Mike Trout and Mookie Betts headline as frontrunners for the 2021 MVP. Here are your best bets, safe picks, and dark horses for all the major MLB futures and awards.
Odds via OddShark and DraftKing Sportsbook
Best Bets: AL - Mike Trout LAA (+225) | NL - Mookie Betts LAD (+750)
Safe Pick: AL - Jose Ramirez CLE (+1200) | NL -Freddie Freeman ATL (+1200)
Dark Horse: AL - DJ LeMahieu NYY (+3300) | NL - Anthony Rizzo CHI (+3000)
Per Sports Betting Dime, Trout's odds give him a 30.8% implied probability, compared to all the second-favorites (Judge, Ramirez, Bregman at +1200) carry an IP of 7.7%. In blatant terms, this means the betting market says Trout is about four times as likely to win MVP as any other player in the AL.
Frank Robinson is the only player to win both AL and NL MVP awards. Mookie is eying history and wanting to complete that feat. Betts, who finished second last year, faces tighter odds, with five players in the +750 to +850 range. It is quite interesting to see reigning MVP Freddie Freman trail at +1200 odds.
Taking the Yankee bias out of it, I truly think DJ at +3300 is one, disrespectful, but too absurd. DJ has finished in the top five the past two seasons and continues to flash his consistent bat and formidable defense. Anthony Rizzo is going to be on one big F-U tour, with contract extension conversations looming.
Best Bets: AL - Gerrit Cole NYY (+375) | NL - Jacob deGrom NYM (+425)
Safe Pick: AL - Shane Bieber CLE (+450) | NL - Trevor Bauer (+700)
Dark Horse: AL - Kenta Maeda MIN (+1700) | NL - Jack Flaherty STL (+1500)
The Aces of New York are eying the coveted prestigious pitcher award. Gerrit Cole has slowly gotten to that elite level and is aiming to secure his first Cy young. Bieber won unanimously last season, while Cole lost a close one the year prior to his teammate Justin Verlander. deGrom on the other hand has already won the award twice (2018,2019) and placed third last season, is an easy pick at +425. Don't sleep on last year's winner and dark horse candidates in Maeda and Flaherty, who all are prominent ace-like pitchers on competitive teams.
Best Bets: AL - Randy Arozarena TB | NL - Ke’Bryan Hayes PIT (+350)
Safe Pick: AL - Ryan Mountcastle BAL (+1100) |NL - Ian Anderson ATL (+750)
Dark Horse: AL - Bobby Dalbec BOS (+1500) | NL - Jazz Chisholm MIA (+3000)
It is hard to predict who will be breakout rookies each season, but when you look at the production from players last season it makes the picture much clearer. The two favorites in Arozarena and Hayes, have a proven track record and will be the heavy favorites. Arozarena was Ray's playoff animal, who set new MLB records for home runs, hits, and total bases in a single playoff. Ke'Bryan Hayes started off Opening Day right with a nice little home run, and his momentum continues. Even with a small sample size last season (24 games), Hayes received some ROY votes after hitting 376 with five homers, seven doubles, and 11 RBI in just 85 at-bats.
Home Run Leader
Best Bets: Mike Trout LAA and Pete Alonso NYM (+900)
Safe Pick: Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton NYY (+2000)
Dark Horse: Christian Yelich MIL (+2500)
Being the best player in the MLB, it is no surprise that Trout is a co-favorite to clobber the most home runs. Last season in an "off" year, Trout still managed to hit 17 home runs in 53 games. Looking at a full season, it wouldn't surprise anyone to see him lead the league. Then there is the youngster polar bear, Pete Alonso. Alonso took the league by storm with 53 homers in his rookie campaign, the most ever by a first-year player. He followed that up with 16 HRs over 57 games in a shortened 2020 season. Turning to the other side of New York, if Judge and Stanton stay healthy, they could each smash 45+ home runs in a season, and create a friendly competition to win the award. Yelich is a safe sleeper, in his first two seasons with the Brewers, Yelich tallied 80 HRs. He is someone to keep an eye on.
Best Bets: Gerrit Cole NYY (+450)
Safe Pick: Trevor Bauer LAD (+800)
Dark Horse: Yu Darvish SD (+1200)
After an 8K outing on Opening Day, Gerrit Cole seems like a no-brainer best bet. In 2019 while on the Astros, Cole posted an absurd 13.8 K/9 ratio with a league-high 326 strikeouts. In his first season with the Yankees, Cole struck out 94 batters over 12 starts.
Best Bets: New York Yankees (+240)
Safe Pick: Chicago Whitesox (+380)
Dark Horse: Tampa Bay Rays (+1000)
With talent from top to bottom, it's the Yankees AL to lose. The reigning pennant winners in the Rays lost two of their best starting pitchers. The Astros have no Verlander nor George Springer. The Red Sox are rebuilding, the Blue Jays will be pesky but are limited in pitching, and the White Sox are unproven.
Best Bets: Los Angeles Dodgers (+175)
Safe Pick: San Diego Padres (+475)
Dark Horse: St. Louis Cardinals (+1100)
The Dodgers are the team to beat after winning the World Series. Despite losing Pederson and Hernandez, the team added Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer. The Padres had a loaded offseason, adding Blake Snell and Yu Darvish as the headliner. The Cardinals added perennial talent in Nolan Arendado, but still, the NL will run through Los Angeles.