Call me biased, but Matt Holliday is undoubtedly the most underrated hitter in the major leagues this year – and he proved it in this week’s National League Central matchup of the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds.
This was a crucial series for the Redbirds. With only 38 regular season games remaining, the Cardinals entered the series seven games behind the division leading Reds, and barely holding the lead for the second National League wild card slot. Holliday made sure the Cards kept that lead by batting .500 this weekend, with seven hits in 14 plate appearances.
Holliday extended his hitting streak to six games in his outstanding performance on Sunday. After finishing 4-5 with four RBIs and a homerun shy of hitting for the cycle, Holliday brought his RBI season total to 89, taking sole possession of the NL RBI lead.
Along with his leading RBI numbers, his .309 batting average and 23 home runs are among the top in the majors. In fact, his average exceeds that of many of baseball’s biggest names such as Josh Hamilton (.290), Ryan Braun (.302), Mark Trumbo (.280) and Albert Pujols (.283). Yet the media often undervalues him in comparison with players from larger market teams.
Regardless of the lack of attention, Holliday continues to soar at the plate. If the Cardinals are able to hold on and make it to the post-season, he is definitely a solid MVP consideration.
St. Louis now heads to Pittsburgh for another important series. As long as Holliday keeps doing what he’s doing – along with the teams’ other hot hitters – the Cardinals are in good shape for a playoff position.