The Elly De La Cruz hype train is operating at full speed, and oddsmakers are taking notice of the Cincinnati Reds rookie.
De La Cruz, MLB Pipeline’s No. 4 prospect, made his Major League Baseball debut Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers and reached base three times (double, two walks) while batting cleanup for the Reds. That proved an appetizer for Wednesday’s entrée, when the 21-year-old infielder went 2-for-4 with a monstrous home run (his first career blast) and a triple into the gap that showed off his blazing speed.
Prospect gurus already were incredibly high on Cruz, a 6-foot-5 phenom oozing with tools, but his epic MLB arrival has everyone talking. And that buzz, coupled with the early production, has resulted in a massive shift in the 2023 National League Rookie of the Year futures market.
Here were De La Cruz’s NL Rookie of the Year odds at three major sportsbooks, as of Thursday evening:
Only Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll (-140 at FanDuel and BetMGM, -130 at DraftKings) had shorter odds. He’s having a terrific season in the desert — .300/.387/.541 with 11 home runs, 27 RBIs and 18 stolen bases — and obviously has a huge head-start on De La Cruz, having played in 59 MLB games (239 plate appearances) so far entering Thursday. But De La Cruz’s talent is undeniable. And so, too, is De La Cruz’s potential to make noise for the rest of the year.
BetMGM noted in a tweet Thursday morning that De La Cruz’s NL Rookie of the Year odds sat at +1600 on May 30, +1000 on Tuesday and +800 on Wednesday before dropping significantly to its current +350 number. Clearly, the opportunity to buy low on De La Cruz has passed. So, there isn’t all that much value remaining on the up-and-coming star. But De La Cruz is such a beast that it wouldn’t at all be surprising if he thrust himself into the Rookie of the Year conversation, especially if his arrival ultimately coincided with a surge from the Reds, who remain in contention in the weak NL Central.
De La Cruz is followed on the ROY betting board, at FanDuel Sportsbook, by New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (+1000) and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder James Outman (+1200). His Cincinnati teammates, Matt McClain (+2500) and Spencer Steer (+2800), are next on the list.