If the Philadelphia Phillies were collectively playing as good as their best player, their playoff standing in the National League would be looking even more promising than it currently is.
Bryce Harper is putting up one of the finest campaigns of his career, entering Sunday night’s series finale against the New York Mets, batting .315 with a .429 on-base percentage while leading the league with a .627 slugging percentage and 1.056 OPS.
He hasn’t batted over .300 since 2017 and is poised to have an OPS over 1.000 for just the third time in his career.
So far, he’s been performing up to the lofty expectations that come with his monster contract, adding 33 home runs and 79 RBI.
But what’s made this season even more impressive is that he is seemingly single-handedly willing the Phillies to stay in the playoff situation during the second half of the season.
This is as good a post-All-Star break showing we’ve seen in quite some time, as Harper is slashing a remarkable .355/.486/.761 (1.247 OPS) with 18 home runs and 45 RBI in just 59 games.
If not for him, the Phillies likely aren’t close to knocking on the door of the Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the NL East while trying to keep pace with the St. Louis Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot.
Should the Phillies break their playoff drought, Harper could be a shoo-in for the National League MVP award. Even if not, he’s still very much in the conversation:
2021 NL MVP odds
- Fernando Tatis Jr, SDP: -115
- Bryce Harper, PHI: +100
- Max Muncy, LAD: +1600
- Juan Soto, WSH: +3000
- Freddie Freeman, ATL: +3000
- Trea Turner, LAD: +3500
- Nick Castellanos, CIN: +10000
- Brandon Crawford, SFG: +10000
- Joey Votto, CIN: +10000
- Austin Riley, ATL: +13000
Odds courtesy of DraftKings