MLB Awards Update Entering Season’s Second Half

  • BetOnline has updated odds on which star players will win baseball’s top awards
  • Mike Trout (-400) and Cody Bellinger (-125) are favorites to win the AL and NL MVP Awards
  • Justin Verlander (+150) and Max Scherzer (-200) are front-runners in the Cy Young races

In what was supposed to be a celebration of the game, the MLB All-Star break went about as smoothly as the Fyre Festival with record-low ratings and yet another revival of the juiced-ball debate.

With home runs flying out of ballparks at a record pace, let’s look at the AL and NL MVP contenders swinging for the fences and the pitchers who are still somehow putting up Cy Young numbers. All odds below are from BetOnline.

2019 AL MVP Odds

Player Odds
Mike Trout -400
DJ LeMahieu +700
Alex Bregman +1200
Jorge Polanco +1600
Joey Gallo +2500

Mike Trout vs The History Books

Mike Trout is having a career year. Which is even more impressive when you consider the career he’s had. The 27-year-old just appeared in his eighth-consecutive All-Star Game and has already amassed more career WAR than Hall of Famers such as Willie McCovey, Tony Gwynn and Yogi Berra.

Leading the American League in on-base percentage (.453), slugging percentage (.646) and home runs (28), with a career-best 1.098 OPS, the Angels’ all-time great has his third MVP award in the bag.

Pick: Mike Trout (-400)

2019 NL MVP Odds

Player Odds
Cody Bellinger -125
Christian Yelich +150
Josh Bell +1200
Freddie Freeman +1400
Nolan Arenado +1800

Cody Bellinger vs Christian Yelich

Given the indisputable greatness of the man mentioned in the previous paragraph, it’s pretty weird that a guy just an hour up the highway might be having a superior season. While his on-base percentage is a few ticks lower (.432), Bellinger tops Trout in batting average (.336 vs .301), slugging percentage (.646), OPS (1.124) and home runs (30).

Reigning MVP Christian Yelich is the clear runner-up right now despite having a decent shot to become the first man in Major League history to hit 50 homers with 30 stolen bases. Here’s hoping he can put his nagging back injury behind him and make a run at history.

Pick: Cody Bellinger (-125)

2019 AL Cy Young Odds

Players Odds
Justin Verlander +150
Gerrit Cole +300
Lance Lynn +300
Charlie Morton +400
Mike Minor +500

Justin Verlander vs The Field

If you heard that a pitcher called the league “a f—ing joke” and accused the commissioner of intentionally implementing juiced balls, you would assume that pitcher was old, bitter and in the midst of a career-worst season.

But, nope. In pursuit of his second-career AL Cy Young Award and sleeping an incredible 10 hours a night, Justin Verlander is currently allowing the fewest walks and hits per inning (0.813 WHIP) among MLB starting pitchers for the second straight season.

With an E.R.A. hovering around 4.00, Rangers right-hander Lance Lynn isn’t a threat to the Astros ace, but Verlander’s teammate might be. Gerrit Cole is currently on pace to join the prestigious 300-strikeout club, leading the majors with a dazzling 13.11 strikeouts per nine innings.

Pick: Justin Verlander (+150)

2019 NL Cy Young Odds

Player Odds
Max Scherzer -200
Hyun-Jin Ryu +160
Luis Castillo +1000
Walker Buehler +1200
Zach Greinke +2200

Max Scherzer vs Hyun-Jin Ryu

Forget the Cy Young. The Washington Post is busy building an MVP case for Mad Max, who posted a 2.30 ERA with a major league leading 181 strikeouts in the season’s first half.

After going 6-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 68 strikeouts with only five walks in June, Scherzer almost single-handedly raised the Nationals’ playoff chances from 28 to 78 percent.

The 34-year-old will likely become only the fifth player in MLB history with at least four Cy Young awards, and before you deride me for picking all favorites, keep in mind that I picked the same four winners in my early-June update.

Pick: Max Scherzer (-200)

Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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