The start of baseball season is just over two weeks away, and with the Chicago Cubs looking to repeat as World Series champions, oddsmakers are bullish that the team’s star players will step up in a big way.
In new odds released on Bovada Thursday, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is considered to be the favorite to take home his second straight National League Most Valuable Player award. Bryant, who won the award in 2016 after taking home Rookie of the Year honors in 2015, is a 2.75-to-1 favorite to win the prize, narrowly edging out Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper in that category.
On a team loaded with talent, it’s not surprising that Bryant is far from alone from the Cubs in the odds department. First baseman Anthony Rizzo is also considered to be one of the frontrunners to take home the coveted prize, as the lefty slugger has the fourth-best odds at 9-to-1 heading into the 2017 campaign.
Two other Cubs players also make appearances on the list, as Kyle Schwarber checks in at 33-to-1 after a magical postseason comeback from a torn ACL. Shortstop Addison Russell is a long-shot to win the award, but his 100-to-1 odds could entice some bettors who anticipate continued development from only the second Cubs shortstop to ever hit 20 or more home runs and drive in 90 or more RBI in a single season.
Unfortunately for the Chicago White Sox, the odds aren’t as rosy for them as they enter the new campaign. They do have several players on the odds list, but they’re well down on the rankings as both Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier check in at 50-to-1 odds of bringing home hardware in the coming season.
Mike Trout is currently the runaway favorite to win American League MVP honors, with Boston’s Mookie Betts, Houston’s Jose Altuve, and Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera lining up behind him in that category.