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Nolan Gorman & Christopher Morel Among NL Rookie of the Year Candidates for Cubs & Cardinals on Sunday Night Baseball

Nolan Gorman & Christopher Morel Among NL Rookie of the Year Candidates for Cubs & Cardinals on Sunday Night Baseball article feature image

When the Chicago Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday Night Baseball, a variety of National League Rookie of the Year candidates will be on display.

The Cardinals will boast one of the favorites in Nolan Gorman, along with Juan Yepez and Brendan Donovan. The Cubs will counter with a player who seemingly came from out of nowhere in Christopher Morel. Morel is so ‘out of nowhere’ that not all books have him listed as a Rookie of the Year candidate.

There are other players on the teams who could factor into the race, too. Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki was the odds-on favorite before landing on the injured list. The six-time NPB All-Star will not be active on Sunday night.

Chicago also has rookie starting pitcher Caleb Kilian, who made his debut on Saturday.

The Cardinals sent down starting pitcher Matthew Liberatore this week, who is also a candidate — albeit a longer shot on boards.

Let’s break down the current candidates, while shopping for the best odds on each.

Nolan Gorman Rookie of the Year Odds

Gorman was one of the more highly-touted prospects entering the year, both in the betting market and fantasy baseball leagues. The biggest question was playing time and when he’d get a chance.

Well, Gorman has his chance and has now put himself as the favorite at some sportsbooks to win the award. In 44 at-bats, Gorman has 3 home runs with a .991 OPS.

Gorman is either the favorite or just behind Mackenzie Gore to win the NL Rookie of the Year. His shortest odds are +200 at Caesars. His longest odds are +275 at BetMGM . He’s +270 at FanDuel, +260 at DraftKings and +250 at PointsBet.

Seiya Suzuki Rookie of the Year Odds

Suzuki isn’t squarely on bettors’ minds right now after hitting the IL with a finger injury, but his scorching opening month gave the race a Suzuki vs. The Field feeling. He hit 4 homers with a .934 OPS in his first 21 games, but slowed down to a .617 OPS in 20 games in May.

Once the betting favorite, Suzuki is as long as +470 at FanDuel and +450 at Caesars. He’s as short as +275 at BetMGM and PointsBet.

Juan Yepez Rookie of the Year Odds

The Cardinals called up Yepez in May, whom they acquired in a trade for Matt Adams with the Atlanta Braves in 2017. He hit 4 home runs in May while splitting time between the outfield, first base and DH.

Yepez is someone Action Network baseball expert Sean Zerillo has his eye on in the market. His longest odds are +1600 at FanDuel. He’s +1200 at BetMGM, Caesars and PointsBet.

Christopher Morel Rookie of the Year Odds

Where did he come from?

Cubs prospect sleuths were aware of Morel since he was an 18-year-old who stole 23 bases and improved as a hitter in Single-A as a 20-year-old in 2019. After a lost year in 2020, Morel hit 16 home runs and stole 16 bases in Double-A in 2021. He played 10 games in Triple-A but opened the year in Double-A this season.

All he’s done since getting the call is hit two home runs and steal six bases with an .877 OPS while reaching base in all 19 games in which he’s appeared.

Not all sportsbooks consider him a legit option. His odds aren’t posted at DraftKings, FanDuel or BetMGM. He’s as low as +2500 at Caesars, but if bettors think Morel has staying power with the Cubs, shop at PointsBet for the better odds at +5000.

Brendan Donovan Rookie of the Year Odds

A 7th-round pick in the 2018 draft, Donovan has hit at every level in the minors. He’s a career .285 hitter across four minor-league seasons and he’s continued to produce in the majors.

In 34 games, Donovan is hitting .315 with more walks (18) than strikeouts (15).

His odds are spread out, where available. He’s +2000 at BetMGM, +2500 at Caesars and +4200 at FanDuel.

Caleb Kilian Rookie of the Year Odds

Kilian is one of the top pitching prospects for the Cubs. Acquired last season in a trade with the San Francisco Giants for Kris Bryant, Kilian made his MLB debut on Saturday. He struck out six batters in five innings while allowing three runs.

Only FanDuel has him listed at +5000.

Matthew Liberatore Rookie of the Year Odds

Liberatore was the 16th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2018 draft, but was traded to the Cardinals for Randy Arozarena in 2020.

In three starts with the Cardinals this year, Liberatore has a 5.54 ERA in 13 innings with 10 strikeouts and eight walks. He’s allowed four home runs.

He’s listed at +5000 across the board, with BetRivers hanging a +6500 clip.

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