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MLB AL Rookie of the Year Odds: Julio Rodriguez Builds Onto His Lead

Julio Rodriguez builds onto his lead in the AL Rookie of the Year field. How does his lead match up against the others? Ryan Kirksey breaks down the MLB AL Rookie of the Year odds.
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MLB AL Rookie of the Year Odds Update: Julio Rodriguez Builds Onto His Lead

Julio Rodriguez builds onto his lead in the AL Rookie of the Year field. How does his lead match up against the others? Ryan Kirksey breaks down the MLB AL Rookie of the Year odds.

In my previous article, Jeremy Pena made a huge leap in the field but now Julio Rodriquez pulled himself further up the list than he was a month ago.

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Joe Ryan AL ROY Odds: (+2000, Previous: +600) (Bet $100 to win $2000)

If it were me, I would personally switch these odds for Joe Ryan with those of George Kirby (+4000), but Ryan is making a pitch that he can go toe to toe with some big teams and continue to dominate. He only has one start this season where he allowed more than two earned runs, and that was against the Houston Astros. He has seen a lot of bottom-feeders in five of his last six starts, but you've just got to pitch to the schedule that's in front of you.

Ryan continues to post an ERA (2.28) that looks pristine compared to how little major league experience he has. He is striking out a ton of batters as well, almost one per inning in his first 43 major league innings. The one red flag is in his alarming lack of home runs allowed. Ryan allows a 53.6% flyball rate but only gives up 5% HR/FB. That's well below the league average so that may start correcting soon.

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Adley Rutschman (+2000, Previous: Unranked) (Bet $100 to win $2000)

We can be clear about this position for Rutschman as we dive into this one. His ranking fourth on this list is a product of name recognition, the hype surrounding the player, and a lack of other viable options outside of the top three (plus George Kirby who is curiously out of the top five). Rutschman's production in his first 18 games has been simply atrocious.

In 74 plate appearances, the former top prospect has struggled to a .179/.257/.269 line with nary a home run or RBI. He has no steals and only seven runs, so his legs aren't getting it done either. Will Rutchsman mature into one of the better catchers in this league? Likely so, but at this point, it is more likely he gets sent back to Triple-A than he wins a Rookie of the Year. Whether Rutschman is more Mike Piazza or Yan Gomes remains to be seen, but it's just not happening right now.

Bobby Witt Jr. AL ROY Odds: (+900, Previous: +550) (Bet $100 to win $900)

In the past month, Witt's production and his odds are going in contradictory directions. After a month of April where the prized prospect hit only .216/.247/.311 he has really turned it around since then. In just his last 30 days, Witt is hitting .282/.345/.602 with seven homers and five stolen bases. That 35/30 pace puts him seventh overall in WAR in the last month.

The fact that his odds have lengthened from +550 to +900 in that span should really make our ears perk up. Yes, the two guys ahead of him are proving to be just as strong a candidate for Rookie of the Year, but should there be a +675 difference between Witt and Jeremy Pena if Witt keeps hitting like this? Likely not. If the production continues at these long odds, I will really be hammering this one until it looks like he is out of the race.

Jeremy Pena AL ROY Odds: (+225, Previous: +500) (Bet $100 to win $225)

In almost any other season, what Jeremy Pena is doing for the Astros would make him the odds-on favorite for the AL Rookie of the Year. In his first 200 plate appearances, Pena has a slash line of .277/.330/.468 with nine home runs, 27 RBI, and six steals. But in addition to the impactful offense, he also has been a major force on defense. In fact, he leads all shortstops in baseball in defensive WAR this season.

The Astros seem to have dodged a major financial bullet by not re-signing Carlos Correa this offseason. They could have overpaid or gone to 10 years, but Pena is proving to be just as valuable and will likely be under club control for six seasons at a fraction of the salary. There may be a time when Pena struggles in his rookie season, but he has built up enough of a foundation where any slip by Julio Rodriguez or Bobby Witt might propel him to the top.

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Julio Rodriguez AL ROY Odds: (+140, Previous: +450) (Bet $100 to win $140)

Much like Witt, Rodriguez was in a major slump to start the season. In April, J-Rod was even worse with a .205/.284/.260 line with zero home runs and six RBI. But since that time he has crushed the ball and is stealing every bag in sight. In the last 30 days, Rodriguez's line looks quite Wittian with a .280/.347/.514 slash with seven home runs and seven stolen bases.

While the power that has come later this season is legit, he looks most impressive on the base paths. Rodriguez leads the majors in stolen bases (17), with three more than anyone else in the American League. He has now hit third in the lineup in 14 of the Mariners' last 15 games and looks like an elite power/speed combination - almost a Ken Griffey-lite version from 25 years ago. I don't think Rodriguez is as close to winning the award as his +140 odds will tell you, but he is certainly the favorite right now.

MLB AL Rookie of the Year Odds

PlayerOddsPrevious Odds
Julio Rodriguez+140+450
Jeremy Pena+225+500
Bobby Witt Jr.+900+550
Adley Rutschman+2000Unranked
Joe Ryan+2000+600

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Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.


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