Here are three futures bets worth making in the world of MLB awards.
Ronald Acuna (30-1 SuperBook)
Acuna, the Braves star, was one of the preseason favorites for MVP despite missing the first month of the season while recovering from knee surgery. Acuna saw his odds drift to as high as 80-1 last week before dropping back to the 25-30 range and he should see them shorten again at least to under 20-1 by the end of the week. Over the past 15 days, while the Braves have gone undefeated, Acuna has 17 hits, 13 runs, four home runs, seven RBIs, two stolen bases and a .426 OBP. Those numbers are as good as, if not better than, the other top-tier NL MVP candidates over the same span (Paul Goldschmidt, Mookie Betts, Pete Alonso and Manny Machado).
With the Braves gaining ground on the Mets in the NL East race, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Acuna gain serious traction in the MVP race. Winning the NL East would likely put Acuna into top-tier MVP candidacy territory.
NL Rookie of the Year
Michael Harris (40-1 Kambi: BetRivers/Barstool)
Player A (since June 1): 10 hits, 7 runs, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 SB, 31.4% K rate/11.8% BB rate, 93.6-mph average EV, .233/.353.395, 127 wRC+
Player B (since June 1): 15 hits, 8 runs, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 2 SB, 21.3% K rate/4.3% BB rate, 86.8 mph average EV, .333/.362.556, 152 wRC+
Player A is Julio Rodriguez, AL Rookie of the Year front-runner of the Mariners, currently priced between even money and 2-1. Player B is Braves center fielder Michael Harris, the youngest player in MLB at 21. The best Braves prospect since Acuna, Harris has already shown elite center-field defense and has above-average raw power and speed. The 40-1 price is too high for Harris right now, as the SuperBook has already adjusted him down to 9-1, which is a much more accurate number. If you have access to a Kambi book, now is the time to grab Harris at 40-1.
Oneil Cruz (32-1 Kambi: BetRivers/Barstool)
For reasons that I cannot comprehend beyond service-time manipulation, the Pirates have declined to call up shortstop Oneil Cruz to this point. There are relatively credible rumors circulating this week that Cruz is set to make his season debut in Pittsburgh this weekend against the Giants. The SuperBook must have some of the same sources I do because they dropped Cruz’s ROY odds from 25-1 to 10-1 overnight, so I would expect him in the Pirates’ lineup this weekend. Cruz started the season at Triple A, and he looked like a disgruntled player for the first month, not giving his all. His attitude eventually changed, and over the last 30 games at Triple-A Indianapolis, Cruz has had 32 hits, 29 runs, eight homers, 25 RBIs, 25 K/18 BB and four stolen bases, while batting .274/.381/.538 with a 143 wRC+ . There is really no reason why he isn’t in the Pirates’ lineup. When people start seeing his Giancarlo Stanton-like exit velocities, Cruz’s Rookie of the Year odds will drop quickly. He was one of the preseason favorites before the Pirates held him back.