With the All-Star break over, Major League Baseball gets back on the diamond, and there are some exciting pennant races going on in the National League. The Los Angeles Dodgers look like a foregone conclusion to win the NL West, but the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and Milwaukee Brewers all have a chance to win their respective divisions. Plus, there are three wildcard spots up for grabs as well. The next few months are going to be very exciting, to say the least.
These pennant races give fans the opportunity to jump in on some great futures bets, as they try to determine who will wind up winning the divisions. However, there is another great futures bet out there – who will win the NL most valuable player award. There are some fantastic individual performances going on in the National League this season, and you may want to place a wager on who you believe will win the award.
However, this can be a tough pick. Understanding the criteria that some voters set to determine who would be their MVP candidate can be a tough call. Very rarely do voters choose someone near the bottom of the division. In fact, there has only been one NL MVP from a last-place team, that was in 1987 when Andre Dawson was selected from the Chicago Cubs. Voters normally want to see a player putting up impressive numbers on a team that wins, preferably a team that looks like they have a shot at winning the World Series.
These are some factors to consider when making your choice on who you will place a wager upon to win the NL MVP award. Here are five candidates you may want to take a closer look at.
NL MVP Odds
NL MVP Picks & Prediction
Paul Goldschmidt (-120), St. Louis Cardinals
Goldschmidt not only comes out of the All-Star break as the favorite, but as the prohibitive favorite. Oddsmakers seem quite confident that he will wind up winning this award, and there is a lot of support for that idea. St. Louis finds themselves 0.5 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central coming out of the break, and hold the final wildcard spot. A trip to the postseason would definitely help the Cardinals star, but he is demonstrating that he deserves the award on the field. Goldschmidt is hitting .330, and has the best OPS in the National League at 1.004. His 20 homers and 70 RBI are definitely helping.
Freddie Freeman (+1200), Los Angeles Dodgers
Freeman came to Los Angeles with a lot of hoopla, and he has lived up to the hype. The Dodgers first baseman is hitting .322 with 14 homers and 60 RBI. Plus, he has an impressive .400 on-base percentage and his OPS is second in the National League coming out of the break (.938). He is likely going to be hurt by the success of his team, as many are going to credit the fact that he has a lot of help in the lineup. Plus, the RBI numbers are not gaudy enough. He needs to be in the top two or three to earn this award.
Juan Soto (+4000), Washington Nationals
There are many who are going to be quite skeptical of Soto being listed in the top five. His odds are quite slim of winning the award but consider this. There is already a lot of talk about him being dealt to a club before the trade deadline. His numbers are incredibly impressive, hitting 20 home runs and posting a .902 OPS on a terrible team. Plus, he has a .405 on-base percentage. Should he be dealt to a contender, his numbers are going to skyrocket. This is why it may be smart to get in on him as your MVP choice now.
Manny Machado (+550), San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres have been without star Fernando Tatis all season, and there is no clear indicator of when he might return. Hopefully by the beginning of August. With Tatis out, Machado has established himself as an absolute star. There is no way the Padres are holding one of the NL wildcard spots if he is not putting up the kinds of numbers we have seen from the infielder this year (.303, 15 HR, 51 RBI). Very few of his numbers rank in the top 10 in any category, but this Padres team is winning because of Machado. For those voters looking beyond numbers, making their selection based more upon the impact of the player on their club, Machado is your guy.
Pete Alonso (+800), New York Mets
Alonso is another guy who is going to be considered in the same way as Machado. The Mets first baseman has 24 home runs and 78 RBI. His homerun total is third in the league and his RBI number is the top. That is already going to impress voters. However, two things are going to give him a real shot at winning this award. The first is that there is very little help in the New York lineup. If this team does not make a move to acquire a premium talent, the Mets win simply because of Alonso. Second, should New York be able to hold off Atlanta and when the NL East, maybe even finish with the top record in the National League, he wins this award. There is not another impressive hitter in this lineup, and Alonso is the reason they would win the division.
Who to Go With?
There are definitely a lot of worthy candidates in the National League. It is a tough call because making the decision is likely going to be based upon what could happen in the future. Could the Mets when the NL East? Will San Diego earn the top NL wildcard spot? Will Soto be dealt to a playoff contender?
Those are all good questions, so the safe choice might be to go with Goldschmidt. Not a lot to win here should you decide to wager on him, but he is putting up outstanding numbers. St. Louis is going to grab at least a wildcard spot, if not win the NL Central outright. That is going to help him as well.