- We have fresh odds for the American League and National League MVP and Cy Young races
- History is on the line as Max Scherzer could become just the fifth pitcher to win four Cy Young awards
- Matt Carpenter has become an NL MVP contender after clobbering eight home runs in just six games
Can you hear that? It’s the sound of Matt Carpenter muscling his way into the National League MVP conversation. The St. Louis Cardinals slugger has become a top-five candidate to win the award after clubbing eight home runs in just six games. That’s more taters in fewer outings than anyone in franchise history, including legendary mashers Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols.
Carpenter’s prodigious power earned him NL Player of the Week honors on Monday afternoon and it could earn him even more hardware in November if he’s able to sustain his historic pace.
Carpenter isn’t the only one who’s been on a roll lately. We’ve been tracking the performances of baseball’s crème de la crème and have created fresh new odds for who will win the MVP and Cy Young races in the American League and National League.
American League MVP Odds
|JD Martinez||Red Sox||6-1|
|Mookie Betts||Red Sox||9-1|
Major League Baseball might as well go ahead and start engraving Mike Trout’s name on the AL MVP award. The Millville Meteor is batting .307 with 26 home runs, and 52 RBIs and leads the American League in walks, intentional walks, onbase percentage, and WAR. Trout’s numbers aren’t just good, they’re historically good. His 61.2 career WAR is the highest in Major League history through 1,025 games and it continues to improve with every passing month.
Trout may not lead the league in commercials or self-promotion, much to Commissioner Rob Manfred’s chagrin, but he’s unquestionably the best position player in baseball.
National League MVP Odds
The first half of the season belonged to Freddie Freeman, but when all is said and done the NL MVP award will belong to Nolan Arenado. The four-time All-Star is hitting .310 with 25 home runs, and 72 RBI, and has been supplying his usual Gold Glove-calibre D at the hot corner all season long. His ability to impact a game on offense and defense makes him the clear choice for this category.
Keep an eye on Javier Baez if Arenado stumbles. The 25-year-old infielder is hitting .324 with 19 home runs, 74 RBI, and 19 stolen bases, and is a big reason why the Cubs have regained control of the NL Central.
Cy Young Odds
American League Cy Young Odds
|Chris Sale||Red Sox||3-1|
The AL Cy Young Award could come down to a photo finish. Luis Severino, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Justin Verlander, and Gerrit Cole all have sub 2.55 ERAs late into July and are showing no signs of slowing down.
Verlander looked especially brilliant in his last start on July 21st against the Angels, striking out 11 batters over six shutout innings. Not to be outdone, Sale struck out nine one day later in a two-hit shutout of the Tigers. It’s been that kind of season as these AL aces have consistently found new ways to trump one another day after day.
It’s almost unfair to honor just one hurler from such a crowded field, but our vote goes to Severino, who leads all pitchers with 14 wins and has struck out 144 batters in 128.1 innings. Look for the two-time All-Star to rack up many more w’s down the stretch as he continues to benefit from the Yankees’ red hot bats.
National League Cy Young Odds
Max Scherzer has been the lone bright light in Washington’s otherwise disappointing season. The 33-year-old right-hander leads the NL in wins, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, strikeouts, and WHIP, and has been responsible for 26% of the Nationals victories this season. His recent dust-up with teammate Stephen Strasburg has dominated the headlines lately, but don’t let it distract you from the fact that Scherzer is well on his way to becoming just the fifth pitcher ever to win four Cy Young awards.
One player who could challenge him down the stretch is Clayton Kershaw. The former NL MVP has three Cy Youngs of his own and has gone 2-1 with a 2.19 ERA in July since returning from the DL. Kershaw always looms large around awards time, but bear in mind that he’s started just 14 games this season and has a lot of ground to make up to pose a legitimate threat to Scherzer.