Last year I gave out a 40:1 winner on the World Series MVP being Jorge Soler. While he wasn’t the only one I gave out, it was one of the few Braves players I recommended and put a cap on a good MLB year. This year there are a ton of choices, but I’m going to provide my best bets and a few different looks for the World Series MVP.
If the Astros win the series there are probably a lot of strong contenders for the award. Not only do they have pitchers that could win, but they also have a ton of hitters that are worthy of the award. The most obvious is probably Jose Altuve. He is not hitting very well in these playoffs, but he is such a good hitter that he could turn it around fairly easily. In 32 at-bats in the playoffs, Altuve has struck out 11 times. One good sign is that he’s had a hit in his last two games, which snapped his hitless streak for the playoffs. Altuve has been good against two of the three main Phillies pitchers of Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Ranger Suarez, hitting 4-for-7 against them (he’s never faced Nola). At 14:1 you’re getting good value because he has had a bad playoffs so far.
It isn’t much of a surprise, but Yordan Alvarez is the other Astros hitter with some success against the Phillies pitching staff. He is the favorite for the series to win the Award at +600. He’s had very good at-bats in the playoffs with 29 at-bats and seven hits. He didn’t get many RBIs in the Yankees series, but he was awesome against the Mariners in the first two games. He can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. He also was 6-for-11 against Philadelphia this season. I don’t think this is great value here, but it makes total sense that he would win if the Astros win the World Series.
On the Phillies side, they have a chance to win the World Series with some timely hitting, but I would expect they need Zack Wheeler to win three games. Is it likely, no, and honestly even at 17:1 I’m not sure that it is a great value. I would guess that Wheeler starts Games 1, 4, and 7 if needed. Maybe not, and it depends on the record in the series.
Hitters worth a look are Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and Brandon Marsh. Harper is the best player on the Phillies and he is having a really good performance in the playoffs this year. So far, he is hitting .419 with five home runs and 11 RBIs. Harper is swinging a hot bat and he will need to continue it in order to grab the MVP. He’s had some success against Houston pitchers. Hoskins is another Philly hitter that has been kicking butt. He also has five him runs and 11 RBIs, so he is matching Harper’s production, but the difference is, he only has eight hits in the playoffs so far. He doesn’t have a single hit against Houston pitchers in 11 at-bats. Marsh is a name that isn’t as familiar for most, but he still has a decent shot. He’s had 16 hits in 54 at-bats against the Astros pitching staff. He hasn’t had a great start to the playoffs going just 4-for-26, but his familiarity with the pitchers could give him a bit of an edge – that was why I liked Soler last year.
So where do we stand with our bets here? Marsh at +10000 is worth a play. Maybe a quarter unit or half unit on him. I think Harper at +650 is worth a play. On the Astros side, I like Altuve at +1400. The only other one I might play is a complete and utter longshot. Christian Vazquez is a backup catcher for the Astros, but he has had success against Phillies pitchers. If he gets a few games, he could get some timely hits. At +10000 he is someone to at least consider. I’ll break this down with three total units to play on the series.
Altuve 1u at +1400
Harper 1u at +650
Marsh .25u at +10000
Vazquez .25 at +10000
I haven’t talked about him, but I think arguably the best contact hitter is Nick Castellanos. I’ll add him for .5u at +4000.
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