Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs is greeted by Chris Coghlan #8 and Dexter Fowler #24 after hitting a three run home run against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning on August 20, 2015 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. | Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Could Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo be the National League MVP?

SHARE Could Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo be the National League MVP?
SHARE Could Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo be the National League MVP?

The Chipotle diet is working well for Anthony Rizzo.

So well, in fact, that the Cubs slugger could end the 2015 season as the National League MVP.

The crew at ESPN’s Baseball Tonight took a look at Rizzo’s MVP credentials on Thursday night and concluded the Cubs first baseman may actually win it.

Rizzo ranks in the top five in the NL in on-base percentage (.401), slugging percentage (.538), total bases (231) and offensive WAR (4.7). He’s sixth in the league in homers with 24.

“It’s one of those situations where you look at Andrew McCutchen a few years ago,” Baseball Tonight analyst Pedro Gomez said. “He won the MVP because the Pirates made it to the postseason and they hadn’t been there in so many years. There were a lot of people that voted for him, and rightfully so. He’s the one that basically carried the Pirates into the postseason.

“If the Cubs make it to the postseason, you can absolutely see a similar scenario where Rizzo is gonna garner a lot of votes. And when you look at the National League, there’s no one player that really jumps out and you say that’s the MVP. It could very well be someone like Rizzo. Don’t forget, that ballot goes 10 deep, and he’ll be on a lot of those ballots.”

The McCutchen comparison is an interesting one, but it’s worth keeping in mind that Cutch had a WAR in 2013 (8.1) that was a full point higher than Paul Goldschmidt, who finished second in the voting.

Eric Wedge, who also appeared on the Baseball Tonight panel, said Rizzo’s MVP status will be determined by how well the Cubs do in the season’s final weeks.

“He’s the one that leads those young kids,” Wedge said. “He’s the one that really steadies them along the way, so I think whether or not he wins it will depend on how the Cubs do the next five to six weeks as a club.”

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