I've heard all throughout the season, and I've even said it myself, that Anthony Rizzo was the 2015 Cubs MVP. Over the last few weeks, I've started to think that just can't be the case any longer. Rizzo has had a great season, but Kris Bryant's second half has pushed him ahead of Rizzo. Their batting lines are very similar.
Kris Bryant: .277/.368/.492
Anthony Rizzo: .279/.389/.516
Rizzo's been better at getting on base and has hit for a bit more power. Bryant's wOBA is .371 and Rizzo's is .386. The wRC+ is 136 and 146. Anthony Rizzo has been the better hitter, but not by a whole lot.
Depending on the fielding metric, one or the other has been better, but Bryant has played tougher positions defensively. UZR has Bryant at 5.5 runs defensively and Rizzo at -9.3. Baseball Reference's fielding stat has Rizzo at 10 and Bryant at 2.
MVP to me isn't as complex a process as is it to Myles. It's simply the player who has been the most valuable. For MVP, I ignore pitchers becasue they already have an award. I think it would be silly to honor a pitcher for two awards when position players are far more important in terms of wins generated. Plus, it seems fairly straightforward in that the pitchers get an award and the position players do too. So no pitchers. Add an Outstanding Player or whatever and I'm fine with choosing any position.
Rizzo's rWAR is 6.3 and Bryant's is 5.7. Rizzo, for what it's worth, has had 51 more plate appearances, but that's not a large enough difference to make up for the win differential.
Bryant's fWAR is 6.3 and Rizzo's is 5.5. That's the difference in defense showing up and I find defensive stats to be something worth ignoring for the most part.
Baseball Prospectus has Bryant with 5.8 BWARP and Rizzo with 5.1. BPro has them about the same in terms of runs saved defensively.
Rizzo has had another great season. He's going to be valuable in a Cubs uniform for a long time, but he's not been the best position player on this team. Kris Bryant, with the except of the slump he went through about a month into his career, has been outstanding considering he's 23 and a rookie. Rizzo was the most valuable player last season for the Cubs, but he's passed that on to Kris Bryant who looks primed to win that non-award for many years to come.