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Jacob deGrom biggest mover in NL MVP market through one month

We look at line movement on DraftKings Sportsbook for National League MVP at the beginning of May.

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom reacts after allowing a run to the Boston Red Sox during the second inning at Citi Field.  Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A few of the brightest stars in the NL saw their MVP chances fade during the MLB season’s opening month while other players shined. I think one hitter has set himself apart from the field, but the best pitcher in baseball looms as a dark horse candidate.

Let’s dive into these NL MVP odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and highlight where the value lies.

Atlanta Braves OF Ronald Acuna Jr. has established himself as the early favorite after an April in which he looked like he may claim an MVP award and a Triple Crown. He finished the month tied for the NL lead in home runs, second in batting average and four off the pace in RBIs. And that doesn’t look like a fluke considering how much contact he is making, how rarely he is striking out and how often he is driving the ball with a hard-hit rate near 60 percent. I would not bet on Acuna winning a Triple Crown — it’s hard to imagine a leadoff hitter leading the league in RBIs — but he is my favorite bet for NL MVP right now even though he has the shortest odds on the board at +275.

Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (+800) has the third-shortest odds but he is my second choice right now. We know that pitchers have to go above and beyond to have a shot at the MVP award, but deGrom might be in the early stages of one of the most dominant seasons for any pitcher in recent memory. His strikeout rate is near 50 percent(!) and his ERA is 0.51. The only two earned runs against him this season came off of solo homers. Oh, and he has the lowest walk rate of his career at a skinny 3.3 percent. He’s otherworldly right now and absolute appointment viewing whenever he’s on the mound. I’m a little wary of investing too much into deGrom just because only three pitchers have been named MVP in the past 28 years. But he’s definitely on track through one month.

I would shy away from everyone else. Juan Soto, Mookie Betts and Fransisco Lindor are still phenomenal talents, but their first month was dominated by slumps and/or injuries. Considering their competition, that puts them behind the magic 8 ball. Plus, Fernando Tatis Jr.’s previously-injured left shoulder is a legitimate concern. Outside of some power, he has not been impressive at the plate. He’s listed ahead of deGrom at +750. That’s not very good value.

NL MVP Award Odds Movement

Player Opening Current
Player Opening Current
Ronald Acuna +900 +275
Fernando Tatis Jr. +1100 +750
Jacob deGrom +3000 +800
Mookie Betts +1000 +800
Juan Soto +800 +1000
Corey Seager +2000 +1300
Francisco Lindor +1400 +2000

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