5 reasons why Manny Machado is as good as Bryce Harper

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Mandatory Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images
Mandatory Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images /

1. They’re both winning MVPs in 2016

The MLB season is still young, and a lot of things can change between now and September. But so far, it’s hard to argue that Machado and Harper aren’t both leading their league’s MVP races. Machado has more of a cushion than Harper. His 2.3 WAR so far is the best in the AL. While Jose Altuve is close at 2.0, it will be hard for him to get votes if Machado is within striking distance and the Orioles make the playoffs (or are at least very close to it). Unless the Astros get better, Altuve’s MVP case, whether it’s fair or not, will suffer. Unless someone else surfaces, Machado’s the favorite.

Harper faces stiffer competition and, to make matters worse, teams are pitching around him in the same way they pitched around Barry Bonds in the early 2000s. If first base is open, Harper rarely sees hittable pitches. He recently got walked 13 times in a four game series against the Cubs. His .260 batting average looks bad, but that will likely improve by September. Harper will have to overcome Anthony Rizzo in order to win back-to-back MVPs. That will be tough because the Cubs are likely going to be the best team in the NL. Still, Harper’s one of the favorites.

So who’s better? Does it matter? Manny Machado and Bryce Harper are generational talents. Appreciate them while you still can. They’re the kind of players that you’ll be telling your grandkids about.