Close Races for MVP & Cy Young in NL … Not So Much in AL

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, November 9, 2017 3:19 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 3:19 PM UTC

You thought the 2017 MLB season was over? Not quite. The major regular-season awards in both leagues are set to be announced, and you can bet on the potential winners at BetOnline.

Before MLB bettors start thinking about the Hot Stove League – free agency already has begun – and the 2018 season futures, we first must put a bow on the 2017 campaign. That means handing out the major awards in the American and National Leagues. BetOnline is offering props for Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and MVP in each league.

We won’t waste our time on the Rookie of the Year prop because it’s an absolute lock who will win those: the Yankees’ Aaron Judge in the Junior Circuit and Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger in the NL. Both had record-setting seasons. For Manager of the Year, Minnesota’s Paul Molitor (-210) and Arizona’s Torey Lovullo (-155) were the betting favorites and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t win.

The Cy Young Awards will be handed out Wednesday. I’m a bit surprised at the odds in the AL as Cleveland’s Corey Kluber is a mammoth -1800 favorite with Boston’s Chris Sale at +850. Sale was 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and led the majors with 308 strikeouts. What is hurting Sale is that he faded a bit late in the year, while Kluber was dominant since the start of June. He finished 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA and led the AL in wins, ERA, WHIP (0.87) and complete games (five). Kluber also won the 2014 Cy Young. Too bad he stunk in the playoffs vs. the Yankees.

In the NL, the Nationals’ Max Scherzer is a -200 favorite to repeat as the Cy Young winner and take his third award overall (also won in the AL with Detroit in 2013). According to Baseball Reference, Scherzer’s WAR of 7.6 was the fourth-best overall in the majors, including position players, and tops in the NL. He finished 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and 268 strikeouts. Scherzer was No. 1 in the NL in Ks and WHIP (0.90) and second in wins. Scherzer only had a 3.24 ERA in the second half of the season and 4.05 in September.

The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw is +160 to win a fourth Cy Young. He probably would be the cinch winner if not for missing about six weeks with back troubles. Kershaw still finished 18-4 with a 2.31 ERA, topping the NL in wins and ERA.

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The MVP Awards will be announced Thursday, and it’s assumed that Astros second baseman Jose Altuve will win his first MVP. The World Series champion is a -550 favorite. At 5-foot-6, that guy is a wizard, winning the MLB batting title at .346 while adding 24 homers, 81 RBIs and 32 steals. Altuve led the majors in Baseball Reference WAR at 8.3

The Yankees’ Judge is +375. He was the clear favorite at the All-Star break, went into a horrible slump for about two months and then blew up in September. He ended up batting .284 with an AL-best 52 homers along with 114 RBIs. Judge will have to settle for the MLB home-run record for rookies and the AL Rookie of the Year Award.

The closest race of all is for the NL MVP between the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton (-130) and Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt (+175), both looking for a first MVP. Stanton was unconscious in the second half of the season with 33 homers and 74 RBIs. He led the majors with 59 homers, 132 RBIs and a .631 slugging percentage overall. Stanton’s value will never be higher, and it’s why the Marlins are likely to trade him this offseason.

The Marlins weren’t very good this season, while Goldschmidt helped lead Arizona to a wild-card spot. He hit .297 with 36 homers and 120 RBIs.  Goldy didn’t lead the NL in anything but was Top 10 in just about every offensive category – even steals (18) as a first baseman! Unfortunately, Goldschmidt likely lost the award in September when he hit just .175 with three home runs while dealing with an elbow injury.

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