By Bill Speros | | 6 mins
Mets Pitcher Jacob deGrom Now Betting Favorite To Win NL MVP
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New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom has pitched his way atop the race for National League MVP honors as the 2021 baseball season nears its halfway point. He sits Tuesday as the MLB betting favorite at several top sportsbooks, overcoming injuries, escaping the watchful eyes of umpires and smashing records along the way.
During a consummate performance in which he broke the 100-MPH barrier 15 times, deGrom lowered his world-best ERA to a diminutive 0.50 with five innings of shutout baseball against the Braves on Monday. It was deGrom’s MLB-record 12th consecutive start in which he gave up one or no earned runs.
He was also the first pitcher in the majors to be checked by umpires as part of baseball’s new crackdown on pitchers using illegal sticky substances. DeGrom almost certainly did not say to the umpires: “I’m rubber, you’re glue. Your accusations of cheating bounce of me and stick to you.”
But he could have. He passed two in-game checks on Monday.
In 72 innings this season, deGrom has fanned 117 batters and allowed just 4 earned runs. How good is that? Well, in 2021 there have been 679 instances of a pitcher allowing 4+ earned runs in just one game. Opposing teams’ 1-2-3 hitters are a combined 6-for-89 against deGrom this season with just three walks and 45 strikeouts.
Those dizzying numbers are just one reason why deGrom is now the MLB futures choice among several oddsmakers to earn NL MVP honors, in addition to his third Cy Young Award in the past four seasons. All signs pointed a pain-free and stress-free performance coming off sore right shoulder scare last week while pitching against the Cubs and arm soreness one start earlier against the Padres.
TODAY’S BEST BETS: MLB Expert Picks
DeGrom NL MVP Odds Squeeze Out Value
|Sportsbook||NL MVP Odds||NL Cy Young Odds|
|William Hill sportsbook||+175||-325|
|FOX Bet sportsbook||+225||NA|
(All odds listed are current as of publication.)
Risk-Free Bet Up To $1,000
DeGrom is the favorite or co-favorite win MVP honors at all the books listed above except FOX Bet, where he is the second pick behind San Diego slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. at +200.
There seems little value at this point in backing deGrom in the NL MVP given the proximity of both Ronald Acuña Jr. and Tatis. Current and future injuries remain a real concern for deGrom backers. His exit against the Cubs a week ago Wednesday sent chills throughout Queens and into the wallets of those backing in him and/or the Mets this year. DeGrom had tapped out of his previous start – against the Padres on June 11 – with flexor tendinitis in his right arm. He’s had four different injuries this season, which reaches its halfway point next week.
100, 100 & 101 to start the game for Jacob deGrom. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/jfN077MQkQ— MLB (@MLB) June 21, 2021
But he continues to deal.
It remains the rare pitcher who can win an MVP award, especially in the National League. Only one pitcher has done it in the past 53 seasons – Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers in 2014. Pitchers Bob Gibson of the Cardinals and Denny McClain of the Tigers won MVP honors for their respective leagues in 1968, the last time the overall MLB batting average was as low as it is now. That season saw the pitcher’s mound raised to 15 inches.
Baseball’s war on gunk looms as a threat to pitchers everywhere given that umpires have unfettered discretion to eject pitchers for breaking the rules – which means an automatic 10-game suspension.
Wide Gap Opens In NL MVP Race
The gap between deGrom and the rest of the field in the NL Cy Young award race has shrunk in comparison to the spread between deGrom, Acuna, Tatis and the rest of the field in the NL MVP race.
Tatis is +250 at DraftKings to be MVP, while Acuña is the third choice, and best value option at this point, at +450. The next closest price is +2500, shared by Kris Bryant, Nicholas Castellanos, Bryce Harper, Juan Soto and Jesse Winkler.
DeGrom has been the favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award at DraftKings and elsewhere since Trevor Bauer snagged the award in 2020. The second choice to win that award in the NL this year is Corbin Burnes at +850, followed by Brandon Woodruff at +900 and Yu Darvish at +1800.
Meanwhile, FanDuel has deGrom and Tatis tied at +200 for MVP honors in the National League. Acuña is +380. Meanwhile, Harper, Winkler, Bryant and Castellanos are +2500. Soto is +3500. The Cy Young race is a bit tighter. Woodruff is the second choice at +700, while Burns is +1200, followed by Kevin Gausman and Darvish at +1800.