MLB Awards Update After First Third of 2019 Season

  • BetOnline has updated odds on which star players will win baseball’s top awards
  • Mike Trout (+125) and Cody Bellinger (+200) are favorites to win the AL and NL MVP Awards
  • Justin Verlander (+150) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (+275) are front runners in the Cy Young races

Still more than two weeks until the official start of summer and the boys of summer are already a third of the way through the season. Given the warm months usually lead to more balls landing over the fence, Major League Baseball’s power explosion should continue throughout 2019.

With home run totals at an all-time high, let’s look at the AL and NL MVP contenders who are smashing dingers and the Cy Young contenders who are preventing them. All odds are from BetOnline.

2019 AL MVP Odds

Players 2019 AL MVP Odds at BetOnline
Mike Trout +125
Jorge Polanco +500
George Springer +1000
Michael Brantley +1000
Joey Gallo +1000

*All odds taken 06/03/19

Mike Trout vs Jorge Polanco

Mike Trout hit .273/.425/.580 in the month of May, and while that represented a step down from his blistering April, his odds to win the American League MVP still improved since we last checked in.

The real mover over the past month has been Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco, whose MVP odds went from 12/1 to 5/1 after he followed up a hot April with a ridiculous May line of .349/.420/.566.

The leader of the #BombaSquad helped power Minnesota to the all-time record for homers (56) in May. Looking destined for the playoffs with one of the best records in all of baseball, the Twins will be playing meaningful games in September unlike Trout and the Angels. Could that give Polanco the edge?

Pick: Mike Trout (+125)

2019 NL MVP Odds

Players 2019 NL MVP Odds at BetOnline
Cody Bellinger +200
Christian Yelich +500
Nolan Arenado +600
Josh Bell +900
Javier Baez +1000

Cody Bellinger vs Christian Yelich

A race that was a toss-up after the season’s first month has tilted heavily in favor of the Dodgers third baseman despite Christian Yelich’s league-leading 22 home runs.

Cody Bellinger has 20 homers of his own while leading leads the majors with a .376 batting average and 4.4 wins above replacement.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the 2017 Rookie of the Year has cut his strikeout rate more than any other player (a 9.7-point decrease) while increasing his power. Even if Bellinger doesn’t continue his pace to have the best season in MLB history, it’s hard to see him not winning the NL MVP.

Pick: Cody Bellinger (+200)

2019 AL Cy Young Odds

Players 2019 AL Cy Young Odds at BetOnline
Justin Verlander +150
Jake Odorizzi +500
Jose Berrios +600
Domingo German +700
Mike Minor +1000

Justin Verlander vs Two Twins Starters

In pursuit of his second career AL Cy Young Award, Justin Verlander pulled an all-time power move. That’s right, he moved past Cy Young himself for sole possession of 21st on the all-time strikeout list (2,809 Ks in total).

Still flirting with no-hitters on the regular, the 36-year-old right-hander is now 9-2 with a 2.27 ERA and a 0.74 WHIP.

Right under Kate Upton’s husband on the ol’ odds table are two Twins pitchers. Jake Odorizzi has an 8-2 record with an AL-best 1.96 ERA, while his teammate Jose Berrios is 7-2 with a 3.27 ERA. Neither guy’s WHIP is comparable to Verlander, however, whose vintage season has put him squarely in the driver’s seat.

Pick: Justin Verlander (+150)

2019 NL Cy Young Odds

Players 2019 NL Cy Young Odds at BetOnline
Hyun-Jin Ryu +275
Zach Greinke +750
Luis Castillo +750
Zach Davies +750
Max Scherzer +800

Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Max Scherzer

Just named NL Pitcher of the Month, Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu went 5-0 with a 0.59 ERA and 36 strikeouts this May, putting together 32 consecutive scoreless innings at one point. The soon-to-be very wealthy South Korean now holds an 8-1 record and a Major League best 1.48 ERA.

Reds righty Luis Castillo was my pick for National League Cy Young about a month ago, but he has sputtered a bit in recent starts. While I still like the Cincinnati ace and his Pedro Martinez-esque changeup, bettors shouldn’t forget about three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.

While his 3-5 record on the disappointing Nationals is doing him no favors, the unluckiest pitcher of 2019 still leads the league in strikeouts (117) and is as insanely competitive as ever.

I’m betting on Scherzer’s luck to improve with two-thirds of the season still to go.

Pick: Max Scherzer (+800)

Steve Dominey

Steve has almost 15 years of experience in marketing, PR and sports television. After acquiring a Journalism degree from Carleton University, he assembled highlight packs for Canada's most-watched sports network (TSN) before transitioning to a career in communications. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.