NL MVP/Cy Young (05/07/13)

By John Ewing

A look at how the NL MVP and Cy Young odds have changed over the course of the MLB season. To see the AL MVP and Cy Young odds click here. Lines courtesy of Bovada.lv.

The first full month of baseball has been played and with the additional information we have gathered on player productivity from approximately thirty games the odds for the NL MVP and Cy Young Awards have changed. Below we look at a few players that have risen and those that have fallen as well as the current odds for all the top players.

NL MVP

Justin Upton

Preseason: 20/1, Current: 9/2

Upton has been a monster at the plate bashing 12 moon shots to lead all hitters. Each home run has traveled at least 400 feet. Hitting home runs and playing for a contender (Braves 1st in NL East) will garner MVP chatter but Upton will need to cut back on his strikeouts (35, 5th most in NL) if he hopes to keep his batting average respectable (.286, tied for 27th in NL). Upton is currently the favorite to win the MVP.

Troy Tulowitzki

Preseason: 20/1, Current: 15/2

After a frustrating 2012 season that saw Tulowitzki play in just 47 games (sports hernia) it has been business as usual thus far this season. The two-time All-Star has bounced back with a strong start to the season with a .348 BA (2nd NL), 1.098 OPS (1st NL), and 1.9 WAR (3rd NL). The Rockies stud shortstop has finished in the top eight of MVP voting three times, most recently in 2011. Tulo is currently the 3rd favorite to win.

Jason Heyward

Preseason: 20/1, Current: N/A

Heyward began the season with the 9th best odds to win the NL MVP coming off a 2012 campaign that saw him hit 27 home runs as a 22 year old. The start of this season has been anything but MVP caliber with Heyward hitting .121/.261/.259 with 2 home runs and 12 strikeouts. Making matters worse, J-Hey was placed on the 15-day DL after having an appendectomy.

Jay Bruce

Preseason: 25/1, Current: N/A

Bruce has always been a power guy; he has topped 30 home runs in each of his last two seasons. The question has always been whether or not he could put it all together and become a top 10 outfielder. It is feast or famine with Bruce who currently leads the NL in strikeouts with 48 yet has only hit 1 home run making this season primarily famine. Bruce is currently on pace to shatter his personal record of 158 strikeouts in a season and could flirt with the all-time record of 223.

Current odds for top players.

Team Preseason Odds Current Odds
Justin Upton (ATL) 20/1 9/2
Bryce Harper (WSH) 10/1 11/2
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) 20/1 15/2
Buster Posey (SF) 12/1 10/1
Joey Votto (CIN) 15/2 10/1
Ryan Braun (MIL) 9/1 10/1
Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) 25/1 12/1
Carlos Gomez (MIL) N/A 12/1
Carlos Gonzalez (COL) 33/1 12/1
Pablo Sandoval (SF) N/A 12/1
John Buck (NYM) N/A 12/1
Shin-Soo Choo (CIN) N/A 15/1
Starling Marte (PIT) N/A 20/1
Andrew McCutchen (PIT) 15/1 20/1
Yadier Molina (STL) 20/1 20/1
Michael Cuddyer (COL) N/A 25/1
Dexter Fowler (COL) N/A 25/1
David Wright (NYM) 25/1 25/1
Carl Crawford (LAD) N/A 33/1
Ryan Howard (PHI) 33/1 33/1
Willin Rosario (COL) N/A 33/1

NL Cy Young

Jordan Zimmermann

Preseason: 25/1, Current: 5/1

Zimmermann is the best pitcher on the National’s staff, not Stephen Strasburg, not last year’s Cy Young candidate, Gio Gonzalez or offseason acquisition Dan Haren. Zimmermann has been fantastic this season posting 5 wins (1st NL), 1.64 ERA (3rd NL), while allowing just 8 earned runs and issuing only 7 walks in 44 innings pitched. Zimmermann is currently the 2nd favorite to win the Cy Young.

Matt Harvey

Preseason: 100/1, Current: 11/2

Justin Verlander said Harvey reminds him of himself. Curt Schilling said he prefers Harvey over Stephen Strasburg. Harvey is 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA and 10.3 strikeouts per 9 innings. Elias Sports Bureau says Harvey is the only pitcher since 1900 to strike out more than 100 batters and allow fewer than 25 runs in his first 14 career starts.

Stephen Strasburg

Preseason: 11/2, Current: 12/1

Strasburg was the favorite to win the Cy Young before the season began. One win in seven starts with a 3.45 ERA (31st NL) and 0.1 WAR (100th NL) has caused his odds to drop. The concern for Strasburg may be unfounded, as he has posted a 3.55 xFIP, metric to predict a pitcher’s future performance. An average pitcher’s xFIP is 4.00 while a great pitcher’s xFIP is 3.25. Strasburg is closer to great than average.

Matt Cain

Preseason: 12/1, Current: N/A

Before last Sunday’s start against the Dodgers Cain was winless with a 6.49 ERA. His performance against Los Angeles, the first game he has pitched into the 8th this season, lowered his ERA to 5.57 and earned him his first win. The Giants have said they felt that Cain’s arm angle has sometimes dropped in his early starts, flattening out his stuff. As a result he has given up 9 home runs this season, he gave up 21 all last year.

Current odds for top players.

Team Preseason Odds Current Odds
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) 6/1 3/1
Madison Bumgarner (SF) 33/1 5/1
Jordan Zimmermann (WAS) 25/1 5/1
Matt Harvey (NYM) 100/1 11/2
Lance Lynn (STL) 33/1 10/1
Adam Wainwright (STL) 15/1 10/1
Mat Latos (CIN) 25/1 12/1
Stephen Strasburg (WAS) 11/2 12/1
A.J. Burnett (PIT) 50/1 15/1
Patrick Corbin (ARI)  N/A 15/1
Jake Westbrook (STL) N/A 15/1
Tim Hudson (ATL) 25/1 20/1
Jaime Garcia (STL) 33/1 25/1
Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD) N/A 25/1
Sergio Romo (SF) N/A 25/1