Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant NL MVP?


The Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant is making a case for himself to top his NL Rookie of the Year season with a potential MVP Award-winning season.

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The first half is coming to a close, and it is no surprise that the

Chicago Cubs

are leading the way in the NL Central. Sure, the last couple weeks have been rough, but they still have a 10-game cushion over the rival Cardinals. Once healthy and with a line-up in rhythm, it is evident the Cubs will be fine……It’s probably fine.

With it being the midway point to the season talk will begin regarding the league MVP. So, let’s start (and end) that discussion right now. First, let’s discuss what it takes to win the MVP. Here is what has been consistent over the years. Nothing.

That is right, Cubs fans. There is no consistent data to point to in order to say “this player is the MVP.” Now, there are years, like Albert Pujols in 2009, when the MVP leads the league in eight categories. But, like Andrew McCutchen in 2013, you do not have to lead any stat to win the MVP. Usually, the MVP does have one or two areas in which they lead their league, commonly average, OPS, runs or homers.

Let’s dig into the stats for Kris Bryant. He currently (7/2 at 9:45 central time) leads the NL in the following categories: HR (23), Runs (63), WAR (3.8). He is also in the top 20 in hits (84, tied at 14th),  doubles (19, tied at 13th), RBI (61, second in NL), slugging (.571, in sixth), OPS (.942, in seventh). Very solid case for KB.

Not only to the stats speak highly of Bryant, so does the timing of his play. If you have watched the Cubs over the last few weeks, you know that two players have carried the load for the team during the current slump: Contreras and Bryant. He is also young, humble, poses for GQ, and makes kids cry. Did you see the video of the kid that cried when he received a KB baseball card?

Just for argument, let’s compare Kris’s stats to another anonymous player. Here is an example:

Runs (46, tied at 17), doubles (19, tied for 13), HR (19, tied for 6), RBI (58, in fourth), BB (46, in 7th), OBP (.402, tied for fourth), slugging (.556, tied for 9th), OPS (.968, in third), WAR (3.0, in 6th).

Pretty comparable if you ask me. Bryant leads in three categories and is top 20 in five others. The anonymous player is top 20 in nine areas, top 10 in seven. So, an argument could be made for either player. The question remains, who is the other player?

Next: Who is the Cubs odd man out?

Anthony Rizzo.

There are other players that could make a case for NL MVP, but there is one other stat the comes into play: Team wins. MVPs winner are (more times than not) on the team that makes the playoffs. For the first half of the season, KB has made a compelling case. So has Rizzo.