- Mets first baseman Pete Alonso has seen his odds of winning the 2020 NL MVP shortened over the last two weeks, moving from an average of +3900 to +3400
- At some sportsbooks, Alonso’s odds have moved to +2500, making him the 11th highest-ranked favorite
- Is Alonso worthy of a wager at his new price?
Pete Alonso certainly had a 2019 season for the ages. With 53 home runs, he surpassed Aaron Judge’s rookie home run record, and also finished with 120 RBI en route to winning the National League rookie of the year award.
Alonso will be hoping to build on that in 2020, by not only helping the New York Mets back to the playoffs, but potentially winning the NL MVP award too. He has seen his position in the 2020 NL MVP odds improve of late, as his odds have been shortened to +2500 at some sportsbooks.
2020 NL MVP Odds
|Mookie Betts (Dodgers)||+350|
|Ronald Acuna Jr. (Braves)||+450|
|Christian Yelich (Brewers)||+700|
|Cody Bellinger (Dodgers)||+1000|
|Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres)||+1000|
|Juan Soto (Nationals)||+1000|
|Bryce Harper (Phillies)||+1400|
|Nolan Arenado (Rockies)||+1400|
|Freddie Freeman (Braves)||+2000|
|Javier Baez (Cubs)||+2200|
|Pete Alonso (Mets)||+2500|
|Kris Bryant (Cubs)||+2800|
|Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals)||+3000|
|Trevor Story (Rockies)||+3300|
|Manny Machado (Padres)||+3500|
Odds taken on Feb. 29th
Room For Improvement
While his 2019 season will be tough to match, Alonso still has room to improve in a number of areas. On the defensive side of the ball, for instance, the Mets star has been putting in extra work this spring to bring his skills up to par with his rivals.
"Work hard every single day, and let all the small little victories build up."
Pete Alonso on his plan for sustained success:pic.twitter.com/qB1WbwiXr3
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) February 25, 2020
According to FanGraphs, Alonso was minus-6 in defensive runs saved in 2019, while fellow first baseman – and NL Gold Glove winner – Anthony Rizzo was plus-3 in that department.
An Unlikely Encore
As good as 2019 was for Pete Alonso offensively, it makes the odds of him repeating his heroics at the plate all the more unlikely. As a rookie, it was the first time many major-league pitchers had ever pitched to him, so he won’t benefit from the unknown quantity in his second season in the majors.
Here's Pete Alonso's rookie home run spray chart. That clump in straightaway center/right-center field is something to behold. pic.twitter.com/ZResbVTwtB
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 28, 2019
However, for him to have a chance to take home MVP honors, he doesn’t necessarily have to repeat his 53-home run season of a year ago, but getting 40+ (reigning MVP Cody Bellinger’s 47-home run 2019 season is a good marker) would do his chances no harm whatsoever.
A Better Mets Team
What likely will give Alonso his best chance of winning the MVP will simply be a better team around him. In the last 22 seasons, the NL MVP has only come from a non-playoff team on six occasions.
Polar Bear Power 💪
Pete Alonso breaks Aaron Judge's record for most homers by a rookie with 53 😤 pic.twitter.com/K0lI1UXGP8
— ESPN (@espn) September 29, 2019
The Mets weren’t too far off the mark in 2019, but a slow start to the season doomed them to running an uphill battle the rest of the way. But after the All-Star break, the team was winning games at a .639 clip, averaging 5.2 runs in those 72 games. Given the caliber of the pitching rotation, which includes Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman, that kind of offensive production will go a long way to winning ball games.
As might be expected for a team that is expected to cruise into the playoffs for an eighth straight season, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be fielding multiple MVP candidates on a nightly basis. Newcomer Mookie Betts is the favorite to win the NL MVP at +350, having won the AL version with the Boston Red Sox in 2018.
"We're aimed in on that World Series trophy. I know we can do it"
Pete Alonso says the vibes are different this year with the Mets: pic.twitter.com/BrDFrlaVWr
— SNY (@SNYtv) February 20, 2020
But he will be competing against new teammate and reigning NL MVP Bellinger (+1000) for that honor, and there is always the possibility that the presence of two high-caliber MVP candidates simply splits the vote.
On a competitive Mets team, Alonso’s +2500 odds represent great value.
Pick: Alonso (+2500)
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