Chicago Cubs have a legitimate National League MVP candidate in Yu Darvish

Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish delivers a pitch at Wrigley Field. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish delivers a pitch at Wrigley Field. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Forget Cy Young. If Cubs ace Yu Darv ish keeps it up, he’ll get MVP votes.

As the 2020 season enters its final stretch, talk of Cy Young awards and MVP candidates have begun to circulate. With these talks have come speculation of who fits the bill for each respective title. When it comes to the Chicago Cubs, there is one name that comes to mind for both honors: Yu Darvish. Darvish, 34, has already been publicly praised for his efforts across this abbreviated season and has been deemed an obvious Cy Young candidate. While currently posting a 1.44 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 2.4 WAR (which leads the National Leauge), it is hard not to see what the fuss is about.

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Despite his recent success on the North Side of Chicago, Darvish had to work to get where he is today. The Japanese-born hurler signed a six-year, $126 million contract with the Cubs two years ago and, early on, it looked like a disaster.

In 2018, the four-time All-Star made eight starts before he fell victim to injuries that ended his season. Last year, Darvish returned but found himself struggling on the mound early. His struggles were attributed to control issues but they were quickly fixed by July and have not resurfaced since. In fact, as of July 1 of last year, Darvish owns a 2.41 ERA with 187 strikeouts and just 15 walks.

Darvish had an incredible second-half of 2019 and hasn’t turned the heat down in 2020. This season, he has kept his control by taking every game pitch by pitch and has been a saving grace for a team that is lacking consistency from just about every other starter apart of their rotation. With both southpaw Jose Quintana and veteran Tyler Chatwood on the injured list, as well as the likes of Jon Lester and Alec Mills struggling, Darvish is the glimmer of stability that the team needs to prosper.

With how successful the Cubs have been thus far in the shortened 2020 season, it looks overwhelmingly likely that they will contend in the postseason and Darvish will play a huge role in the team’s continuing contention.

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Considering both his numbers and how overall valuable he is for this 2020 Cubs team especially, his Cy Young and MVP candidacies are well deserved. With the regular season winding down, it’ll be all eyes on Darvish as he looks to finish off a dominant campaign.