This article originally appeared on MLB.com: Breaking down the betting odds in ROY race
This week, we focus on all the up-and-coming rookies that are in contention for the Rookie of the Year Award. Our panel has put in their vote and we’re going to discuss three of those players, alongside their DraftKings Sportsbook odds to take down this prestigious title.
AL Rookie of the Year
Julio Rodriguez (-450)
The last time we talked about Julio Rodríguez in this article, he was -285 to win the award. Now, as of July 28, that has grown to -450. At this point, we’ve missed the boat on taking this bet to win the award. There simply is no value in taking him at -450, as you’d need to play $450 to win $100 on this bet. As these odds indicate, barring an extended absence or a prolonged slump, Rodríguez has this award wrapped up.
Anyone who is backing Rodríguez did have a slight scare. In the first contest coming out of the All-Star break, Rodríguez was scratched minutes before the game was to begin, even after being on the field for the pregame ceremonies. The Mariners said after the game that Rodríguez was dealing with a sore wrist. That injury sidelined him for three games, only to see him return and launch a first-inning solo home run. Rodríguez added to that the next night, hitting a go-ahead three-run home run in the seventh inning in a Mariners comeback win against the Rangers. Heading into Thursday, Rodríguez is slashing .274/.337/.489 with 18 home runs, 56 RBIs and 21 stolen bases.
NL Rookie of the Year
Spencer Strider (+150)
The Braves look as if they’ll be the owners of the National League Rookie of the Year. Not only is Strider leading the way, but Michael Harris II has the second-best odds at +225. Strider started the season off coming out of the bullpen, where he made 11 appearances totaling 24 1/3 innings, allowing just six runs on 13 hits with 37 strikeouts (13.7 K/9). Then came the move to the rotation and that’s where Strider really started to grab people’s attention. Through 11 starts, Strider has a 3.21 ERA, allowing 22 runs (20 earned) on 37 hits with 83 strikeouts (13.3 K/9) in 56 innings. Two tough starts against the Nationals and the Giants are what is keeping Strider from having elite numbers, as the 11 runs in those games account for 55% of the total runs he’s allowed.
The month of August is going to be the make-or-break stretch for Strider. The Braves will endure a tough schedule that includes 15 games against the National League East. Nine of those games will be against the Mets, whom the Braves are battling against for sole possession of first place. If the rotation stays as it is, Strider is currently on track to face the Phillies, Mets, Marlins, Mets, Astros, Cardinals and Rockies in August. If he comes out of that pitching as well as he has, he undoubtedly will take this award down. If he falters, this would be the time that someone else moves up the ranks to overtake him. This is likely a pivotal time to decide on if you want to take him or not, as a tough stretch is incoming.
Nolan Gorman (+2800)
I’ve written up Gorman before and a recent slide in offense from him has slid his odds down to 28-1. Gorman is the talk of the league lately, as rumors are floating that he could be a centerpiece in a potential deal with the Nationals for Juan Soto. That should say a lot about what teams think of Gorman, despite him slashing .229/.303/.430. The biggest appeal of Gorman is his power. While he hasn’t been hitting for average, he does have 16 extra-base hits of his 37 total. Ten have gone for home runs while six were doubles. That pop in his bat has been with him all throughout the Minors and was a big reason for his callup at the end of May. Through 34 games in Triple-A, Gorman hit 15 home runs and knocked in 23.
At these odds, you’re simply taking a chance on Gorman heating back up at the plate, regardless of what team he’s on. Granted, he has a much better chance of producing if he’s on the Cardinals as he’ll be protected better, but Soto is still seeing plenty of pitches himself. Personally, I think these odds are very attractive and it doesn’t take much to produce a huge ROI if this ends up hitting at 28-1.
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