2020 MLB National League MVP Odds: Ronald Acuña Jr. Leads the Way
Pictured: Ronald Acuna Jr. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Betting on the American League MVP has been tough in recent years because of a fella named Mike Trout. Tough to bet on due to the insane prices, tough to fade because, well, he’s Mike Trout.
The National League, however, has been a bit more of a traditional MVP betting landscape.
Last year, Cody Bellinger (+2500) took home the hardware, making him the 10th consecutive first-time MVP winner in the N.L. The last man to win this award more than once was Albert Pujols, who took home his 2nd and rd N.L. MVPs back in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
This year, oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook have the bar set high for some very young players, as we could have another first time winner on our hands.
2020 N.L. MVP Odds
At +300, Atlanta phenom Ronald Acuña Jr. is the preseason favorite. The outfielder just turned 22 last month and is coming off a season in which he posted 41 home runs and stole 37 bases. Typically, you don’t see players peak at age 21, meaning we could be seeing some insane things from this guy in 2020.
Next on the docket is Christian Yelich (+600), who would likely be favored if he didn’t break his kneecap to end his 2019 season. The Brewers outfielder could have potentially won his second consecutive MVP had his campaign not been cut short. He’s not expected to miss any time to start the season, but I think oddsmakers might be a little skeptical of how he’ll perform given the nature of his injury.
Last year’s winner, Cody Bellinger, and two youngsters — Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto — are all listed at +800. Bellinger’s MVP season was obviously phenomenal, but he was not as impressive in the second half (132 wRC+) as he was in the first (183 wRC+).
Tatis Jr. played just 84 games last year, but the Padres’ shortstop wowed in his limited action. The 21-year-old had an OPS of nearly 1.000, stole 16 bases and made some insane plays in the field. The MVP potential is there for sure.
The nation became familiar with Juan Soto during the World Series, in which his cockiness and excellent hitting stole the show. He will be just 21 for the duration of the 2020 season and already has more than 1,000 major league plate appearances. He finished ninth in the MVP voting last year behind 34 homers and a .401 OBP.
There are honestly a lot of names who I think will get action in the +1000 to +3000 range, which is where I personally tend to look, too.
After a slightly underwhelming debut with the Phillies, perhaps another Bryce Harper MVP season is in store. In 2015, he posted an fWAR of nearly 10 thanks to Ted Williams-esque numbers at the plate, such as an OBP of .460 and OPS over 1.100. None of his other seasons have really looked anything like that, though. Will the 27-year-old ever repeat that magical season?
At 20-1, Kris Bryant’s preseason odds are among the worst of his career. Much like Mookie Betts in the A.L., Bryant has seen some offseason trade rumors. Both the Red Sox and Cubs have had less-than-ideal franchise trajectories following their recent World Series wins and sometimes, just sometimes, that leads to star players being dealt to rebuild the farm system.
At 60-1 sits Ketel Marte — the man who finished fourth in the MVP voting seemingly out of nowhere in 2019. Any believers in Marte will surely love him at this price, as the oddsmakers obviously think last year was a fluke. The diminutive Diamondback (he’s listed at 165 pounds) posted a 7.1 fWAR thanks to excellent hitting and strong fielding. If he can manage similar numbers, he’ll be in the running once more, allowing 60-1 ticket holders to potentially hedge their bets later in the year.
Stay tuned for more baseball futures, value plays and more as we exit the football season and approach Spring Training.