Harper favored to win NL MVP with Phillies

ByBen Fawkes ESPN logo
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Bryce Harper is finalizing a record 13-year, $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, and one Las Vegas sportsbook has him as the favorite to win the National League MVP.

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened MVP and Cy Young odds Wednesday, with Harper the betting favorite at 6-1 odds. His odds moved down to 5-1 on Thursday after the announcement of a deal.Nolan Arenado (7-1), Paul Goldschmidt (10-1) and Kris Bryant (12-1) have the next-best odds.

Harper struggled last season with the Washington Nationals, hitting only .249 and striking out a career-high 169 times. He did have 34 home runs and 100 RBIs.

"We moved most of the odds on Sunday," Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook oddsmaker Randy Blum told ESPN. "This felt so obvious."

"That's a Little League park in Philadelphia," SuperBook director John Murray added. "You can imagine how many home runs he'd hit there as his home park. He's an elite player and is going to be one of the favorites for MVP for a while."

Manny Machado, fresh off a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres, is at 15-1. Last year's NL MVP, Christian Yelich, has 18-1 odds.

In the American League, the odds opened as a two-man race with Mike Trout the favorite at 3-1, followed by 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts at 4-1. No other player has odds in single digits. Aaron Judge has the next-best odds at 10-1.

After taking a $4,000 bet on Trout at 3-1 on Wednesday afternoon, the SuperBook moved his odds to 2-1.

Corey Kluber (+350) is the AL Cy Young favorite, followed by Chris Sale at 4-1 and Luis Severino at 7-1. Last year's AL Cy Young winner, Blake Snell, is tied for the seventh-best odds at 18-1.

In the NL, Max Scherzer is the favorite at +250. Jacob deGrom, who won the award last year, has the second-best odds at +350, with Aaron Nola (7-1) the only other player with single-digit odds.

The 2019 MLB regular season begins March 28.