Matt Holliday is emerging as an NL MVP candidate

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It’s time Matt Holliday starts getting his due as one of the game’s very best hitters.

Holliday went 4-for-5 with a double, a triple and four RBI as the Cardinals topped the Reds 8-2 today to move within six games of the NL Central lead. The Cardinals are currently in position as the No. 2 wild card, with the Dodgers and Pirates nipping at their heels.

Holliday upped his RBI total to 89, wrestling the NL lead away from teammate Carlos Beltran and the Brewers’ Ryan Braun. With an average 37 points higher that Beltran’s, he’s probably going to be recognized as the Cardinals’ best MVP candidate at season’s end. Yadier Molina also has a case, but even though he’s the league’s premier defensive catcher, it’s going to be hard for him to catch the voters’ attention when his power numbers are likely to come in well below Holliday’s and fellow catcher Buster Posey’s.

Holliday is currently batting .309/.384/.527. If the season ended today, he’d be the only player in baseball to post a .900+ OPS in each of the last seven years. Albert Pujols has also done it six in a row and may well make it seven, but he’s sitting at .877 right now. Miguel Cabrera has done it every year but one: he barely missed in 2008, coming in at .887.

Holliday did go to a sixth All-Star Game this year, but he’s finished in the thick of the MVP race just once; a 2007 season in which he hit .340-36-137 for the Rockies and ended up in second place. If he leads the league in RBI, he’s destined for a top-five finish this year, and rightly or wrongly, he’ll probably have a good chance of winning it if his Cardinals reach the postseason and Andrew McCutchen and Posey stay home.

Indians place Trevor Bauer on disabled list due to stress fracture in right fibula

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The Indians announced on Tuesday that starter Trevor Bauer has been placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a stress fracture in his right fibula. Pitcher Tyler Olson has been recalled from Triple-A Columbus.

Bauer, 27, took a line drive from José Abreu off of his right ankle in the seventh inning of Saturday’s start against the White Sox. He was attended to by a trainer before leaving the game.

Bauer has been among the game’s best starters this season, owning a 2.22 ERA with a 214/56 K/BB ratio in 166 innings.

Olson, 28, has pitched 18 subpar innings in the majors this season. With Triple-A Columbus, he posted a sterling 1.86 ERA with 15 strikeouts and one walk in 9 2/3 innings. Olson missed some time earlier this season with a lat strain.