- BetOnline has updated odds on what star players will win baseball’s top awards
- Mike Trout is the favorite (+200) to win his third-career American League MVP
- Clayton Kershaw (+500) and Max Scherzer (+500) are neck-in-neck in the National League Cy Young race
With only a fifth of the season in the books and 130 games still to play for most clubs, suffice to say we can’t call any of these awards races just yet.
However, we can try and decipher whose hot starts will fizzle out and what players will heat up during the dog days of summer. Let’s dive into the latest MVP and Cy Young odds in both the American League and National League.
2019 AL MVP Odds
|Players||2019 AL MVP Odds at BetOnline|
*All odds taken 05/03/19
Mike Trout vs Mookie Betts
After Mike Trout registered a historic OPS+ last year, many stat heads believed baseball’s best hitter would have won his third AL MVP if only his team knew how to catch, run and field baseballs. Only problem is the Angels are no better this season even with Trout registering a career-low 11.3% strikeout rate through April.
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) May 3, 2019
Meanwhile, defending AL MVP Mookie Betts is on fire after a cold start, raising his batting average 95 points and his slugging percentage 156 points over the final 11 games of the month.
While the Red Sox and Angels share similar records, Boston is the better bet to be playing meaningful games in September. That said, baseball is a “woke” sport when it comes to awarding raw statistical output, and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will find it hard to overlook Trout again if he leads the league in WAR.
Pick: Mike Trout (+200)
2019 NL MVP Odds
|Players||2019 NL MVP Odds at BetOnline|
|Ronald Acuna Jr.||+900|
Cody Bellinger vs Christian Yelich
This is already shaping up as a race for the ages. It’s almost unbelievable that reigning MVP Christian Yelich isn’t the favorite after tying Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols for the most home runs (14) ever before May 1st, but here we are.
Cody Bellinger takes the April Triple Crown ? pic.twitter.com/8BCUknnIia
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) May 1, 2019
Now tied with Yelich for home runs, the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger leads MLB with a .434 batting average, a .508 on-base percentage and a .906 slugging percentage, cutting his strikeout rate in half from (23.9 to 11.3 percent) from last year. He’s not exactly coming out of nowhere either as he hit 39 dingers with a .933 OPS as a rookie in 2017.
Given only 13 players have won back-to-back MVPs since 1931 (achieved most recently by Miguel Cabrera in 2012-13), the smart money is on LA’s first baseman.
Pick: Cody Bellinger (+250)
2019 AL Cy Young Odds
|Players||2019 AL Cy Young Odds at BetOnline|
Justin Verlander vs Trevor Bauer
Three-time nominee and one-time AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander looked cooked after finishing 2014 with a 4.54 ERA. In the five years since, he’s won a World Series title (2017), made an All-Star Game (2018), sired a baby girl with supermodel Kate Upton, and is now the slight favorite to win another pitching title.
Trevor Bauer vs. Alex Bregman is one of my favorite rivalries ?pic.twitter.com/FvVi3cJTeP
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) April 27, 2019
Trevor Bauer has the league’s fourth-best ERA (2.45) and opponents are only hitting a pedestrian .167 against him. However, he has two problems. One, his walk rate is up from 2.9 to 4.2 BB/9, and two, he’s the kind of jerk who old-school voters might like to snub.
Instead, why not take a shot on Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow? Currently sitting at 8/1, Tampa’s 6’8″ tower of power is undefeated at 5-0, leads the AL with 1.8 BB/9, holds the AL’s second-lowest ERA (1.75), and has a strikeout rate (27.7%) that ranks 12th in the majors.
Pick: Tyler Glasnow (+800)
2019 NL Cy Young Odds
|Players||2019 NL Cy Young Odds at BetOnline|
Clayton Kershaw vs Max Scherzer
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw (2011, 2013, 2014) and three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (2013, 2016, 2017) highlight the list of NL contenders. After starting the year on the injured list, the Dodgers ace just picked up his first win of the season last week and will have to reinvent himself to make up for his diminished velocity.
.@Max_Scherzer is the 3rd fastest pitcher to reach 2,500 Ks.
How many will he finish his career with? pic.twitter.com/jie0XbZH06
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) April 27, 2019
Scherzer is dealing with some issues of his own in Washington. Sitting at 1-4 with an ERA over 4.00, he’s been given almost no support (2.0 runs per game) despite owning the highest WAR of any pitcher in baseball.
While the Nationals righty has health and a long history of performance on his side, don’t sleep on Reds sinker-baller Luis Castillo. Still available at 6/1, the NL’s Pitcher of the Month has allowed just seven runs in seven starts (1.45 ERA), while striking out nearly 30% of batters.
Pick: Luis Castillo (+600)