While Major League Baseball and the player’s union continue to scratch and claw their way towards middle ground, one Las Vegas sportsbook is taking bets on the MLB Rookie of the Year awards.
The Westgate SuperBook is dealing Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr. (+250) and San Francisco’s Joey Bart (+450) as the favorites to win the American and National League ROYs, respectively.
Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena and Cincinnati’s Jonathan India won the awards last season.
The Boston Red Sox have two prospects on the sheet: 22-year-old first baseman Triston Casas (50-1) and 25-year-old outfielder Jarren Duran (100-1). A $100 dollar bet would win you $5,000 on Casas and $10,000 on Duran if either one takes care of business.
“Bobby Witt Jr. is my pick,” NESN Red Sox host Tom Caron told me. “I’d take him to win an American League MVP in a few years, too. And I’m not alone.
“Luis Gil (+2500) is a nice dark horse,” Caron added. “He might start the season in the Yankees’ rotation after a strong second half. I like Nate Pearson (+1600), too, but it’s hard to say what his role will be. The Jays added Kevin Gausman to an already stacked rotation.”
The biggest mover behind the counter at the SuperBook is Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez. He opened up at 40-1 to win the American League ROY and he’s been moved all the way in to 10-1. That’s an enormous shift on a player who’s only played 46 games in Double-A.
Pirates shortshop Oneil Cruz’s odds were slashed in half from 10-1 to 5-1.
I sent these MLB Rookie of the Year odds to a longtime baseball scout who responded with one name in about 60 seconds: Tigers outfielder Riley Greene (+3000). Then he went on and on about the guy.
“Greene’s got plus power and he’ll get a ton of at-bats in Detroit,” the scout told NESN. “He’s the best hitter from his draft class — line drive after line drive after line drive — and he’s a lefty-lefty centerfielder with tons of rhythm. He hit .301 last year across two levels (with 24 homers and 84 RBIs).
“Greene could feasibly hit 15 homers and 30 doubles in his first full season.”