May 28, 2022

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Sports Really Satisfies

MLB picks: Checking in on MVP, Cy Young odds one month into 2022 season

The 2022 Major League Baseball season has just about one month in the books and we’re getting closer to the grind when we can stop saying things like “it’s early, but … .” It is not too early, of course, to peer at the MVP and Cy Young odds. It’s never too early when there’s money to be made. 

Let’s take a look at how the races have shaped up to this point and find some value from Caesars Sportsbook.

NL MVP

In terms of who has built a great foundation, Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado would be the two frontrunners if voting were held right now. They have teammates in the mix, too, in Tommy Edman of the Cardinals and Eric Hosmer (for real!) of the Padres. Jazz Chisholm and Austin Riley have announced their presence with authority. Jeff McNeil, Mark Canha and Francisco Lindor of the Mets should be mentioned. C.J. Cron of the Rockies leads the league in homers and RBI. 

Juan Soto, however, is the favorite, sitting at +500. Ronald Acuña, Jr. is second at +800 despite having barely played so far, though he’s every bit talented enough to win. Arenado (+900), Lindor (+1000) and Machado (+1200) are next (Freddie Freeman and Bryce Harper also sit at +1200). 

I love the value on Matt Olson (+2500). There don’t appear to be many believers in Cron, by the way, as he’s +7500. Chisholm is +10000, McNeil is +25000! 

Favorite pick: I really like Machado. He’s talented enough to play like this all year, the Padres are likely going to hang around in contention and could make the playoffs and there’s good narrative behind picking up the slack with Fernando Tatis, Jr. injured. Lindor would be my back-up pick. 

Value pick: Olson was my prediction heading into the season and that’s a good number. We’re sticking with him. 

Longshot pick: Let’s go with Chisholm. In a scenario where the Marlins make the playoffs and he’s their best offensive player by a decent margin, he’d end up having a case. 

AL MVP

Put away that fatigue, because Mike Trout is once again one of the leaders here. José Ramírez and Aaron Judge are probably the co-frontrunners with Trout. Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford, believe it or not, is right there. Trout’s teammate Taylor Ward is right there at this moment along with Judge’s teammate Anthony Rizzo and Crawford’s teammate Ty France. Byron Buxton has mostly stayed on the field so far, and he’s certainly in the mix. Rays wunderkind Wander Franco merits mention. Let’s throw George Springer in here, too. 

Shohei Ohtani remains the betting favorite, which makes sense despite his slow start due to there being so much season left and his ability to pile up production both on the mound and on offense. He’s at +350 right now with Trout right on his tail at +450. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. is next at +500 and then there’s Buxton (+900), Ramirez (+1200), Judge (+1200) and Franco (+1600). 

Rizzo sits at +4000 with France and Springer at +5000. If you think Ward can keep this up, he’s at +15000. 

Favorite pick: Ramírez isn’t going anywhere, but I’m fully on board with Trout. If he does win it, that’s number four. The only player in MLB history with more than three MVPs is Barry Bonds (seven). 

Value pick: Buxton is worth a bet, but I’m not sure 9 to 1 is really a ton of “value,” given his extensive injury history. I haven’t even mentioned him yet, but Rafael Devers is the pick here. He’s +3500 and if the Red Sox get their act together and make the playoffs with him as the offensive centerpiece, he’s good enough to win. 

Longshot pick: I’ve got a few really good ones here. Giancarlo Stanton is unlikely to win, but he got hot enough back in 2017 and took the NL MVP. He’s at +8000. Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Corey Seager are +10000. I’ll go with Correa, but these are all worth a glance. 

NL Cy Young

Carlos Rodón of the Giants and Kyle Wright of the Braves are the top two right now, though there are a ton of others right there. Merrill Kelly, Pablo López, Joe Musgrove, Tylor Megill, Eric Lauer, Miles Mikolas, Chris Bassitt and Walker Buehler would all be contenders. 

Oh, and both Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw are in the mix. So is reigning Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes. 

Scherzer is the betting frontrunner at +500 with Burnes hot on his heels at +550. Rodon is +600, Buehler is +1000 and Kershaw is +1600. Four pitchers sit at +2000 in López, Logan Webb, Max Fried and Brandon Woodruff. Are you a Wright believer? He can be had at +4000. Mikolas is +10000. Kelly is +12500! 

Favorite pick: Burnes. 

Value pick: I really like Bassitt at +3000. He was going to have a shot at the AL award last year before he was struck in the head with a line drive. He already looks very comfortable on the Mets. 

Longshot pick: Both Yu Darvish and Freddy Peralta have the talent necessary to go on a run and pitch themselves into position to make noise in this award vote down the road. They are both +7500 right now. So is Zac Gallen and he’s been brilliant so far. I’ll go with Darvish, but any of these would be fine lottery ticket picks. 

AL Cy Young

This is fun. The easy leader in the clubhouse right now is Logan Gilbert of the Mariners. Next could probably be either Joe Ryan or Alek Manoah. Talk about going off the board, right? Of course, Justin Verlander, Kevin Gausman, Shane Bieber and Nathan Eovaldi are right there as well. So are Dylan Cease and Shane McClanahan. With the starters only having a handful of outings to this point, the field for both of these Cy Youngs is obviously wide open. 

Bieber, Verlander and Cease are the betting co-favorites at +700. Gerrit Cole is next at +850 and he’s probably been the chalk pick all along. Gausman is at +1000 with Ohtani (this isn’t an indictment of Ohtani’s pitching ability, but these are atrocious odds for him to win the Cy Young — there’s no way he’ll have the workload necessary to win it). Manoah sits at +1200 before Gilbert and McClanahan at +1400. Ryan is all the way down at +5000. 

Favorite pick: Am I just feeling nostalgic? I already went with Trout above and I feel strongly about Verlander for whatever reason right now. You can’t go wrong with Cole, either. 

Value pick: Let’s go with Ryan. I’m a firm believer. 

Longshot pick: Lance Lynn is +10000 and coming back later this month. He’d have to be ridiculous after spotting the rest of the league seven weeks or so. In fact, I’m not sure it’s possible. Eovaldi is +6000, so let’s take him.