- Mookie Betts’ trade to the LA Dodgers was finalized earlier this week
- Betts has seen significant movement in the 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|
|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.
Betts immediately occupied the top spot at +500. If you like those odds, you can still get him there at that price.
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 .
They’ve arrived. pic.twitter.com/UAcvATulxe
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) February 12, 2020
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
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
As he enters his age 28 season, provided good health, Yelich should produce along the same lines as the last two seasons.
Choose your power couple…
• Trout & Rendon
• Betts & Bellinger
• Judge & Torres
• Acuna Jr. & Freeman
• Bregman & Springer
• Cruz & Donaldson
• Arenado & Story
• Harper & Hoskins
• Suarez & Moustakas
… and explain why.
— Dan (@DanClarkSports) February 11, 2020
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.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.