MLB betting: Jacob deGrom went from 100-to-1 to win NL MVP to the favorite

·2-min read

Pitchers generally don't win MVP awards, but New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom is special. 

Before the season started, deGrom was +10000 to win NL MVP at BetMGM. Plenty of position players who have no realistic shot of ever winning an MVP award were listed ahead of the best pitcher in the world. 

If you're holding one of those deGrom tickets at 100-to-1, you're looking pretty good now. As the second half of the season starts, deGrom is all the way down to -110 to win the award at BetMGM. Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. had a shot, but his ACL injury unfortunately knocked him out of the race. 

If you trust the odds, there aren't many realistic candidates for the award. 

A two-man race for NL MVP? 

The NL MVP award is a two-man race as the second half of the season starts (much like the American League race), according to BetMGM's odds. 

DeGrom is the favorite at -110. San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is close behind at +120. Then in third, all the way back at +3000, is Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner. 

There might be some value in those players at 30-to-1 or longer, because we've seen players get white hot in August and September and come from nowhere to steal the award. Christian Yelich in 2018 is a great example. 

Maybe Turner or Cincinnati Reds teammates Nick Castellanos (+3500) or Jesse Winker (+6600) can make a late run at the award. But it'll take a big second half (or injuries) to catch the frontrunners. 

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) is the NL MVP favorite. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) is the NL MVP favorite. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Can a pitcher win MVP? 

The argument against pitchers for MVP is usually that they have the Cy Young Award and therefore shouldn't be considered for MVP. It's nonsensical but it exists. 

That could work against deGrom. There's no other argument against him for MVP. DeGrom has a 1.08 ERA with an insane 148-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has allowed 11 earned runs this season and driven in six as a hitter. There are dozens of stats that highlight deGrom's dominance. He has been unbelievable. 

Tatis is great too. He's one of the most dynamic and charismatic stars in the game. For the "pitchers don't deserve MVP" crowd, he's an easy pick. That might ignore that deGrom's WAR (wins above replacement) of 5.0 is ahead of Tatis at 4.3. 

DeGrom has had a few injury scares this season. If he stays healthy, he'll be in the MVP mix. For those who saw value in his long odds to win the award before the season, it'll be a fun race to the finish line. 

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