Keibert Ruiz is a Betting Favorite for NL Rookie of the Year Even Though He Can’t Win

Keibert Ruiz is a Betting Favorite for NL Rookie of the Year Even Though He Can’t Win article feature image

Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Keibert Ruiz

Keibert Ruiz was one of the centerpieces in the deal last July that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving the Washington Nationals their catcher of the future.

He's thought of so highly that multiple sportsbooks listed him as one of the favorites to win National League Rookie of the Year.

There's just one problem. Sportsbooks are offering a bet that literally cannot win.

Ruiz isn't eligible to win Rookie of the Year because he's no longer considered a rookie, MLB confirmed to Action Network.

There are two key numbers a player must reach to exhaust his rookie eligibility. The first is plate appearances or innings. Ruiz only has 96 career at-bats, which falls below the 130 at-bat threshold. The other threshold is days on the Major League roster. His 64 days between 2020 and 2021 are more than the required 45 days. 

Under prior rules, Ruiz would still have a chance to win the award. Prior to the 2020 season, days on the Major League roster in the month of September didn't count toward the number due to expanded rosters.

The new rule reads:

"Because there was no “September callup” period this year, days of service on the Major League roster will include September 2020. So any player who accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the 2020 season or during previous seasons prior to Sept. 1 will no longer be considered a rookie."

The altered rule remained in place in 2021, meaning the 30 days in September and three days in October count towards Ruiz's rookie eligibility. The change remains the case for 2022 and going forward, per an MLB spokesperson.

BetMGM, PointsBet and DraftKings all had Ruiz listed at +500 to win the NL Rookie of the Year, trailing only Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz and Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki. Barstool Sports, WynnBET and BetRivers posted him at +650. FanDuel's odds were the longest at +900.

Caesars Sportsbook was the only book that didn't list Ruiz as a betting option on March 29. Caesars did originally list Ruiz as an option on March 10, but was only posted for 50 minutes before being pulled off the board. Caesars did not take any bets on him to win.

Action Network reached out to each sportsbook for comment regarding the mistake as well as how they'll handle any bets previously placed on Ruiz.

FanDuel plans to refund bets placed on Ruiz. BetMGM will also void all bets on Ruiz. He was the 6th-most bet player to win the award at BetMGM.

DraftKings pulled Ruiz from the board and will also refund bets.

Sportsbook responses will be updated as received.

It's important to know how each sportsbook will handle. While it may be easy to assume bets would be void and refunded for the sportsbook's mistake, that may not be the case for all.

Under Rookie of the Year — and only Rookie of the Year — BetRivers notes "all bets stand, others on request." Sometime between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. ET, NL Rookie of the Year odds were pulled. There's been no comment yet regarding bets previously placed on Ruiz.

Ruiz's status wasn't a secret. Popular stats and information website Baseball-Reference says "exceeded rookie limits in 2021 season" under his bio. He's not listed in MLB Pipeline's top-30 prospects for the Nationals, a website owned and operated by the league.

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