MLB Betting Picks: National League MVP Futures Odds
After a long stretch of time where it seemed like you could only win the National League MVP award if you were Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols, the league is now in an era where they have had nine straight first-time winners. Will that streak of new blood continue this year in what is a very deep and, suddenly, very well-paid field? Or will one of the recent winners add a second crown to their trophy case? Here's a look at the world of NL MVP futures as they sit now, with odds from BetOnline:
Bryce Harper, Phillies, +500: The guy with the highest total contract with the game also comes into the season as the favorite, looking to double up after his 2015 MVP win. He's healthy, he's on a good team in a park he has hit well in, and he certainly won't have to work hard to get attention. And despite the big deal and the drama surrounding it, it doesn't feel like he has a lot of general negativity towards him to overcome. He's capable, and he's obviously a contender. I would always be scared off, anyway, at a price like this in a field this deep, though.
Nolan Arenado, Rockies, +650: Harper makes more overall, but no one makes more per year - for now, at least - than Arenado. He's a gold glover who has led the NL in home runs three times and was tops in RBIs in two of those years. And he is the leader of a team that was pretty easy to root for last year and could be tough again this year. He gets plenty of recognition - especially on payday - but probably still deserves more. He's definitely in the mix.
Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals, +900: If I had to make just one bet - and, to be clear, I wouldn't really be tempted to lock up my money long term on any of these prices just on principle - then it would be Goldschmidt. He's finished as runner-up twice, and that was not on a team as good or in a market as competitive as the one he has joined this year. He is an excellent fit with the Cardinals, and I expect big things. He is 31, so his window is smaller than some of these guys, but he still has good baseball left to play. And he should be hungry.
Kris Bryant, Cubs, +1200: Bryant is the second most-likely player to add a second MVP award after Harper - at least according to the odds. The Cubs had a strangely disappointing season last year despite winning 95 games and making the playoffs, so this year feels like much more of a bounce-back year than it probably should. The team had a solid enough offseason and will be right in the mix in the brutal NL Central. Bryant needs to bounce back after a season last year that wasn't quite up to his caliber, either, but he's healthier than he was last year. He represents about as much value as you can hope to find in a prop like this.
Manny Machado, Padres, +1200: Big money, and big long-term expectations for the Padres now, as they wait for their young talent to come along. I'm a Machado guy, and I like where he is and what he will do there. But I don't feel like he is quite in this race right now. He could certainly play his way in, but I don't expect to see quite the numbers from him he'll need.
Christian Yelich, Brewers, +1600: Yelich came from nowhere - both in terms of having been a Marlin before last year and in seeing his stats take a massive jump forward. It was impressive, and I don't think there was anything shady about it at all, but I don't have anything faith that it is nearly sustainable. Repeating is tough at the best of times - never mind when you are a guy who wasn't exactly on the radar at this time last year.
Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves, +2000: If I could buy futures that would pay off if a guy wins the MVP in the next three years, I would go all in on Acuna. The guy was magical last year as a 20-year-old, and he's only getting going. He's on a good team in a good division, and his production should only grow as he plays more games and gets more experience. The upside is huge here, and he is already a contender this year.
Corey Seager, Dodgers, +3300: Seager is back from Tommy John and hip surgeries and has lost a pile of weight while adding muscle. There is a chance he will be a whole new player, and he was already pretty good as he was. Intriguing at this price.
Juan Soto, Nationals, +3300: There is a void to fill on the Nationals in terms of the focus of national attention now that Harper is gone. Anthony Rendon, +2000, is at lower odds, but I am all over Soto when it comes to this team. In a lot of ways, he was more productive at the plate than Harper was last year - and he was a 19-year-old rookie. He lost the Rookie of the Year to Acuna and will be in one heck of a fight with him for the unofficial crown of top sophomore this year. This is an exciting guy who is worth a close look at this price.
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