Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo heating up, KB looking for his stroke
As for Rizzo, this isn’t a Sherlock Holmes-type mystery. For the first month, the guy couldn’t hit his weight. Now, over the last month or so, he’s been the best hitter in a Cubs uniform – basically driving in a run per game. But you can’t just erase those first 30 contests. Especially when the guy you’re chasing could very well be the National League MVP.
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Freddie Freeman leads a Braves team no one expected to compete in 2018. Yet, here we are in mid-June and Atlanta is neck-and-neck with the Nats in the East. For his part, Freeman is leading the league with 85 hits, 14 doubles, a .998 OPS and 173 OPS+. Yeah, you might say he’s pulling his weight.
A power outage for Bryant
Kris Bryant is a bit of an enigma. He’s not having a bad year by any stretch of the imagination – despite what many believe. Year-over-year, his average is within 10 points of last season – and his on-base percentage consistently pushes .400. It’s his slugging percentage and OPS that have really took a nosedive. Why? He’s just not hitting for power.
More than a third of the way through the season, he has just eight long balls. He hasn’t homered in a game since May 14 in Atlanta – nearly a month ago. Meanwhile Nolan Arenado is doing what he always does. Playing Gold Glove-caliber defense and absolutely mashing – with a .956 OPS and a dozen homers under his belt.
If Bryant flips the switch, then buckle up. But, for now, Arenado is playing all-around better baseball and is more deserving of an All-Star Game start.