By Dan Kilbridge | | 13 mins
AL Rookie Of The Year Odds, Betting Tips & Expert Picks
The 2021 American League Rookie of the Year race reminds us it’s wise to consider value picks way down the MLB betting board when odds are first posted in the spring.
Randy Arozarena is the favorite again – the Rays outfielder was on top of the board but fell to +1300 in mid-July after a slow start. He’s since produced at a very high rate and is now listed at +225 . However, the rest of the board looks completely different than it did in April.
Several of the top contenders - Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia ( +300 ), Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia ( +350 ) and Tigers outfielder Alik Baddoo ( +550 ) - weren’t even in the top 20 in the opening MLB odds for AL ROY, providing tremendous value for anyone who took a flier before opening day. All three were listed longer than +2500, assuming they were listed at all.
Top 2021 AL Rookie of the Year Odds
|Andrew Vaughn||White Sox||+800|
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AL Rookie of the Year Betting Tips
White Sox slugger Yermin Mercedes won AL Rookie of the Month in April, but was later designated to the AAA Charlotte Knights amid a miserable slump and tension with manager Tony La Russa. Adolis Garcia took it in May and Orioles first baseman Ryan Mountcastle earned Rookie of the Month in June – Mountcastle is currently seventh on the board on betting apps at +2500.
Arozarena hasn’t picked up a monthly ROY honor yet, but he shot back up to the top of the betting board after a crazy-hot start to the month of August – he started the month with nine hits and two home runs in his first 15 at-bats as the Rays built a significant lead in the AL East.
AL ROY has gone to an outfielder in three of the past four seasons, with Angels pitcher/DH phenom Shohei Ohtani the lone exception in 2017. Adolis Garcia has a chance to continue the trend. Midway through the season, his 25 home runs and 68 RBI have been a lone bright spot for the lowly Rangers. He now leads the team in slugging and OPS after Joey Gallo was traded to the Yankees. His spray charts are a thing of beauty, with power to all fields and almost no discernible patterns.
Luis Garcia has been a great addition to the Astros starting rotation, with a 3.29 ERA midway through the season. He’s working deeper into games than he was at the start of the season, and has gone 8-3 since May.
Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo is probably the biggest surprise on the board. The 22-year-old gets on base a lot and has some pop with 10 home runs and a .800 OPS. He has much better plate discipline than Adolis Garcia and draws a lot of walks. That’s a big plus considering his speed, with 14 stolen bases midway through the season. He’s played a large role in the Tigers’ resurgence and is one of the reasons Detroit fans are looking forward to next season.
AL Rookie of the Year Pick
While Luis Garcia and Arozarena will be playing meaningful games through September, we’re not sure the numbers will be strong enough to take home AL ROY. And while Adolis Garcia put up ridiculous power stats early this season, the strikeouts and declining numbers of late don’t bode well.
Baddoo has truly done it all, hitting for average and power, getting on base a ton and threatening to steal every time he does. The Tigers play with a lot of excitement and energy because of all the young talent. This isn’t your typical third-place team in mid-August.
Also consider that Baddoo is six years younger than Adolis Garcia and four years younger than Arozarena. The Tigers’ 2020 Rule 5 draft pick never even played above single A before he made the opening day roster in March. His future is extremely bright, and we think he’ll continue to produce at a high clip and surpass his peers down the stretch.
The Pick: Akil Baddoo ( +550 at DraftKings )