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CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 02: Michael Harris II #23 of the Atlanta Braves watches the ball while at bat during the second inning in the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 02, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Justin Casterline/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Justin Casterline / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

At the start of the season, Atlanta Braves center fielder Michael Harris was in AA and pitcher Spencer Strider was in the Atlanta bullpen. Now, they are the top two candidates for National League Rookie of the Year.

A third-round pick in 2019, Michael Harris climbed through the Braves system; after posting a .878 OPS in 43 games at AA this season, he was promoted to Atlanta, where he has been the starting center fielder ever since.

Spencer Strider was a fourth-round pick in 2020 and went from A ball all the way to MLB last season, spending most of his time in AA, but getting into 2 1/3 innings with the Braves at the end of the season.

Here are the latest National League Rookie of the Year odds via DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars.

NL Rookie of the Year Odds

PlayerDraftKingsBetMGMCaesars
Spencer Strider-110-115-110
Michael Harris-110-105-110
Oneil Cruz+6000+10000+3500
Seiya Suzuki+6000+10000+4000
Christopher Morel+6000+10000+5000

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Harris, 21, is a free swinger but has been an impact player since arriving in the majors. In 72 games, he has 12 home runs and is 14-for-14 in stolen base attempts. He has a slash line of .288/.327/.498 and his strong defensive play in center field has helped him accumulate 2.7 FanGraphs WAR.

He could take more walks, but it is hard to complain about Harris’ contributions – and the Braves certainly appear to agree, signing him to an eight-year, $72 million contract.

Strider, 23, made 11 appearances out of the bullpen to open the season, recording a 2.22 ERA, 1.43 FIP, 1.03 WHIP, and 13.7 K/9. That kind of dominant stuff prompted the Braves to give Strider a shot in the rotation.

He has since made 14 starts and allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of them on his way to a 3.33 ERA, 2.16 FIP, 1.04 WHIP, and 13.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Strider has earned 3.3 fWAR, ranking him inside the top 50 league-wide.

He is legitimately an ace-caliber starter, so it is easy to like his chances to win National League Rookie of the Year, but he will have to withstand a challenge from his teammate to win the award.

While many award races are seemingly settled by this point in the season, Harris and Strider are still close enough that the winner of the NL Rookie of the Year can be determined by the play over the 33 games remaining on Atlanta’s schedule.

Make sure to keep an eye on our Live Odds page throughout the week to get the best lines possible and connect with others in the SBR community on our popular sports betting forum.