As the Chicago Cubs push their postseason chances higher and higher, Cody Bellinger continues to do the same with his value heading into free agency. With a 2-for-4 effort on Wednesday that included a home run and double, he raised his team-best OPS to .920 on the season and helped his team secure their first three-game sweep since mid-June.
Bellinger has been on a tear since the All-Star break, with an MLB-best 56 RBI. The next best? Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez, who's driven in 44 in the second half. The Cubs' do-it-all weapon continues to impress and looks as impressive as he did back in 2019, when he won NL MVP honors as a member of the Dodgers.
Cubs getting more from Cody Bellinger than they could have ever hoped for in his Comeback Player of the Year campaign
A big part of his bounceback success this season has been his performance against southpaws. Both of his hits against the Giants on Wednesday came against lefties: the double that chased starter Alex Wood in the fourth and then his solo shot off Sean Manaea to lead off the seventh. On the year, he leads the team with 24 homers and 86 RBI - despite missing an entire month with a knee injury midseason.
Bellinger has never been a guy who torched left-handed pitching, with a .248/.323/.454 career slash line - and that includes his next-level performance here in 2023. He's clearly figured something out this year, evidenced by a .347/.399/.611 line against lefties in 144 ABs. That even trumps his line against right-handers, a rarity in today's game for a left-handed hitter.
In the month of September, as the Cubs have surged to within 1.5 games of first and within just one of the top Wild Card spot, Bellinger is slugging .828 - and his OPS is now over 1.000 in the second half. He's done all this while also swiping 19 bases, putting his first-ever 20/20 season well within reach, and playing Gold Glove-caliber defense in the outfield and at first for Chicago.
He's going to get his come this winter, especially in a light free agent class. After what he's done for this team this year, it's hard to imagine anyone will be more motivated to lock him up than Jed Hoyer and the Chicago Cubs.