Vegas Pits Freeman, Arenado in Tight NL MVP Race

As the MLB calendar moves into September, Braves 1B Freddie Freeman (+150) and Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado (+180) are overwhelming favorites by Vegas oddsmakers to nab the 2018 NL MVP. Implied chances for each are 40.0 and 35.7 percent respectively. Third choice is Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter, a distant +400 (20.0 percent) on the board.

Freeman, leading the NL with a .313 batting average as of August 28, went off at preseason odds of +2000 (4.8 percent) in March. The left-handed slugger was the 10th betting choice, tied with Dodgers SS Corey Seager.

Arenado, meanwhile, went off the third selection prior to opening day at +600 odds (14.3 percent). The three-time Silver Slugger, hitting .308 with 31 HR and 91 RBI, has now gone off a top-ten betting favorite in consecutive seasons.

Bookmakers listed Carpenter a longshot from the beginning at +17500 (0.6 percent) preseason odds. The three-time All-Star is currently topping the league in doubles (38) and round-trippers (34).

Carpenter would be the longest preseason choice to win the NL MVP since Joey Votto’s breakout 2010 season in which the Reds star compiled a 1.024 OPS. Votto went off at +5000 odds (2.0 percent). Current Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton won last season with the Marlins at an initial offering of +4500 odds (2.2 percent). No other winner has gone off at less than +2500 (3.9 percent) in this stretch.

Here’s a look at the current top five betting choices to win the 2018 NL MVP as of August 28:

Name Team March Odds Current Odds
Freddie Freeman Braves +2000 +150
Nolan Arenado Rockies +600 +180
Matt Carpenter Cardinals +17500 +400
Lorenzo Cain Brewers OFF +800
Max Scherzer Nationals +3000 +1000