Upcoming Match-ups

Betts, Tatis Jr Lead NL MVP Odds; Castellanos Enters Top Five

Mookie Betts smiling, as usual
Mookie Betts is off to a decent start in LA, but does he deserve to still be favored in the NL MVP odds? Photo from @KillaKyrie2 (Twitter).
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

Author Image

Let's have fun and keep it civil.