2020 MLB National League MVP Odds: Betts, Bellinger Lead the Field
If you don’t want to limit your action to betting on the World Series, US sportsbooks have opened up various futures markets for the 2020 MLB season. Today, we dive into betting odds for a wide-open National League MVP race.
2020 MLB National League MVP Betting Odds
All odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook and accurate as of March 5th, 2020.
Two Stars in Hollywood: Betts +550, Bellinger +700
The National League MVP race is wide open this season with a case to be made for several elite talents across the league. Unlike the American League race, no player is currently positioned too high at US sportsbooks. With that said, two stars from the same locale find themselves atop betting odds on DraftKings.
Last year’s MVP, Cody Bellinger, would have likely been the favorite coming into this season prior to the blockbuster deal that moved, now teammate, Mookie Betts to LA. Bellinger now sits at +700 while the new star in town, Betts, sits atop the board at +550. If anything, the addition of Mookie Betts injects a bit of value back into Bellinger’s price.
Both are former MVP award recipients, so a statistical case is not warranted. Also, at the time of this writing, the Dodgers are the favorite (+375) to win the World Series and undoubtedly the most touted option to represent the National League. Yet, the likely success of a loaded Dodgers’ team could be used as an argument against MVP candidacy of either player. Also, how could either be the most valuable player in the league if they are not even the most valuable player on their own team?
I do relish a better price tag for Cody Bellinger but might stay away from either option unless the price becomes more polarized. Instead, I will likely purchase tickets on players who are the main engine behind their teams’ success.
Christian Yelich +700
Christian Yelich just got paid. Christian Yelich won the 2018 National League MVP award. Christian Yelich finished runner-up behind Cody Bellinger last season. Christian Yelich must be wondering why he is not getting respect from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Despite playing in only 130 games, Yelich topped his 36 dingers from 2018 with 44 last season. His wRC+ inflated to 174 while his ISO ballooned to .342. His 7.1 WAR was down a tick from 2018 but he also played fewer games. In a favorable offensive environment, Yelich should continue to flourish for the Brew Crew.
Aside from his exploits on the field, another consideration to be made about Yelich and the following options is that there is no denying that the long-term hopes for each player’s team truly rest heavily on the performance of the player. Yelich is the star in Milwaukee. Another deep playoff run will most likely be due in large part to another phenomenal year.
Ronald Acuna, Jr. +1000
While the Atlanta Braves built a stadium to fit the abilities of Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna, Jr. has taken over as the star in town. Acuna broke out in 2019, finishing fifth in the MVP race — a noteworthy couple of spots ahead of Freeman. The Braves find themselves behind only the Dodgers in the National League betting pecking order — surely, Ronald Acuna will need to put together a great season to complete that ascension.
Falling just three steals shorts of the ever-elusive 40/40 campaign, Acuna smacked 41 home runs in 2019. With 127 runs and 101 RBI, Acuna factored in on much of the Braves’ success last season. For the Braves to make it back to the World Series for the first time since 1999, Acuna will need to build upon his breakout season.
The ascension of Ronald Acuna, Jr. has boosted the price of Freddie Freeman if you want to pin your hopes on a different Brave. Freeman comes in at +2500 after finishing eighth in MVP voting last season.
Bryce Harper +2200
At one time, Bryce Harper was a perennial MVP candidate. After the Nationals won the World Series in their first season post-Bryce, the value of the star can certainly be questioned.
Harper’s first season in Philadelphia was solid… offensively. Harper finished with 34 HR, 99 R, and 114 RBI while only compiling 3.4 offensive WAR. That WAR total pales in comparison to the 6.6 compiled by Cody Bellinger but isn’t horrendous.
While the WAR total on offense isn’t horrendous, Harper is not known as a valuable defender. To contend with the favorites to win the award, Harper is will need to turn the page back to his 2015 offensive ways to atone for an often negligible fielding WAR. Remember, this award will be voted on by a group of writers. The perception that Bryce Harper is not as valuable as we used to perceive could sully his reputation into 2020.
I am willing to buy Harper for this tag knowing that the Phillies will be contending for a title this season. Harper will very productive on a loaded offense — making him a viable DFS and futures option, especially at this favorable price.
Paul Goldschmidt +4000
If you are like me, you are thirsty for a longshot option to sweat throughout the MLB season. Betting on a chalk futures bet is not much fun unless you have a massive bankroll. My favorite longshot option that isn’t necessarily irrational is Paul Goldschmidt.
The Cardinals will surely be embroiled in a tight race in the National League Central — positioned as a +225 “favorite” to win the division at the time of this writing. The other teams in the division — sans Pittsburgh — are all +300 or better to come out on top in the Central. Goldy put together a strong first season with the Cards — finishing with 34 HR, 97 runs, and 97 RBI. In order to pay off this price tag, he will need to put together a more polarized season — certainly, exceeding 40 home runs and contend for a batting title.
A move away from a once-friendly Chase Field suppressed the BABIP last season (down to .302 from his typical .340 mark). His second season in St. Louis will show if Goldy was a product of the friendly offensive environment or hit with a bit of variance last season. Regression or not, Goldschmidt is a reasonable dart to throw considering the Cardinals should be in contention all year.
Look for more sports betting articles previewing the MLB season over the next few weeks.
For more general MLB betting tips, check out our MLB Betting Picks Guide.
Image Credit: USA Today Sports Image