MLB Player Futures: Odds to Win the NL MVP

The National League MVP Award is given to the best player from that league in any given year.  Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich took home the award in 2018 with an all-around great performance. He finds himself with just the sixth best odds in the field this year with the Phillies Bryce Harper currently listed as the odds-on favorite.

Below you will find the latest odds to win the NL MVP along with some advanced metrics for each player last year. We’ve included each players’ Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) as well as their Wins Above Replacement (WAR) from the previous season.  Below the odds you will find more detailed information about these metrics. A player with a DNQ (Did Not Qualify) for their wRC+ last year simply means they did not have enough plate appearances to accurately assess their performance.

The final column represents the implied probability of each player winning the award given the current market odds.

MVP odds courtesy of BetOnline

Updated Odds to Win 2019 National League MVP Award

Player Team 2018 WRC+ 2018 WAR Odds Change MVP
Bryce Harper Phillies 135 3.5 +500 New 13.01%
Nolan Arenado Rockies 132 5.7 +650 New 10.40%
Paul Goldschmidt Cardinals 145 5.1 +900 New 7.80%
Kris Bryant Cubs DNQ 2.3 +1200 New 6.00%
Manny Machado Padres 141 6.2 +1200 New 6.00%
Christian Yelich Brewers 166 7.6 +1600 New 4.59%
Anthony Rendon Nationals 140 6.2 +2000 New 3.72%
Rhys Hoskins Phillies 129 2.9 +2000 New 3.72%
Ronald Acuna Jr. Braves DNQ 3.7 +2000 New 3.72%
Trea Turner Nationals 105 4.8 +2000 New 3.72%
Eugenio Suarez Reds 135 3.9 +2200 New 3.39%
Freddie Freeman Braves 137 5.2 +2200 New 3.39%
Anthony Rizzo Cubs 125 2.9 +2500 New 3.00%
Cody Bellinger Dodgers 120 3.6 +2800 New 2.69%
Corey Seager Dodgers DNQ 0.5 +3300 New 2.30%
Javier Baez Cubs 131 5.3 +3300 New 2.30%
Joey Votto Reds 131 3.5 +3300 New 2.30%
Juan Soto Nationals DNQ 3.7 +3300 New 2.30%
Justin Turner Dodgers DNQ 4.2 +3300 New 2.30%
Trevor Story Rockies 127 5 +3300 New 2.30%
Charlie Blackmon Rockies 116 2.8 +4000 New 1.90%
Eric Hosmer Padres 95 -0.1 +5000 New 1.53%
Josh Donaldson Braves DNQ 1.3 +5000 New 1.53%
Lorenzo Cain Brewers 124 5.7 +5000 New 1.53%
Matt Carpenter Cardinals 138 4.9 +5000 New 1.53%
Max Scherzer Nationals Pitcher 8.1 +5000 New 1.53%
Michael Conforto Mets 120 3 +5000 New 1.53%
Robinson Cano Mets DNQ 2.9 +5000 New 1.53%
Andrew McCutchen Phillies 120 2.6 +6600 New 1.16%

wRC+ Explained

wRC+ is one of the best metrics we have in evaluating the impact a player has on their team. We have provided the formula for this stat below, but the idea behind it is to normalize how many runs a player creates for their team adjusting for external factors like ballpark or era.  A wRC+ of 100 indicates a league average player, meaning a batter with a wRC+ of 150 is 50% better than the league average at doing the most important thing he can for his team – creating runs.

wRC+ Formula

(((wRAA per PA + league runs per PA) + (league runs per PA - ballpark factor x league runs per PA) / league wRC per plate appearance, excluding pitchers)) x 100

WAR Explained

WAR is something of a catch-all statistic that evaluates how many wins a player is worth to their team compared to a replacement player.  WAR basically says, if this player did not play for this team in this season and their backup was at best and average player, how many wins would that team be expected to lose? What is great about WAR is that it also factors in a player’s fielding contributions, not just their hitting statistics.

WAR is a bit more complicated for pitchers since they have less control over how the team around them will perform in the field, but using a metric called Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) helps give a better idea of how to fairly compare pitchers to league averages.

WAR Formula (Position Players)

(Batting Runs + Base Running Runs +Fielding Runs + Positional Adjustment + League Adjustment +Replacement Runs) / (Runs Per Win)

WAR Formula (Pitchers)

[[([(League “FIP” – “FIP”) / Pitcher Specific Runs Per Win] + Replacement Level) * (IP/9)] * Leverage Multiplier for Relievers] + League Correction

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