While compiling the best record in the majors with a 78-44 mark the Chicago Cubs' young stars are the odds on favorites for MVP and Cy Young awards. On the MVP side the Cubs's find themselves with two legitimate candidates with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo leading the way. While on the mound Jake Arrieta is attempting to become 1 of only 5 pitchers to win back to back Cy Young awards.
Jake Arrieta is striving to become the first Chicago Cubs pitcher to win consecutive Cy Young awards. This elite company includes Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Randy Johnson and former Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux . It should be noted that the Cubs conceivably could of have a 4 time winning Cy Young award winner had they not inexplicably let Greg Maddux leave via free agency after his first award in 1992 for the Atlanta Braves.
Currently Arrieta leads the Cy Young race with a solid 15-5 record with an impressive 2.75 ERA.
Arrieta's main competition currently is Washington Nationals' Stephen Strasberg who has posted a 15-5 record with 3.59 ERA. Arrieta actually may fall victim to his own team's success as his fellow starter John Lester finds himself in contention as well with a 13-4 record and an equally impressive 2.86 ERA.
On the offensive side Kris Bryant seeks to become the Cubs first MVP recipient since Samy Sosa won the award back in 1998 and the 11th Cubs' player overall. Bryant finds himself playing the role of the "Natural" batting .300 while pounding out 31 home runs and 83 RBI. Bryant's numbers are all the more remarkable as he has produced them while currently batting 2nd in the Cubs' potent line up.
Equally as valuable has been Bryant's ability to literally play almost any position on the field. Cubs' Manager Joe Maddon who is known for shuffling his line ups and he has certainly demonstrated this by inserting Bryant at third base, all three outfield positions and most recently at first base.
Bryant like Arrieta has found tremendous competition right on his own bench in the form of Anthony Rizzo who has put up his own fantasy stats with .293 average to go along with 25 home runs and 87 RBI. However Bryant's main rival for the MVP award figures to be Cubs' playoff nemesis Daniel Murphy who has not let up from last years' NLCS where he along with the NY Mets' pitching staffing killed the Cubs. Murphy parlayed his hot post season into $37.5M contract with the Washington Nationals. Murphy has continued to put up staggering offensive numbers with a .348 average to go along with 23 home runs and 88 RBI while keeping his team firmly a top the NL East.
On the prospects of ending their 108 year old curse with a World Series victory could the Cubs' long sufferng fans handle a MVP and Cy Young award winner all in one year? These are truly good problems for the hottest team in baseball to contemplate as we work our way towards the playoffs.
If you enjoyed this article be sure to check out another Chicago Sports Homer's Cubs' post: Why Are Chicago Cubs Fans So Nervous?
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