Padres: Ranking the team’s three likeliest MVP candidates

(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /
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Manny Machado / Fernando Tatis Jr. / San Diego Padres
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As a whole, the San Diego Padres look like one of the best teams in all of baseball. Eyeing their first-ever World Series championship, it’ll take some standout individual performances along the way to get the job done.

With that being said, the Padres certainly aren’t lacking in impact players. They’re loaded with potential All-Stars, Cy Young candidates and, yes, even a few guys capable of bringing home the National League MVP at season’s end.

3) Don’t sleep on what Yu Darvish could bring to the Padres pitching staff

For the last year-and-a-half, Yu Darvish has been one of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. After battling through a rough start to his Cubs career, the right-hander dialed in and became downright overpowering on the mound.

Last season, he put it all together in a big way during the pandemic-shortened 60-game schedule and wound up finishing runner-up in the NL Cy Young race. Darvish won a league-best eight games, led all MLB starters with a 2.23 FIP and posted a 2.01 ERA in a dozen starts.

Capable of blowing it past opposing hitters and buckling their knees with an overwhelming 11-pitch arsenal, Darvish showed that he’s still got plenty in the tank in 2020. If he can replicate what he distributed last year over the course of a full 162 game slate this time around, we could be looking at not only a Cy Young front runner but a threat to be the first pitcher to win the MVP since Clayton Kershaw back in 2014.