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AL Rookie of the Year race: How MLB season so far has impacted odds

We discuss the AL Rookie of the Year race after the first month of the 2023 regular season.

Masataka Yoshida of the Boston Red Sox runs towards first base during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Fenway Park on April 29, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

We’re a month into the MLB season, and the American League Rookie of the Year race is shaping up to be a good one. While there’s yet to be a true standout performer from this year’s rookie class, there are still plenty of worthy options, which should set us up for a neck-and-neck race for the rest of the year. Here’s a look at the odds and two candidates who stand out among the rest.

Updated AL Rookie of the Year odds as of May 1

Masataka Yoshida +275 Anthony Volpe +450 Hunter Brown +700
Josh Jung +800 Gunnar Henderson +1000 Taj Bradley +1100
Grayson Rodriguez +1100 Mason Miller +2000 Tanner Bibee +2000
Triston Casas +2000 Oscar Colas +2000 Zach Neto +2500

AL Rookie of the Year race: Takeaways and best bets

Best bet 1

Masataka Yoshida, Boston Red Sox +275

There’s a reason Yoshida’s the favorite, as he’s in the midst of a 10-game hitting streak and enters tonight’s game hitting .276 with four home runs and 16 RBIs. Yoshida got hotter as the month went on, as he’s hitting .320 with three home runs (two of which came in the same inning) in the last 13 games.

As a seven-year veteran of Nippon Professional Baseball, Yoshida’s more experienced than your average rookie, which no doubt plays into him being the favorite. He’s also displaying some next level discipline at the plate, as he’s in the 97th percentile in strikeout rate, the 86th percentile in whiff rate and the 73rd percentile in walk rate.

Best bet 2

Tanner Bibee, Cleveland Guardians +2000

While Bibee’s only made one start so far this year, he looked every bit the part of a top prospect, as he allowed one run in 5.2 innings while striking out eight. A fifth-round draft pick in 2021, Bibee allowed three earned runs in three starts at Triple-A prior to getting called up after having a 1.83 ERA in 73.2 innings in Double-A last year.

It’s been seven years since a non-two-way starting pitcher won AL Rookie of the Year, when Michael Fulmer recorded a 3.06 ERA in 159 innings for the Tigers. If Bibee keeps up his strong pace, it’s not hard to see him eclipse those numbers. The Guardians have been a pitching factory in the past, and Bibee looks like he has a chance to be the next stellar graduate.