Chicago Cubs: Did Javier Baez lose the MVP or did Christian Yelich win it?

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: El Mago not looking very MVP-like

With one week left to play in the season I think Baez was the clear-cut favorite for the NL MVP. If I had a vote, which of course I don’t, I would have voted for him. He had a chance to widen the margin even more and pad his stats but flat-out failed to do so.

In his final eight games of the season Baez hit just .250 with just eight hits. Baez failed to go deep in any of those games and only drove in one run. On top of that, the young infielder was swinging and missing at a much higher clip, striking out 11 times.

When the Cubs played the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday for a chance to win the division outright, Baez failed to deliver. In the game, Baez went 1-for-4 at the plate with two strikeouts. The Puerto Rican native had a chance to do some damage in the sixth inning with two outs and two runners on base in a 1-1 tie, but he struck out swinging to end the inning.

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Baez had his chance to wrap up the MVP

While you want him to be aggressive, Baez also swung at a 3-0 pitch that was probably ball four. He hit a harmless pop-up shallow left field to end the fourth inning. Not to say the game would have unfolded the same way, but Anthony Rizzo then led off the Cubs fifth inning with a home run. Maybe that could have been a two-run homer as opposed to a solo shot and maybe the game unfolds differently from there.

Those were two bad moments in a crucial game in what was a really a rough week for the potential MVP candidate. I think due to the rough slump Baez went through he cost himself a shot at taking home some hardware this offseason. If Baez had come through in a few key situations and helped the Cubs clinch the division I think he would still be the frontrunner for the MVP.