Washington Nationals: Four Nationals Have MVP Odds

rshinberg
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals celebrates hitting a two run home run in the sixth inning with Anthony Rendon #6 during game one of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park on June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Game one is the completion of a game that was suspended on May 15th due to rain. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals celebrates hitting a two run home run in the sixth inning with Anthony Rendon #6 during game one of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park on June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Game one is the completion of a game that was suspended on May 15th due to rain. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals clutter the MVP odds sheet as four Nats have odds at 50/1 or better.  Which National has the best chance to win?

As the Washington Nationals season opener draws closer, it means more futures bets are available for action.

OddsShark.com posted both the National League MVP and Cy Young Award odds.

Tomorrow, we will analyze the Cy Young odds.  Today, we’ll take a look at which Nationals have the best chance to win N.L. MVP.

At the top of the list is former National Bryce Harper (4/1), Nolan Arenado (6/1), and Paul Goldschmidt (9/1).

The first Nationals player does not show up until the 20/1 odds section, where Anthony Rendon appears.

For Rendon to win MVP, he would likely need to “stuff the stat sheet.”  He would probably need to set a career high in home runs (26 or more), runs batted in (101 or more), and bat over .300, which he did in each of the previous two seasons.

Also, Rendon would need to play the best defense of his career, and likely need to beat out Arenado for the N.L. gold glove award for third basemen.

After Rendon, three Nationals each place on the list at 50/1 odds: Juan Soto, Trea Turner, and Max Scherzer.

Let’s start with the simplest case, and that is Turner.

Last month, The Washington Post reported that the Nationals want Turner to steal more bases.  Manager Davey Martinez said he wanted Turner to attempt 80 stolen bases this season.

For Turner to win MVP, he will need to put up a colossal stolen base number.  Since 2010, only five players have stolen 60 or more bases in one season.

Turner would almost certainly need to eclipse that number, along with great offensive output and continued progression with his glove.

In the case of Soto, it will be about getting on-base as much as possible.  Yes, that is the goal of every single plate appearance in baseball history.  However, for Soto, he’ll need consistent, sustained production to get into the conversation.

Soto’s .406 OBP last season would have ranked 4th in the MLB if he qualified for the batting title.  Increasing that number just a smidge and sustaining it for the entire season will put him in the conversation.

Since 1990, only three pitchers have won an MVP award.  To become the fourth, Scherzer would need to throw a baseball like he’s never thrown it before.

For context, the last pitcher to win MVP was Clayton Kershaw in 2014.  Here are his numbers from that season compared to Scherzer’s in 2018:

Kershaw: 198.1 IP, 1.77 ERA (1.81 FIP), 0.857 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, 21 wins.

Scherzer: 220.2 IP, 2.53 ERA (2.65 FIP), 0.911 WHIP, 12.2 K/9, 18 wins.

Last season, Scherzer finished 10th in MVP voting.  A legendary season is needed for a pitcher to win MVP as it has become, essentially, a position player award.

Next. Can Scherzer Get Any Better?. dark

It’s going to take one incredible season for a National to defy the Vegas oddsmakers and take home the MVP award.  Let us hope the players are ready to take on the challenge.

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