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One Sportsbooks Opened Mookie Betts at +1600 to Win NL MVP; Now He’s the +350 Favorite

Mookie Betts jogging on the field at Fenway Park
Mookie Betts almost immediately became the favorite for NL MVP following his trade to the LA Dodgers. Photo by Arturo Pardavila III (Wikimedia Commons).
  • Mookie Betts’ trade to the LA Dodgers was finalized earlier this week
  • Betts has seen significant movement in Bovada’s NL MVP futures, and now sits as the favorite at +350
  • Is Betts worth it, or is there better value on the board?

Well, we can officially say it: Mookie Betts is a Los Angeles Dodgers.

After the mega-trade was held up last week, it became official on Monday night as Betts and David Price were shipped out of Boston. The trade simply added to a loaded Dodgers roster with World Series aspirations.

The deal also caused a seismic shift in both the AL and NL MVP odds.

Not only did it take a top contender out of the American League field, but it spread things out even more in the National League.

Especially because, depending on where you looked, Betts shot to the top of the books.

2020 NL MVP Odds

Player 2019 NL MVP Vote Share Odds at Bovada
Mookie Betts (LAD) N/A +350
Ronald Acuna Jr (ATL) 37% +400
Christian Yelich (MIL) 75% +700
Cody Bellinger (LAD) 86% +900
Fernando Tatis Jr (SD) N/A +1000
Juan Soto (WAS) 11% +1000
Bryce Harper (PHI) N/A +1400
Nolan Arenado (COL) 29% +1400
Javier Baez (CHC) N/A +2500
Freddie Freeman (ATL) 21% +3000
Kris Bryant (CHC) N/A +3000
Trevor Story (COL) 6% +3000
Paul Goldschmidt (STL) N/A +3000
Manny Machado (SD) N/A +3000
Eugenio Suarez (CIN) 1% +3500

Odds taken Feb 14th.

When it comes to the 2020 NL MVP odds, not all books treated Betts’ acquisition the same.

At BetOnline, Betts immediately occupied the top spot at +500. If you like those odds, you can still get him there at that price.

Meanwhile, Bovada opened Betts at a distant +1600, but that has quickly changed as the money pours in.

Dodgers’ World Series Aspirations Linked to Betts

When you consider where the Dodgers were in the World Series picture before acquiring Mookie Betts, it may tell us why the numbers have moved so drastically.

On February 6, they were +517 on average, second to only the Yankees. Since word of the trade leaked however, they’re now neck-and-neck with New York at +333 .

While the MVP is a regular season award, it’s almost impossible for voters to separate team and playoff success from individual success. Since 2015, only Mike Trout (twice), Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton have won the award without making the playoffs.

Despite being the favorite, it may also work against Betts to be playing with last year’s NL MVP.

Cody Bellinger vs Mookie Betts: Three-Year Averages

Bellinger
VS
Betts

.278 Batting Average .299
37 Home Runs 28
96 RBI 87
97 Runs 122
13 Stolen Bases 24
.368 OBP .389
.559 Slugging % .535

We took a look at just how a teammate’s success can impact an MVP bid when Betts’ odds first appeared. In fact, in Stanton’s 2017 NL MVP season, Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon may have actually hindered each other. One finished with 55% of the voting shares, while the other held 49%. Stanton won with just 72%, the lowest percentage since Justin Verlander was named AL MVP in 2011 (71%).

Who Could Challenge Betts for NL MVP?

Outside of Bellinger, it’s a loaded field.

There’s a lot of reasons to like Ronald Acuna Jr (+400) and Juan Soto (+1000), as both have steadily improved, and could have big third seasons in store.

But don’t overlook the man who nearly went back-to-back as NL MVP.

Christian Yelich: 2018 vs 2019

2018
VS
2019

.326 Batting Average .329
36 Home Runs 44
110 RBI 97
118 Runs 100
22 Stolen Bases 30
.402 OBP .429
.598 Slugging % .671

As he enters his age 28 season, provided good health, Yelich should produce along the same lines as the last two seasons.

The NL MVP conversation would have been very interesting had he stayed healthy last year. With his averages up in all categories, he easily could have topped all 2018’s counting stats had he played the last two weeks.

Dodger Duo Provide Value, But Don’t Overlook Yelich

For a former MVP, the +700 you can get Yelich at is a great price. The same can be said for reigning MVP Bellinger at +900.

While we think it’ll at least be a three-man race with Betts included, you can afford to wait it out for a better price.

Hedging with Bellinger or Yelich, and taking a long look at either Acua Jr or Soto is worth it while you wait to see what Spring Training brings.

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