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World Series MVP Odds Favor Seager, Betts, Lowe With Series Tied 2-2, But Kershaw Might Have the Edge

Corey Seager smiling for the camera
Corey Seager is favored to win World Series MVP heading into Game 5. Photo by Mopey1988 (Wikimedia Commons).
  • The odds to win World Series MVP see six players packed at the top of the board
  • Five of the top-six favorites are from the LA Dodgers; Brandon Lowe is the only Tampa Bay player shorter than +1000
  • Handicapping the MVP futures hinges on first handicapping the series

The 2020 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays is knotted at 2-2 heading into Game 5 on Sunday night (8:08 pm ET). What started as a wide-open race to win MVP is still tightly contested with six players between +325 and +650.

The table below shows the updated World Series odds along with the  opening odds and each player’s stats through four games.

Updated World Series MVP Odds

Player Current Odds Opening Odds RBI / IP OPS / ERA XBH / Ks
Corey Seager (LAD, SS) +325 +1200 3 1.560 2
Mookie Betts (LAD, RF) +400 +800 2 .728 1
Brandon Lowe (TB,  2B) +550 +2800 6 .882 3
Walker Buehler (LAD, P) +650 +1200 6.0 1.50 10 K
Clayton Kershaw (LAD, P) +650 +1000 6.0 1.50 8 K
Justin Turner (LAD, 3B) +650 +2500 2 1.474 6
Randy Arozarena (TB, OF) +1000 +1000 2 1.286 2
Kevin Kiermaier (TB OF) +2000 OFF 3 .769 2
Blake Snell (TB, P) +2200 +1500 4.2 3.86 9 K
Max Muncy (LAD, 1B) +2500 +1500 5 .874 1
Cody Bellinger (LAD, CF) +3000 +1000 2 .569 1
Manny Margot (TB, OF) +3500 +4400 0 .801 1
Chris Taylor (LAD, IF/OF) +3500 +5000 3 .794 2
Will Smith (LAD, C) +4000 +2000 2 .616 1
Julio Urias (LAD, P) +4000 +5000 4.2 3.86 9 K
Joey Wendle (TB, IF) +4000 +3000 3 .530 2
Willy Adames (TB, SS) +5000 +3000 1 .615 2
Joc Pederson (LAD, LF) +5000 +5000 2 .750 0
Ji-Man Choi (TB, 1B) +5500 +3500 0 .476 0
Tyler Glasnow (TB, P) +5500 +900 4.1 12.86 8 K
Yandy Diaz (TB, 3B) +7500 +3500 0 .650 0
Kiki Hernandez (LAD, 2B) +7500 +3500 2 .708 1
Austin Meadows (TB, LF) +7500 +2800 0 .364 0
AJ Pollock (LAD, LF) +7500 +2500 0 .900 1
Hunter Renfroe (TB, RF) +7500 +4000 1 .833 1
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (TB, LF/3B) +7500 +5000 0 0 0
Brett Phillips (TB, OF) OFF OFF 1 2.00 1

Odds as of Oct 25th at DraftKings. Statistics are from the first four games of the World Series. Pitchers listed in italics. 

MVP voting is based on performance in World Series games, alone. Randy Arozarena’s seven prior home runs are not supposed to be a factor. That said, humans are doing the voting, and it can be difficult to completely separate this week from last.

Pick the Winning Team Before Picking MVP

Once: that’s how many times the World Series MVP has come from the losing team (Bobby Richardson, 1960 Yankees), which makes it crucial to handicap the final three games of the series before looking for the best value in the MVP futures.

The World Series odds still show LAD to be a heavy -176 favorite despite the best-of-seven turning into a best-of-three. One of the biggest factors in that line is the perceived pitching mismatches in the final three games.

The Dodgers will be sending Clayton Kershaw to the mound for Game 5 and have Walker Buehler lined up to pitch a potential Game 7. Both pitched exceptionally in their first starts of the World Series, going an equal 6.0 innings and surrendering a single run. Buehler, who had been struggling with his control in the postseason, walked just one batter while striking out ten.

The Rays are expected to counter with an underwhelming Tyler Glasnow in Game 5, Blake Snell in Game 6, and Charlie Morton in Game 7.

I personally took the Rays to win in seven before the series started. I would still bet the Rays at +149, but agree with oddsmakers that the Dodgers have a decided starting-pitcher edge over the final three games.

If the Dodgers Win, Who’s the Pick?

The LA offense has been dynamic through four games, averaging 7.0 runs per game in the first four. But it’s hard to pick out one hitter who deserves to be given the bulk of the credit. Just like in the regular season, it’s been constant pressure one to nine from the Dodgers order. Justin Turner’s six extra-base hits stand out, but Corey Seager and Mookie Betts are getting more headlines (and Betts’ defense is in constant rotation on SportsCenter).

Buehler has a slight edge on Kershaw after the first four games thanks to his double-digit strikeout total. However, if LA wins in six, Buehler won’t get another start unless Dave Roberts uses him in Game 6 on short rest. Buehler will also have to overcome narrative if Kershaw pitches well in Game 5. Kershaw has a checkered (at best) playoff history. If the much-loved 13-year veteran pitches two gems while leading LA to its first World Series since 1988, the stories write themselves.

I haven’t put money down on the MVP futures yet, and likely won’t. If I had a free bet to use, it would go on the three-time Cy Young winner.

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