Both are third basemen, both are the face of their franchise and both are playing out of their minds. There is no question about it, Chicago’s Kris Bryant and Colorado’s Nolan Arenado are the two best left-corner infielders that the MLB can offer right now. Both young studs are in the midst of seasons that are nothing short of unbelievable. At this point the duo are undoubtedly the front-runners for the National League’s MVP award. The question has been begged: which super slugger will it be?
A compelling case can be made for both men. As of September 23 Arenado leads the NL in both RBI (128) and HR (39) while batting .292. Bryant is one below Arenado with 38 homers and has driven in 99 while batting .295. Now now, don’t think that Arenado having more homers and far more RBI means he’s the winner. Bryant is getting on base far more than with .387 OBP compared to Arenado’s .360. Also, Bryant’s OPS is .951 compared to Arenado’s .929.
Besides the argument that can be made from stats alone,the teams of the players too have to be considered. Bryant is having a phenomenal sophomore season on the Chicago Cubs, the undisputed best team in baseball and a Fall Classic favorite. As a result, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year has received quite a bit of spotlight, and rightfully so. Arenado led the NL in homers and runs driven in last season but was not an MVP finalist due to even better seasons by winner Bryce Harper and runners-up Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Votto.
However though, Arenado has been one of the few positives for the Rockies (who will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight year) all season long and is far more valuable for a team that has much less talent. One could certainly argue that Arenado’s accomplishments would be far greater if he were on a competitive team. Arenado has the edge in the statistics for the most part, but Bryant is on the better team and that much is always taken into account when the BWAA casts its ballots in November.
At this point I feel likes it’s 50/50. I can see either one getting the award at this point. You be the judge; which of these two phenoms will take home the hardware after the season ends?