2019 National League MVP Betting Odds & Picks

Date | AuthorAdam Burke

Last Updated: 2019-03-05

Postseason awards voting is always interesting. For those that don’t know, two writers from each city with a baseball team get a vote for the MVP and the Cy Young in that respective league. That means that 30 National League writers will have the opportunity to pick this year’s MVP. Sometimes they get it right. Sometimes they don’t.

For us as bettors, the most important thing is to find somebody that will stay healthy for the long haul. Whether the writers are more versed in analytics or vote based on the old-school Triple Crown numbers, it takes some measure of season longevity to be in the discussion. Sometimes it can become a popularity contest and players that have off-putting personalities aren’t going to get the benefit of the doubt.

The MVP is one of the tougher things to pick. After all, the NL chances are pretty spread out. That isn’t really the case in the AL, where Mike Trout should win it every season, but has only twice, and there are a handful of legitimate contenders.

Odds from Bookmaker Sportsbook as of March 5, 2019.

Bryce Harper +700
Nolan Arenado +700
Christian Yelich +1002
Paul Goldschmidt +1489
Kris Bryant +1502
Manny Machado +2004
Eugenio Suarez +2004
Freddie Freeman +2004
Anthony Rizzo +2507
Rhys Hoskins +2507
Ronald Acuna Jr +2507
Joey Votto +3511
Justin Turner +3511
Trevor Story +3511
Anthony Rendon +3511
Cody Bellinger +3511
Javier Baez +3511
Juan Soto +4048
Charlie Blackmon +5000
Corey Seager +5000
Eric Hosmer +5000
JT Realmuto +5000
Jesus Aguilar +5000
Josh Donaldson +5000
Ozzie Albies +6000
Trea Turner +7000
Marcell Ozuna +7000
Robinson Cano +7000
Yasiel Puig +7000
Matt Carpenter +7000
Max Muncy +7000
Max Scherzer +8000
AJ Pollock +10000
Andrew McCutchen +10000
Jake Lamb +10000
Wil Myers +10000
Jed Lowrie +10000
Lorenzo Cain +10000
Starling Marte +10000
Michael Conforto +10000
Mike Moustakas +10000
Victor Robles +10000
Jacob DeGrom +15000
Scooter Gennett +15000
Kyle Schwarber +15000
Brandon Belt +15000
Eduardo Escobar +15000
Nick Markakis +20000
Paul DeJong +20000
Travis Shaw +20000
Daniel Murphy +20000
Evan Longoria +25000
Ryan Braun +25000
Starlin Castro +25000
Yadier Molina +30000

For better or worse, a lot of times this ends up as a team award. Also, it seems like voters want to make sure that multiple guys are acknowledged, as the last repeat winner of the MVP was Albert Pujols back in 2008 and 2009. Since then, Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, Kris Bryant, Clayton Kershaw, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Ryan Braun, and Joey Votto have won.

There are a couple of quick things to keep in mind here. Kershaw is the only NL pitcher to win the award since Bob Gibson in 1968. There aren’t many pitchers on the list, but don’t get cute and take one. Also, this award usually goes to the best of the best. There aren’t many “random” winners when it comes to the MVP. You’ll get some randomness at times with the Cy Young, like RA Dickey and Brandon Webb, but you really won’t see that with the MVP. These are bona fide elite players that win.

With that, let’s look at my three favorite bets on the board:

Paul Goldschmidt (+1489) – I’m really interested to see what Paul Goldschmidt can do in the middle of the Cardinals lineup. This is a better supporting cast than he has ever had, so his stint with St. Louis should improve the counting numbers that a lot of voters still focus on. Goldy is a career .297/.398/.532 hitter that has averaged 31 homers per season and better than 100 RBI. He’s actually been runner-up twice in MVP voting back in 2013 and 2015. He’s older now, but I would think that getting away from the NL West would provide a boost.

He actually hit better on the road than at home with the Diamondbacks, which is kind of astonishing because Dodger Stadium, Petco Park, and Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park) were not great hitting environments. He will miss Coors Field, but Busch Stadium is better than Chase Field since the humidor was installed and the only negative park factor in the division is PNC Park.

The Cardinals stand a pretty good chance of being the team that emerges from the NL Central race, as the Cubs are expected to take a step back and the Brewers are a candidate for regression as well. Goldschmidt is also in a contract year, which doesn’t hurt, since he’ll be out to recoup some monetary value for his career after signing a sweetheart extension with the Diamondbacks several years ago.

Also, unlike teams like the Nationals, Phillies, and Dodgers, he won’t have to share votes with teammates.

Trevor Story (+3511) – This is more of a price grab than anything else, but Trevor Story is moving in the right direction. His teammate Nolan Arenado is +700, but Story had 5.0 fWAR to Arenado’s 5.7 fWAR and was right there in a lot of offensive categories. Arenado hit 38 homers and Story hit 37. Story stole 27 bases, which is something that could get him a little more attention. Arenado did post a .391 wOBA to Story’s .384 and had a higher wRC+, but Story has a legitimate chance to be a 30/30 player this season.

There were two 30/30 players last year. Mookie Betts won the AL MVP and Jose Ramirez may have stolen it from Betts had he not completely collapsed in September while chasing 40 home runs. Story actually has a chance to be a 40/30 player if he continues to make strides with his strikeout rate. The last 40/30 player was Ryan Braun in 2012. Somehow he finished second to Buster Posey in the voting. Only 37 players have hit 40 homers in a season since 2010.

Story also plays a premier defensive position and plays it pretty well. If he has the same offensive season as 2018 with the same defensive season as 2017, he could be a six-win player and really put himself in the discussion.

Manny Machado (+2004) – It is really hard to put up the attention-grabbing power numbers for this award while still posting a high batting average. Unlike Anthony Rendon or Freddie Freeman, who should both hit around .300, Manny Machado can hit 35 home runs to go along with a high batting average. Kris Bryant is the only position player winner since 2007 to post a batting average under .300, so it has almost become a prerequisite.

I can’t hide from the fact that Machado is taking a severe park factor cut going from the hitter-friendly AL East and Oriole Park at Camden Yards to the NL West and Petco Park. In terms of potential to check all of the boxes, Machado has a lot of opportunity to do so. He’s a plus fielder and a great hitter. He also quietly stole 14 bases last season. The total package is here to post a 6.0 or higher fWAR to placate the numbers-savvy voters and he should have the counting numbers for the others.

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2019 MLB Betting Guide