Trout, Ohtani, and Vladdy Jr. are all +400 or lower. Chalk picks. If Ohtani duplicates his 2021 success year over year, he might with the next 10 MVPs, but that's no fun to bet. The juice ain't worth the squeeze to me. I'm looking for best bang for buck, and I think these two guys have it:
1. Luis Robert +2000
HEALTH HEALTH HEALTH. That's all that matters with Lu. When he came back from his yoinked hip last year, this is what he did:
Those numbers aren't all that fluky. The dude has more talent than anyone to ever play for the White Sox not nicknamed "The Big Hurt". Frankly, from a pure tools perspective, you could say he's the most tooled up player in the team's 100+ year history. This is not bias here; anyone who has watched Luis Robert play will be in complete and total agreement with me. He's got a multiple MVP ceiling and at +2000 (and falling fast), I love the value here. You should too.
Again, there is ZERO bias in there. He could/should/will be that good.
2. Byron Buxton +2500
Take everything I said with Robert and that is true for Buxton. He was worth 4.2 fWAR in only 62 games last year.
That's absurd. This dude, like Robert, can do it all but his inability to stay on the field has hindered his performance. That said, a lot of his injuries have been shit luck, like breaking his hand with a HBP.
If he avoids any of the fluky injuries this year, he might run away AL MVP. At +2500, he's worth a play even if he hasn't ever been able to stay on the field
3. Marcus Semien +4000
Can also throw Marcus Siemien in here. I still think the Rangers are going to be trash but he's basically top 5 in MVP voting every year. At his +4000 price, absolutely worth a flyer
Harper, Soto, and Acuña are your chalk picks this year, which shocks nobody. We're staying away from them. There's not a clear cut
1. Matt Olson +2500
He rakes and is in a MUCH friendlier hitter's park now:
If he can do that in the hitting Hell that is the Oakland Coliseum, just think what he can do with a normal stadium. GIVE ME +2500 ALL GODDAMN DAY. Out of all of the futures plays listed here, Olson is my favorite play by FAR at his current price.
2. Mookie Betts +1000
I feel like people forgot about Mookie because he's only had a "good" last 162 games. Not MVP caliber. Here are his 2021 stats, followed by his 2022 projections:
With a less certain race for NL MVP than AL, I love Mookie at +1000. Dude's still in the heart of his prime and can be the offensive focal point on the team that everyone assumes is going to be the best in baseball. Again. You don't often see a true, blue chip superstar getting 4 figure odds, so I will be dabbling at +1000
AL Cy Young:
I will avoid Gerrit Cole and his chalk +425. He'll be right there in the end because he's a stud, but the Jays will shit on fastballs, the Red Sox have some big time LH power and Yankee stadium ain't an easy place to pitch whatsoever. I'm also staying away from Bieber because the Indians offense will be trashola.
1. Alek Manoah +3000
I LOVE this dadgum play. LOVE it. It's by far my favorite Cy Young play as it stands right now.
Alek Manoah is a problem. Just a heavy, heavy fastball and a body that looks to be built for 180IP year over year. He's a horse and I think we're due for a breakout. Give me Manoah for Cy Young at +3000 all goddamn day.
The last AL Cy Young play I'm making is Lucas Giolito at +850 - dude looks like a HORSE after the lockout. I think we're prime for his best year. If we don't get him and Cease at their best, the White Sox are in trouble with the rest of the division surging.
NL Cy Young:
I love the Mets, but they're the Mets. Something bad will 100% happen to that team. Because they're cursed, I'm not touching Scherzer. deGrom is hurt too so throw him away. The Brewers are my pick to come out of the NL because it's too easy to pick the Dodgers right now, but Burns and Woodruff are easy bets, just too chalky for me.
1. Sandy Alcantara +1300
Who? Not a house hold name quite yet because he's a member of a dumpster fire organization, but he was quietly good for 200IP, a 3.19ERA and 4.2 fWAR last year. Dude's a stud and only 26. This season could be his coming out party and a year he makes a big name for himself.
2. Julio Urias +2000
Another awesome value play. He might be the Dodgers' best pitcher this year. Let's do a little exercise:
Who's player A and who's player B?
Player A is Julio Urias and player B is Walker Buehler, the 4th favorite to win the NL Cy Young at +750. This will be Urias' 2nd season as a full time starter and he's STILL only 25 years old. We have yet to see the best version of him and if we see it this year, he will absolutely be in Cy Young consideration come September and October. Get these odds now while you can.
Two long shot plays that aren't even listed yet: Carlos Rodon and Mitch Keller. Rodon was incredible last year, he just ran out of steam. Carlos is healthier than he's ever been and has a better base built up. Being in SF and playing in the NL west should do wonders for his statistical output. He will flourish in that division should he stay healthy.
Mitch Keller has always sucked but my god is he filthy. Wouldn't be surprised if he got traded to a contender mid year and they road him sorta like the Brewers rode CC Sabathia to a Cy Young years and years ago after trading for him.
Those are my individual award future plays. All of the above is written with ZERO bias. Now let's get to the biased stuff!
Actually… let's not. I'm not going to give any team futures because my brain is too clouded by White Sox love (or hate, they do piss me off more than anything in my life not named Carl) but I like White Sox over Jays for the AL pennant and the Brewers over the Dodgers for the NL pennant. White Sox over Milwaukee for the World Series.
Happy gambling, my friends. Today we embark on an incredible journey.
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