MLB Player Props: Pirates Star McCutchen New NL MVP Favorite
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | Aug. 7, 2013
In 1992, a young outfielder named Barry Bonds won his second NL MVP Award with the Pittsburgh Pirates, leading the team to a third-straight NL East title. They would lose in the NLCS for the third year in a row, this time in an epic Game 7 to Atlanta.
Bonds left Pittsburgh after that season for a big free-agent deal with the Giants. The Pirates never recovered and haven’t had a winning season or an NL MVP since. Both droughts appear likely to end in 2013.
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Pittsburgh enters Tuesday with the best winning percentage in baseball and atop the NL Central. It would take an utter collapse for the Pirates not to finish with at least 82 wins and ensure a winning record. At this point, just a winning record would be a disappointment, and the Pirates are 6/1 to win the NL pennant for the first time since the 1979 squad won the World Series.
Meanwhile, Pirates star outfielder Andrew McCutchen has surged into the lead as the Bovada MLB betting favorite to win the NL MVP at 5/7. Pittsburgh isn’t a great offensive team and would be lost without McCutchen. He’s the only regular hitting above .300 and leads the team in hits, on-base percentage and is second in steals.
At last year’s All-Star Break, McCutchen was the Bovada MVP favorite as well, but the Pirates fell off in the second half and so did McCutchen. That has not been the case thus far in 2013. McCutchen is batting .328 since the break and is likely to win a second-straight Gold Glove. McCutchen won’t be leaving town like Bonds did though; he’s under team control through the 2018 season.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina had been the NL MVP favorite when Bovada last released this prop, but Molina hasn’t played since July 30 because of a knee injury. Molina is on the disabled list and isn’t likely to be back soon. In addition, the Cards are going to limit his workload when he does return. Molina is no longer a betting option for MVP.
Cincinnati’s Joey Votto is the 3/2 second-favorite to McCutchen followed by Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt at 5/1. Goldschmidt has the best overall numbers of the MVP candidates, hitting .301 with 26 homers and 89 RBIs, but his Diamondbacks are fading in the NL West behind the red-hot Dodgers. In most cases, MVP voters lean toward players who are on playoff teams. Votto’s Reds currently hold down the second wild-card spot.
For NL Cy Young, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has overtaken the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright as the favorite. Kershaw, who is 2/3 on Bovada’s baseball props, leads the majors in ERA and WHIP. He won the 2011 Cy Young. Wainwright leads the NL in wins and innings pitched but has just one win in his past four starts after the Dodgers beat him Monday.
Kershaw’s teammate, Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig, is the 1/2 betting favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Puig is hitting .373 with 11 homers and 25 RBIs and his call-up helped spur the Dodgers’ turnaround to where they lead the NL West. There’s a newcomer to the NL Rookie of the Year prop: Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez at 3/1. Fernandez, another Cuban, is 8-5 with a 2.54 ERA for a bad team. He has had 27 combined strikeouts his past two starts, the first pitcher in nine years with at least 13 in back-to-back starts.