For an updated breakdown of Wednesday's betting action, be sure to catch the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted by 3 p.m. ET. I'll also be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3 to 4 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, with MLB officially off today and the second half set to begin tomorrow, let's take a look at where the odds stand for several MLB player futures...
American League: For much of the season, this has been Aaron Judge's award to lose. The Yankees slugger is putting up huge numbers in his free agent year, leading MLB with 33 home runs while also hitting .284 and driving in 70 runs. However, despite Judge's impressive stats, he has recently been overtaken by Angels' two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who now sits as the favorite at -105. Judge has dipped to + 140. The smart money appears to be with Ohtani, who is hitting .258 with 19 homers and 56 RBIs while also posting a 9-4 record with a 2.38 ERA on the mound. Ohtani is receiving 17% of bets but 30% of dollars to win the MVP, the largest "low bets, higher dollars" discrepancy of any player. This might be the last chance for bettors to grab Ohtani at essentially even money.
National League: Paul Goldschmidt is having a career year (.330, 29 homers, 70 RBIs) and currently sits as a -110 favorite to win MVP. If Goldschmidt keeps up the pace, the award is his. However, if you're looking for a value play, keep an eye on Padres slugger Manny Machado (.303, 15 homers, 51 RBIs). Machado has the second best MVP odds at + 550. Machado is receiving 8% of bets but 18% of money, which is also the largest smart money discrepancy of any NL player (Goldschmidt is receiving 7% of bets but just 6% of money).
American League: This award is a two-man race between Rays lefty Shane McClanahan (+ 210) and Astros veteran Justin Verlander (+ 250). McClanahan is the slight favorite and has gone 10-3 with a 1.71 ERA. Meanwhile, Verlander sits at 12-3 with a 1.89 ERA. If the award was handed out today, McClanahan would likely win it. However, one danger with McClanahan is that the 25-year-old is approaching his career innings limit. Will the Rays rest him down the stretch, or even shut him down, in order to protect their top asset for the future? For this reason, Verlander may be the better value play. The 39-year-old seems to be getting stronger as the year goes on and also pitchers for the team with the 3rd best record in MLB. Verlander is receiving 13% of bets but 17% of money, while McClanahan is garnering 10% of bets and 13% of money.
National League: Sandy Alcantara is running away with this award and currently sits as a -130 favorite. The pitcher with the next best odds is Corbin Burnes (+ 700). Alcantara is 9-4 with a 1.76 ERA. The Marlins ace is currently receiving 15% of bets but 24% of money. No other pitcher is garnering more than 7% of the money. Reading between the lines, the pro money is all over Alcantara to win this award. It might be hard to lay a -130 on Alcantara after he opened the season at 25/1. However, this line may quickly shoot up to -200 or more before you know it. Similar to grabbing Ohtani before he rises, it might bettors' last chance to make a play on Alcantara before this number skyrockets.
Rookie of the Year
American League: Julio Rodriguez currently sits at -400 to win the award, the largest minus number of any player in any award category. The 21-year-old Mariners outfielder just stole the show at the Home Run Derby. He leads all AL rookies in home runs (16), RBIs (52) and stolen bases (16). Rodriguez is receiving 19% of bets but 27% of money, by far the largest handle of any rookie. The next closest odds are Jeremy Pena at + 700. Rodriguez is very likely to win this award, but the expensive -400 price makes it more of a judgement call for bettors in terms of whether they are comfortable laying the big number or not. Rodriguez opened at + 900.
National League: This is the most wide open award of the bunch. We've seen several players listed as the favorite at various times and it might be a situation where waiting until the end of the season and following the late movement might be the way to go. Currently Braves righty Spencer Strider is the favorite at + 175. Strider set a record earlier this year by posting back-to-back starts of 11 or more strikeouts combined with 2 or less hits. Overall, Strider is 4-3 with a 3.03 ERA. He is receiving 8% of bets but 11% of money. However, at 23-years-old Strider is also reaching his career innings limit and might be handled carefully down the stretch. Braves' teammate Michael Harris has the next best odds at + 200. He is hitting .283 with 8 homers and 26 RBIs. Harris is receiving 6% of bets and 8% of money. Seiya Suzuki of the Cubs enjoys the highest ticket (22%) and money (35%) count, however he has fallen from + 500 to + 1200. Pirates shortstop O'Neil Cruz has also fallen to + 800 after reaching favorite status for a brief moment.