home run and five runs batted in show he’s making the adjustments needed–and at just the right time.

Next: Team before MVP?