First Base: Anthony Rizzo vs. Adrian Gonzalez
On the Cubs side, we have Anthony Rizzo, arguably their best player and undoubtedly the heart and soul of this young team. Ironically, Rizzo was traded for Gonzalez by the Boston Red Sox in 2010, when the Padres acquired him in exchange for the Adrian Gonzalez. San Diego later traded Rizzo to the Cubs.
Well, the Cubs got themselves a steal. Rizzo has improved every season, he was an MVP finalist last year and is looking to continue his growth this season. His numbers are terrific, but it is his leadership qualities that put him over the edge. You can count on him to put up at least 25 home runs every year. His AVG may not be pretty at times, but his OBP is always high because of his great sense of the strike zone.
For the Dodgers, it is veteran Adrian Gonzalez whom as mentioned earlier has some ties with Rizzo because they were traded for one another. But following the trade to Boston, the Dodgers nabbed Gonzo in a blockbuster deal. From this trade, A-Gon is the only player still on the Dodgers.
Gonzalez saw his power numbers decrease last season. This year looks to be the same, just not enough gas left in the tank to put up those 30 home run seasons he was used to. But with that said he is still a RBI machine putting balls in the gap and bringing runners to the plate with his simple approach at the plate.
We have two players who are very similar, but just at different points in their careers. The Cubs have a young Rizzo in the middle of his prime, while the Dodgers have a veteran in the midst of a steep decline. Perhaps if this were an argument three years ago, A-Gon would have the advantage, but that is not the case.
Rizzo and Gonzalez are both blue collar workers that will help their teams reach the playoffs and hopefully collide in another NLCS matchup. But ultimately the edge here goes to Chicago simply because of the point each player is in his career.
Cubs, Chicago leads 1-0