Fernando Tatís goes to win the Nationwide League MVP Award this yr. That may sound glaring, nevertheless it’s one thing I think must be wired, as a result of for some explanation why, part of all bets at the award’s winner are going to… Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper.
In step with OddsChecker, Harper has gained 50 % of all MVP bets during the last 30 days. He doesn’t have the most efficient odds to win the award… or the second-best… or the third-best. The ones belong to Tatís (-270), Max Muncy (+900), and Freddie Freeman (+950). Harper isn’t even with reference to the ones 3. He these days has +1600 odds. So, why are such a lot of other people placing their cash on Harper?
Smartly, a large number of hype has befallen Harper in that point. I even wrote a piece about how excellent he’s been — however like I say in that piece, Harper has now not been mashing at this tempo all the season. His nice finish to this marketing campaign is simply a facade, a mirage of his MVP case. For the reason that get started of August, Harper has mashed 8 homers to the song of a 1.152 OPS. That’s beautiful nuts. Alternatively, for all the season, he nonetheless trails all 3 of the aforementioned other people forward within the MVP odds race in runs, home runs, and RBI. That’s two of the 3 branches of MLB’s Triple Crown (AVG, HR, RBI), that means that MVP citizens generally tend to note the ones sorts of shortcomings in avid gamers. Whilst Harper is both first or moment in batting moderate, on-base proportion, and slugging, the uncooked numbers aren’t there to warrant a significant MVP candidacy. I remember that runs and RBI are a workforce statistic. How are you intended to knock other people in if no one is getting on base in entrance of you? I am getting it, however you time and time once more, we’ve noticed avid gamers with a loss of robust base numbers get handed on. On a lot of events, the committee that votes at the awards has proven desire to other people with giant numbers fairly than analytics darlings, and I will’t blame them.
Take 2012 for instance: Mike Trout used to be the most efficient participant in baseball via a large margin. He used to be nice defensively, stole just about 50 bases at the season, and led the American League in on-base proportion and WAR. However Miguel Cabrera gained the Triple Crown — a feat that hadn’t been completed since 1967. Regardless of Trout obviously being the awesome participant, Miggy used to be given the awards for 2 causes: the ones uncooked numbers, and workforce luck.
Crew luck is some other giant consider how MVP citizens generally tend to lean that the contenders themselves don’t have a lot keep watch over over. The 2012 NL MVP Award used to be given to San Francisco’s Buster Posey over Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun. Say what you’ll about Braun’s previous PED usage, however in 2012, he used to be a threat on the plate. In comparison to Posey, Braun would possibly not have had the next moderate, however he did have extra runs, hits, house runs, RBI, stolen bases, and the next slugging proportion and OPS… nevertheless it didn’t topic, as a result of Posey led his workforce to a department name, whilst Braun couldn’t even lead his Brewers to the postseason.
Now go look at the current MLB standings. Every player listed ahead of Harper is either in a position to make the playoffs or are very close. The Padres don’t hold the second Wild Card spot right now, but they are in a position to take that spot with less than 40 games left in the regular season. We can sort of say the same thing about the Phillies since they are only 5.5 games out of first place in the NL East, but they are still under .500. That’s a huge hit to Harper’s MVP case. The fact that he can’t lead his team past the Braves, whose best player went down for the remainder of the season in July, just furthers the idea that Harper shouldn’t win the award. Meanwhile Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman has lifted his team to a division lead without the presence of Acuña. That boosts his odds significantly.
It would take a miracle for Harper to win the MVP award at this point. If you’re one of those people who looked at his average and slugging, saw that his odds were listed at +1600, and figured that putting money on him was a no-brainer, might I suggest instead betting on Atlanta’s Austin Riley (+5000). That’s a 50-to-1 payout. Riley leads all contenders in batting average, is second in runs batted in, is on a team set in position to reach the postseason, and has been slashing .356/.394/.586 since the beginning of August. He’s been a key part of Atlanta’s run to the top of the NL East, and while his plate discipline numbers indicate that he’s been getting rather lucky at the dish, he’s got one of the hottest bats in the National League at the right time — and luck doesn’t matter when you’ve got great stats.