It might not feel like it, but we're inching toward the half-point of the 2022 MLB season. After almost 70 games, we have enough of a sample size to update our 2022 AL Rookie of the Year betting pick. That's EXACTLY what we're doing in this article. Read on for our most up-to-date advice on the individual award!
Let's begin with current MLB odds, as set by the top-used baseball betting sites. While there's a large rookie class in the American League, the players listed below are currently favored the most to win Rookie of the Year honors:
|Bobby Witt Jr.||+700||+700|
AL Rookie Of Year Betting Pick: Pena Or Rodriguez?
You saw the betting lines above, it's a clear two-man race to win AL Rookie of the Year between Pena and Rodriguez. At their current odds, you could really only bet on one or the other for the award if you want to preserve profits. Therefore, if you could only wager with one, who's the better bet? Let's evaluate that question in-depth.
Let's start with the odds-on favorite, Rodriguez. He's been 'ol reliable for the Mariners this season, playing in 67-of-68 games for his team. Thus far, he's hitting .265 with eight homers and 30 RBIs — remarkably well numbers considering he had zero MLB starts prior to 2022. However, Rodriguez's base running is what's stealing the show. With 18 steals this season, Rodriguez is tied for most league-wide (alongside Marlins' Jon Berti). Almost overnight, Rodriguez has become one of MLB's fastest players, not only rounding the bases, but manning centerfield for Seattle too.
And then there's Pena. Not only is the Astros shortstop making a strong case to be Rookie of the Year, heck, but he's also in the argument for the top player at his position as crazy as that sounds. Before a thumb injury sidelined him, Pena's stats included a .277 batting average, nine homers, and 27 RBIs. But here's the best part: Pena's wins above replacement (WAR) sits at 2.9, tied for 13th best MLB-wide. That WAR is higher than the likes of Carlos Correa (the player he replaced), Francisco Lindor, and Dansby Swanson.
Pena has been out of action since June 13, which has helped Rodriguez widen the lead in the AL rookie race. But from our perspective, Pena's injury has just made his betting odds all the more valuable for bettors. In our opinion, Pena is the better player of the two and will wind up as the AL award winner.
Here's why: outside of base-running, Pena is the better player in every category. He's a 5-tool player in the making that's outpacing Rodriguez's stats. And not only that, but Pena is having this impact on a far better team. The Astros have the second-most wins in the AL and are surely in pennant contention. The Mariners? They are 10 games under .500 and are perhaps the league's most disappointing team.
Once Pena gets healthy (which is expected to be soon), he'll be in much more climatic at-bats than Rodriguez. If he excels, he can easily swing the AL voting in his favor, which is what we're betting on. Use this injury to take Pena at much more bettor-friendly odds.
AL Rookie Of Year "Darkhorse" Betting Pick
It's not unimaginable for both Pena and Rodriguez to fall out of the AL Rookie of the Year picture. Injuries can do either one in or perhaps the "rookie wall" that plagues hitters all too often once the strain of the 162-game season hits them. That's why we vouch for a "darkhorse" bet on one of the other candidates. Given their steep prices, it's worth taking a flyer on since even a few dollars risked could pay big time. In that case, our money is going on Ryan of the Twins.
Before appearing on the COVID-19 injured list, the 26-year-old Ryan was 5-2 with a 2.28 ERA in eight starts. He didn't reappear for three weeks, where he struggled in his first start, lasting less than five innings and allowing four earned runs. COVID and the long layoff killed Ryan's momentum, but there's reason to believe he can rebound. And if so, he's a real Rookie of the Year contender.
We mean, Ryan was Minnesota's opening day starter. There's a reason they've entrusted a rookie this much. Pre-injury, Ryan had a mere 14 walks and 42 strikeouts in 43⅓ innings with a .186 opponent batting average. Those are elite numbers and when spaced over an entire season, would easily jump his betting odds. Our bet here is a risk that Ryan returns to those levels — and maintains them the rest of the year without injury. Big if, yes, but at his +2000 price, it's worth taking a shot on to complement our main Pena bet.
How To Bet On 2022 AL Futures?
AL Rookie of the Year award is just one of a number of 2022 AL futures you could bet on. Others include pennant winners, MVP choices, and yes, who takes the whole World Series. To take a shot at these risky but lucrative bets, you'll want to visit one of the top-rated online sportsbooks featured underneath.
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