Bryce Harper is a contender for National League MVP entering a crucial series against the Los Angeles Dodgers
The red hot Philadelphia Phillies open up a three game series tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Winners of eight straight games, the Phillies now sit atop of the National League East, six games over .500, with a two game lead on the second place Atlanta Braves.
The entire Phillies’ offense has stepped up over since the All-Star break, but no one is playing better baseball than Bryce Harper. Since June 30th, Bryce Harper is hitting .353 with an 1.173 OPS. He has nine home runs and 24 RBIs in 34 games. Since the All-Star break, Harper leads the majors in OPS at 1.256.
It’s no secret that the Phillies are playing the best baseball of the season and are primed to make the playoffs for the first time in a decade. Harper is leading the charge with 50 games left and has emerged in the National League MVP race as a serious contender for the award.
Since the All-Star Break, Harper is Top 5 in almost every major category.
- Batting Average: .370 (5th)
- OBP: .516 (1st)
- SLG: .740 (2nd)
- Runs: 18 (4th)
- Walks: 21 (2nd)
- Extra Base Hits: 17 (2nd)
- Times on Base: 49 (1st)
- Stolen Bases: 5 (1st)
So the question now is can Bryce Harper win the National League MVP?
He’s currently tied for 17th in the league with 20 home runs. He only has 45 RBI, which is way below other contenders such as Jesus Aguilar and Manny Machado. Harper’s batting average at .302 is top 10 in the league, ranking seventh overall.
Harper’s OPS is .983, which is arguably the most important statistic when talking about MVP qualifications. Only Fernando Tatis Jr. and Ronald Acuna are better. Harper is catching a break here, with both Acuna and Tatis sidelined with injuries.
On July 31st, Harper’s odds to win NL MVP were +4000. Now, they sit at +275. The sports world and Las Vegas are clearly taking notice as the Phillies surge through August.
Tonight, the Phillies will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in South Philadelphia. Sure, it was easy to beat the Washington Nationals and the dumpster fire that is now the New York Mets, but the Dodgers are totally different. They will arrive in Philadelphia with a record of 67-45 and in second place in the National League West, a division that includes both the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres.
If Harper wants to make a statement and catapult himself into the MVP race even more so than he already has, a productive series against the Dodgers at home is the perfect opportunity.
[…] Bryce Harper popped up in MVP talks, The Phillies took over first place in the National League East, and Zack Wheeler, after another stellar performance on Sunday, is a Cy Young candidate. The narrative has now changed. The Phillies went from losing 2-of-3 to essentially a minor league baseball team in the Pittsburgh Pirates, to being the most talked about team in baseball. […]