World Series MVP Odds, Picks | Breaking Down Favorites, Longshots to Bet, Including Bryce Harper, Alex Bregman
Pictured: Bryce Harper. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
We’ve got ourselves a David vs Goliath World Series matchup as the Houston Astros host the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 on Friday night.
Houston has yet to lose in the playoffs after taking down Seattle in the ALDS and then steamrolling the Yankees to advance to the Fall Classic. Jeremy Pena took home ALCS MVP honors after hitting .353 with a pair of home runs and four RBIs.
The Phillies, meanwhile, entered as the long shot underdog in the National League. They swept the Cardinals in the Wild Card Series before dominating their NL East rival Atlanta Braves to advance to the NLCS.
There, they took down San Diego in five games. Bryce Harper took home MVP honors after driving in the go-ahead run in three of the four wins.
Legends are made in October and although both these teams have had impressive runs, only one can take home the crown. So, which team will it be? And who will be the hero?
Here’s a look at five players I like to win the World Series MVP award.
Bryce Harper (+700)
Let’s start with the obvious. If the Philadelphia Phillies are going to win the World Series, there’s no question Bryce Harper will be in consideration for this award.
The Phillies success often goes as Harper does, and he’s been the best player in the 2022 postseason. After being held hitless in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series, he has notched a hit in every game since.
Through 11 games, the reigning National League MVP is hitting .419 with five home runs, 11 RBIs and a 1.351 OPS. Harper took home NLCS MVP honors and has been the most clutch hitter in this underdog playoff run.
Harper is on a torrid pace this postseason and riding the hot hand and star of the Phillies’ offense is where I’m headed first. Harper should have plenty of RBI opportunities and chances to swing momentum.
He is the face of Philadelphia and I expect voters to be inclined to award him the MVP if he produces — with one or two big hits — en route to his first World Series ring.
Alex Bregman (+1200)
This is my favorite Astros play, given the price.
The number is quite disrespectful to Alex Bregman, who has arguably been Houston’s best hitter in the playoffs. He is listed behind Justin Verlander, who has given up seven runs across 10 postseason innings, and Kyle Tucker, who has slumped — .214 average, one extra base hit — through two series.
Bregman enters the World Series with a .333 average and a .975 OPS. He has a pair of home runs, seven RBIs and has struck out just twice in 30 at-bats.
The third baseman is seeing the ball well at the plate and will likely be responsible for many of the big at-bats in this series. He hits behind Yordan Alvarez — who has often been pitched around (.371 OBP) — which should open plenty of opportunities.
Jose Altuve is slumping and Tucker hasn’t been playing well. Pitchers don’t want to face Alvarez and this can easily be a situation where Philadelphia forces Bregman to beat them — which he is 100% capable of doing.
To win the World Series MVP, you need a couple of big hits that swing momentum in your favor. Bregman fits the bill here as he’s seeing the ball well and is in the cleanup spot of a deadly Astros lineup.
Rhys Hoskins (+1800)
This pick follows a similar model to Jorge Soler’s MVP run last season.
Soler had three home runs — twice breaking a scoreless tie and adding a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning of Game 4 — across six games and helped give Atlanta the momentum it needed to take down Houston.
Hoskins reminds me a lot of Soler in this spot. After a slow start to the postseason, he has four home runs in his past four games. He’s very boom or bust and when he’s seeing the ball well, it often results in extra-base hits.
If it weren’t for Harper’s late home run in Game 5, Hoskins could have very well taken home NLCS MVP honors. Things are clicking at the plate for the slugger and this series sets up as a low-scoring one, where one home run could be the difference maker in most games.
Houston’s pitching is hard to beat. They’ve given up less than two runs in all but two games. The bullpen has given up just two runs across 31 2/3 postseason innings and we saw them make New York look absolutely lost at the plate.
So, in what sets up to be a lower-scoring World Series, home runs are vital and clutch hitting carries weight with the voters. At 18/1, Hoskins is worth a stab given his big-play ability.
Jeremy Pena (+1800)
One of the surprises for Houston this postseason has been the play of their 25-year-old rookie.
Pena took home ALCS MVP honors and is hitting .303 with three home runs, seven runs scored and a .990 OPS in the playoffs. He has been a consistent threat sandwiched between Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez and won’t ever be pitched around — meaning opportunities will be there for him to do damage.
Pena has been held hitless just once through seven games and in a lower-scoring World Series, those hits will go a long way. He knocked Nestor Cortes out of the game with a three-run homer in Game 4 and was also incredible in Game 1.
This is the definition of flying under the radar, even after winning the ALCS MVP award. Pena isn’t a household name yet has been one of the best hitters in the Astros lineup. However, he’s listed all the way down at 18/1.
If you want to ride with a hot hand and don’t want to indulge on a bigger name, Pena is your guy. He will see consistent at-bats and we’ve already seen him jump into the spotlight.
Alec Bohm (+6000)
“I fucking hate this place.”
Can you think of a more picture-perfect ending to the 2022 season than Alec Bohm taking home the World Series MVP honors?
Bohm was nearly boo’d out of a starting position because of his early season defensive struggles and is now an everyday starter and Philadelphia’s most consistent hitter.
Yes, he hasn’t had a great postseason, but this is a long shot for a reason. Bohm finished the regular season in the top 2% of MLB hitters in xBA and hit .285 with a .730 OPS in the second half.
The World Series MVP is all about timely hitting and coming through in big moments. Bohm, hitting in the middle of this Phillies lineup, will have his opportunities.
Baseball is unpredictable. Soler won as a long shot last season and I think Bohm is more than capable of doing some damage at the plate. At 60/1, this is an outrageous number and definitely worth a sprinkle.
I can picture it now … Bohm standing on the podium, World Series trophy in his left arm and MVP in his right.
“I fucking love this place.”