- Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts remains the favorite to win the 2020 National League MVP award
- Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is off to a torrid start and leads MLB with 1.4 WAR
- Reds free-agent acquisition Nick Castellanos has been one of the top hitters in the game and is living up to his contract
Little has changed with the National League Most Valuable Player odds, at least as far as the favorite, since summer camp opened in early July.
Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts was the favorite then and is the still the top choice of oddsmakers a little more than a quarter of the way into the truncated 60-game season.
However, two players’ chances have notably improved through the early part of the season.
San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is now the second-favorite after ranking sixth last month. Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos is the fourth choice after not even having odds posted a little more than a month ago.
2020 NL MVP Odds
|Player||Odds at Draft Kings|
|Mookie Betts (Dodgers)||+650|
|Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres)||+700|
|Ronald Acuna Jr. (Braves)||+800|
|Nicholas Castellanos (Reds)||+1000|
|Charlie Blackmon (Rockies)||+1400|
|Corey Seager (Dodgers)||+1600|
|Cody Bellinger (Dodgers)||+1800|
|Javier Baez (Cubs)||+2000|
|Trevor Story (Rockies)||+2000|
|Christian Yelich (Brewers)||+2000|
|Nolan Arenado (Rockies)||+2200|
|Bryce Harper (Phillies)||+2200|
|Freddie Freeman (Braves)||+2500|
|Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks)||+2500|
|J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)||+2500|
|Anthony Rizzo (Cubs)||+2500|
|Jacob deGrom (Mets)||+3300|
|Kris Bryant (Cubs)||+4000|
|Manny Machado (Padres)||+4000|
|Max Muncy (Dodgers)||+4000|
|Marcell Ozuna (Braves)||+4000|
|Joey Votto (Reds)||+4000|
|Pete Alonso (Mets)||+5000|
|Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals)||+5000|
|Didi Gregorius (Phillies)||+5000|
|Starling Marte (Diamondbacks)||+5000|
Odds as of Aug. 11th.
Betts Has MVP Pedigree
Betts has been MVP before, taking American League honors in 2018 when he helped lead the Boston Red Sox to the World Series title
The Dodgers traded for Betts just before the start of spring training in February. They felt he was the player they needed to push them over the top and win their first World Series since 1988.
Los Angeles has won seven straight NL West titles but has only been to the World Series once in that span, losing to the Houston Astros in 2017.
The Dodgers entered play Tuesday with an 11-6 record, trailing the surprising Colorado Rockies in the division standings by half a game. Betts has done his part by hitting .279/.333/.574 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 16 games.
He can also play defense:
The Dodgers ensured Betts will stay in LA by signing him to a 12-year, $365-million contract extension on the eve the opener and he has been worth the money so far. His average odds to win the MVP are +667.
Tatis Leads Padres’ Revival
Tatis has been on fire, hitting .407/.448/1.111 with six home runs in the last seven games, giving him average odds of +733 to capture MVP honors.
Overall, this season in 17 games, the 21-year-old has a .328/.408/.776 line with eight homers, 18 RBIs and four stolen bases.
All Fernando Tatis Jr. does is wake up and mash pic.twitter.com/Q3saQsHoG1
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) August 9, 2020
The eight long balls were tied with the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge for the most in the major leagues heading into Tuesday’s action. Tatis also leads the majors in slugging percentage and total bases with 52.
The Padres believe they are ready to contend for a postseason berth for the first time since 2006, especially with the playoff field being expanded from 10 to 16 teams. They are currently 10-7 and third in the NL West, 1.5 games behind the Rockies.
Castellanos at Home in Cincy
The Reds are off to a disappointing start at 7-9 after a winter shopping spree but are still in second place in the NL Central, trailing the Chicago Cubs by 4.5 games.
Castellanos is slashing .279/.393/.724 in 16 games with seven home runs and 16 RBI while now calling hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park home.
Nicholas Castellanos showing the world that Shane Bieber is human pic.twitter.com/cihr1qlfNr
— James Donohue (@Cool_Hip_Jim) August 4, 2020
The Reds gave Castellanos and second baseman Mike Moustakas identical four-year, $64-million contracts in free agency in an attempt to end a streak of six seasons with at least 86 losses.
Castellanos has become one of the best hitters in the majors since the Detroit Tigers traded him to the Cubs last July. In 67 games, he has a .315/.361/.663 line with 23 dingers and his average MVP odds are now +1000.
A Desert Sleeper
Tatis looks like the best bet to be the NL MVP at +700, especially because it seems the Padres are for real.
However, a longshot play worth consideration is Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Starling Marte +5000. Though the Diamondbacks are a disappointing 7-10, they have the talent to turn their season around.
Starling Marte – Arizona Diamondbacks (1) pic.twitter.com/KdBCmiPqGR
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) August 9, 2020
The underachieving Marte is one of the most talented players in the NL. He seems to have found a next gear in the desert after being acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in an offseason trade, hitting .327/.422/.473 in 16 games while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense.
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