- Dodgers SP Dustin May has emerged as the heavy favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year
- May was the Opening Day spot starter and sports a 1-1 record and 3.00 ERA over 24.0 IP in five starts through Tuesday
- See the full board of NL Rookie of the Year odds within the story below
When three-time National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw was sent to the IL hours before his scheduled Opening Day start with back stiffness on July 23, most teams would panic. But not the Dodgers. The Los Angeles organization is chock full of talent – and not just from an offensive standpoint. Enter Dustin May.
While the 22-year-old Texan did not earn a victory against the rival San Francisco Giants that night – he more than proved his worth.
May threw 60 pitches over 4.1 IP, scattering seven hits and only giving up one earned run while striking out four and walking none in an eventual 8-1 win for L.A. He’s since gone on to be more than dependable – and, as a result, has emerged as the heavy favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year.
2020 National League Rookie of the Year Odds
|Player||Team||Odds at BetMGM|
|Dustin May (P)||Dodgers||+350|
|Jake Cronenworth (2B)||Padres||+700|
|Mitch Keller (P)||Pirates||+700|
|Dylan Carlson (OF)||Cardinals||+1000|
|Andres Gimenez (SS)||Mets||+1200|
|Daulton Varsho (P)||Padres||+1200|
|Gavin Lux (SS)||Dodgers||+1200|
|MacKenzie Gore (C)||Diamondbacks||+1200|
|Nico Hoerner (SS/2B)||Cubs||+1400|
|Brendan Rogers (2B)||Rockies||+1600|
|David Peterson (P)||Mets||+1600|
|Carter Kieboom (3B)||Nationals||+1800|
|Cristian Pache (OF)||Braves||+2000|
|Joey Bart (C)||Giants||+2000|
*Odds taken August 18th
Preseason favorite – and fellow member of that vaunted group of Boys in Blue from Southern California – Gavin Lux – is the notable here. Once the chalk at ludicrously short odds (+200) in 2020 NL Rookie of the Year odds, Lux has yet to play a game with the big-league club in this truncated season.
So, does May deserve to be the new heavy favorite? Is Lux still a factor? Or is there another player that represents the best betting value at this stage?
When Preparation Meets Opportunity
While May may sport an uncanny resemblance to actor/comedian Blake Anderson (best known for his turn as Blake Henderson on the Comedy Central series Workaholics), the 6-foot-6 rookie righty is no joke. Peep this stat from a couple starts ago:
Here are the number of pitches thrown in 2020 with a velocity of 98+ and more than 1.5 feet of horizontal movement
Dustin May: 40
Rest of MLB: 34
— Connor Kurcon (@ckurcon) August 5, 2020
The Dodgers are 4-1 in games May has started this season. They’re also the heavy favorites (+337) to get back to the Fall Classic. L.A. is 18-7 through the first 25 games of this 60-game season – the best record in MLB.
Being part of not only a contender, but one of the league’s flagship franchises helps too. These factors seemingly make May not only the favorite – but a slam dunk.
The Joy of Lux
What about May’s predecessor at the top of board? Lux has been toiling away at the team’s extended spring training site waiting for the call to join the major league roster.
And while shortstop Corey Seager missed some games earlier this month with a back issue, it seems the 2016 NL ROY is feeling fine of late – going 6-for-12 at the plate in his last three games.
Seager’s hot streak, along with talented left-handed hitters like Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy inevitably turning things around, make it seem unlikely Lux will have the opportunity to make a significant impact.
At best, we’re looking at a platoon situation at second base with Kiké Hernandez. And that won’t be enough to help his candidacy for an award that has gone to the Dodger franchise an MLB-record 18 times.
Any Other Contenders?
So, is there anyone else bettors should invest in over the last five weeks of the season?
The short answer: no.
While it may be tempting to fade May due to the short odds, the other contenders either play for bad teams (Keller), teams that have been sunk by a COVID outbreak (Carlson) or teams that may be intriguing – but just not elite (Cronenworth and Varsho). This nugget from Cronenworth is interesting though.
Highest expected wOBA, 2020
(Min. 50 PA)
1. Corey Seager: .504
2. Jake Cronenworth: .487
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) August 17, 2020
Yes, this is an individual award. But players that are on teams that play in the postseason are historically the winners. For every Pete Alonso, there numerous Bellinger’s and Seager’s. And no player has made an Alonso-like case thus far in 2020.
Therefore, while May has short odds – he’s the favorite for a lot of reasons. Too many to pick anyone otherwise at this point.
The pick: Dustin May (+350)