Fernando Tatis Jr. returned from the disabled list on Sunday and immediately hit two home runs, sending the crowd into a frenzy. By Sunday night, DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel had lowered Tatis’ odds of winning the National League MVP to -300. Tatis -185 after his first home run seemed reasonable to me, and I understand the overreaction, but I believe the line is too high.
That isn’t to say that I don’t believe Tatis is a top-tier player. He’ll almost certainly win an MVP award at some point. I just don’t think it’ll happen this year on a third-place team when he’s missed more than 20 games and committed more than 20 errors at shortstop. The Padres were only 1 1/2 games ahead of the Reds for the second wild card spot as of Wednesday. At FanDuel, the Padres have Yes -132/No +106 odds to make the playoffs this week. Tatis should not be -300, in my opinion. I’d lower the number and place more bets on Tatis if I were booking this market.
Do you want to learn more about sports betting? Sign up for the free daily newsletter from VSiN. Sports betting shows on VSiN can be heard live.
Manny Machado, Nick Castellanos, and Mookie Betts have been removed from consideration. Machado is an MVP-caliber player, but with Tatis back in the lineup, he won’t get a chance to shine this season. The Padres are in third place, and Machado isn’t the best player on his own team, as I’ve always said about them. Castellanos is another MVP candidate, but if any Reds player is considered, MVP votes will go to Joey Votto. Betts has been placed on the injured list again, this time with a hip injury. Betts will be high on the 2022 MVP list if he stays healthy, but we can ignore him for now. Trea Turner is also caught in a strange limbo. He’s still a contender, but I don’t think he’ll beat out Dodgers teammate Max Muncy.
The Braves have risen to first place in the National League East. In the absence of Ronald Acuna Jr., a lot of it has to do with the Mets’ and Phillies’ incompetence, but it also has to do with the Braves’ continued elite level of play from Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley, and Dansby Swanson.
Riley is an 80/1 long shot at BetMGM and isn’t available at FanDuel or DraftKings. His numbers suggest we should at least consider him, but he joins Bryan Reynolds and Willy Adames on my list of players to consider in 2022.
The reigning NL MVP, Freeman, is deserving of some consideration. Is he, however, superior to Votto? Or how about Muncy?
If you can bet the 50/1 number at DraftKings, I believe Votto has the most value on the board. Even odds of 40/1 at BetMGM are acceptable, and 35/1 at FanDuel is still acceptable. Performances at the end of the season, not numbers at the start, determine MVPs. One of the reasons I use the previous 30 days to provide context for how players have performed is to provide context for how they have performed. For the past 30 days, Votto has been the best hitter in baseball. With the Reds closing in on the Padres, I’d rather take him at 50/1 than lay -300 with Tatis this week.
If the Phillies don’t make the playoffs, will Bryce Harper win the MVP? I don’t think so, and based on their last 30-days numbers, I’d put Votto ahead of him.