The Duel

Would You Rather: Have Anthony Rizzo or Kris Bryant for the 2020 MLB Season and Beyond

Tristan Jung
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have been teammates on the Chicago Cubs for their entire major league careers.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have been teammates on the Chicago Cubs for their entire major league careers. / Quinn Harris/Getty Images
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For years, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have been the faces of the Chicago Cubs organization. They were the dynamic duo that brought them their first World Series in 2018 years. They've combined for six All-Star appearances (three each) and countless fond memories for Cubs fans.

However, those times appear to be ending soon. With Bryant's name repeatedly coming up in trade talks and Rizzo now over 30, the Cubs could look very different going forward. With that in mind, let's break down which Cubs star would be better to have for the 2020 season and beyond.

Over the past six years, Anthony Rizzo has been one of the most consistent players in baseball. Since 2013, he's missed only 53 games and never had a major injury. His numbers are like clockwork: you always know you're getting somewhere around a .280 batting average, 25-30 homers, and 100 RBIs.

Rizzo's excellent batting approach and durability make him a very valuable asset. Even though he's never been an elite exit velocity player, his ability to make solid contact and draw walks leaves him as one of the most productive first baseman in the game.

The only concern is Rizzo's declining power numbers. His homer totals have fallen in the last two years, even as league-wide numbers have ballooned due to the juiced balls. Rizzo's unique approach brings consistency, but without a huge ceiling.

If everything comes together for Kris Bryant, he's capable of bringing more upside than Rizzo. His unbelievable years in 2016 and 2017 are a testament to that. Bryant is equally good at hitting for average while also adding value in runs scored and homers.

However, the consistency is not quite there. Bryant was hampered by injuries in 2018 and had a bit of a slump, by his standards, in the second half of 2019, when his OPS dropped from .955 in the first half to .829 in the second.

Both have some uncertainty looming around their contract situations as well. The Cubs have a club option for 2021 on Rizzo's deal, while Bryant is eligible for arbitration in 2021 and set to become a free agent in 2022.

Overall, Bryant is likely going to be the more valuable player in the 2020 season. With Rizzo already starting to see a dip in his counting stats, it's easier to see Bryant with a higher ceiling in the year ahead. Also being two years younger than Rizzo, Bryant brings more long-term value to the table as well. Rizzo is still capable of being a solid, consistent player, but Bryant is the more valuable piece for the Cubs.



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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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