Williams' NL rookie win a true mystery

By Jason Weingarten  () 

Last week Betonline posted odds for NL Rookie of the Year, making it:

Alec Bohm -140

Jake Cronenworth + 200

Devin Williams + 400

If you had asked me anytime in the week leading up to the announcement if Williams had a chance, I would have said no. I thought this was a race between Cronenworth and Bohm. But Williams won, receiving 14 first-place votes to nine for Bohm and six for Cronenworth. 

Williams appeared in 22 games and pitched 27 innings for a fourth-place Brewers team. There’s no question he dominated those 27 innings: He struck out 53 and gave up one earned run all season. The 0.33 ERA and 0.63 WHIP are impressive, but we are talking 27 total innings on a fourth-place team. I think Williams was incredibly undeserving. I chalk this up to the anomalies of a 60-game season, and I’m pretty sure we won’t see a pitcher win Rookie of the Year without starting or saving a single game anytime soon. 

Bohm’s chances were hurt by playing only 44 games and the Phillies missing the playoffs, though neither was Bohm’s fault. There’s no doubt in my mind that over a 162-game season, Williams wouldn’t be seriously considered and the race would be between Bohm and Cronenworth. 

I had Bohm at 60-1 to win $15,000 (a $250 ticket). I’m disappointed I lost a big future on Bohm, but I had expected to lose to Cronenworth, not a middle reliever. The only silver lining is that when Betonline posted the numbers I mentioned earlier, I asked if they’d take an over-the-limit bet on Cronenworth at + 200. I have to point out these odds on Betonline are kind of a joke, as the limit to win is $100 and that is by no means a serious market. But as I said, I asked for up to $2,000 on Cronenworth at + 200 to try to hedge my Bohm ticket. I talked to Betonline multiple times and the reps kept saying they’d get back to me, but they never did. So I guess the joke is on them because I would have lost more money trying to hedge. 

Between the AL and NL rookie awards, I’ve lost $3,000 this week so far, and I’m not done counting up all the tickets. Next week I’ll go into more detail about what I learned from my MLB futures this year.

NFL Futures

MVP    

DraftKings

Wilson + 125

Mahomes + 200

Rodgers + 350

Allen + 2200

Brady/Cook/Murray/Roethlisberger + 3300

Jackson/Kamara + 5000

Brees + 6000

FanDuel

Wilson + 110

Mahomes + 250

Rodgers + 400

Allen + 1800

Murray + 2500

Roethlisberger/Brees/Brady + 3000

Cook + 6000

Circa 

Wilson + 145

Mahomes + 190

Rodgers + 345

Allen/Brees/Murray + 3000

Roethlisberger + 3500

Brady + 4000

Jackson + 7500

Cook + 7500

I don’t think Dalvin Cook has a real shot at the MVP since the Vikings probably won’t win the division. Lamar Jackson isn’t really having a bad season; it just looks like the Ravens are saving him for the playoffs and not forcing him to carry the offense with his legs. I think we can eliminate Jackson. And Tom Brady is not winning the MVP after the performance he put up against the Saints on “Sunday Night Football.” If you like Drew Brees — I don’t, but if you do — I'd suggest betting the + 6000 at DraftKings. That’s double his price at Circa or FanDuel.

Aaron Rodgers deserves consideration with 24 touchdowns and two interceptions, but he’s still behind Russell Wilson and I think Wilson is behind Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has thrown 25 touchdown passes and one interception. He plays at such a high level we’ve just grown accustomed to it, and I’m kind of surprised Wilson is the favorite ahead of Mahomes. This week I’m betting another $500 at FanDuel on Mahomes to win MVP. 

I wasn’t super impressed watching Wilson last weekend against the Bills. The Seahawks were down early, and Wilson spent the game accumulating garbage stats. I am always impressed when I watch Mahomes, and I’m happy to still get + 250 on him this week. 

I’m not even sure Wilson is better than Kyler Murray. Murray is on pace to throw for over 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 more. He will most likely have double-digit rushing touchdowns and beat or come close to replicating Jackson's 2019 MVP numbers. Murray will likely combine for over 40 passing and rushing touchdowns, yet he will still likely be a down-ballot MVP candidate. Losing to the Dolphins hurt the Cardinals’ division title chances and by extension Murray’s MVP chances. But he’s still putting up videogame numbers. Murray will need wins the next two weeks against the Bills and on the road at Seattle to move up in the odds. 

Offensive Rookie of the Year 

DraftKings

Herbert/Burrow + 100

Tagovailoa + 1000

Jefferson/Robinson + 2000

Claypool + 3000

FanDuel 

Herbert -120

Burrow + 130

Tagovailoa + 900

Jefferson + 2000

Claypool + 2500

Robinson + 3300

Circa

Herbert + 105

Burrow + 180

Tagovailoa + 800

Robinson + 1800

Jefferson + 2500

This will be won by a quarterback. The only question is who’s going to win and what the finishing order will be. 

Justin Herbert is putting up elite numbers through seven starts. He has completed 181 of 269 passes for 2,146 yards while throwing 17 touchdown passes to five interceptions. He’s averaging 306 yards per game and has a 73.4 QBR and 104.7 passer rating. But he’s only 1-6 as the starting quarterback, and the Chargers have squandered division wins against the Broncos and Raiders in back-to-back weeks in new and embarrassing ways. It’s not entirely Herbert’s fault the Chargers have been unable to win close games, and it will likely cost many on the coaching staff their jobs at the end of the year. Herbert continues to play like a top-10 quarterback, but he’ll need some wins to lock down the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

Joe Burrow has 2,272 passing yards through eight games and has a shot at breaking Andrew Luck’s rookie record of 4,374 yards. Burrow has thrown 11 touchdown passes and five interceptions and is averaging 284 yards a game with a 60.9 QBR and a 91.4 passer rating. Herbert has more impressive numbers across the board, but Burrow has two wins and a tie compared with Herbert’s one win. One of Burrow’s wins was over the first-place Tennessee Titans, much more impressive than Herbert’s win over the bottom-dwelling Jacksonville Jaguars. Burrow will need to step up his game a little more to compete with Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa, but he has the edge in wins, though Tagovailoa is quickly making up ground there.

That brings us to Tagovailoa and his 2-0 record as the Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback. He had a poor first start in a 28-17 win over the Rams in which he was held to 93 yards passing and a touchdown in 22 attempts. He rebounded in his second start, completing 20 of 28 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Dolphins to a 34-31 win over the Cardinals. Tagovailoa has put himself in the picture, but he has an uphill battle to get close to Herbert or Burrow. The Dolphins are only one game behind the Bills for first place in the AFC East, and Tagovailoa has a chance to be the starting quarterback on a playoff team, something Herbert and the 2-6 Chargers and Burrow and the 2-5-1 Bengals cannot imagine. 

The Dolphins face the Chargers this weekend, so Tagovailoa and Herbert will get a chance to showcase themselves while Burrow goes up against the Steelers’ defense. I’m going to revisit these odds next week, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Herbert drop out of the favorite spot with another loss. 

This Week’s Bets Recap

$500 to win $1,250 on Patrick Mahomes MVP.

-$3,000 on Rookie of the Year futures.

I was up $2,735 on futures and now I’m down $265 after losing $3,000 on Rookie of the Year futures this week. 

I added $500 in NFL futures and now have $5,250 in NFL futures.

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