MLB betting: Could Phillies' Bryce Harper steal the NL MVP award?

·3 min read

Ronald Acuna Jr. is done for the season. Jacob deGrom can't stay off the injured list. Fernando Tatis Jr. is hurt again. Trea Turner is on the COVID-19 list and we'll see how quickly he fits in with the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Meanwhile, Bryce Harper keeps creeping up the odds list

Harper, who hit his 250th career homer on Thursday, might end up taking the NL MVP award considering everyone else seems to be hurt. Harper is +1200 to win NL MVP at BetMGM. 

That ticket will appreciate in value. 

Bryce Harper creeping up the MVP odds

In the NBA, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic won MVP in large part because of the injuries elsewhere in the league. Jokic was a deserving MVP and maybe he'd have won it regardless of any injuries, but it cleared a path for him. 

The same is happening with Harper. Acuna, deGrom and Tatis all looked like favorites at one point. Tatis is still favored, but the longer he's on the IL the further back he'll fall. Here were the NL MVP odds at BetMGM on Thursday afternoon: 

Tatis -125
Max Muncy +500
Turner +700
Freddie Freeman +900
Harper +1200
deGrom +3000

It's unfortunate deGrom can't stay healthy, because he was having an all-time season. But it seems very unlikely he'll win MVP now. 

Muncy is an interesting case and having a nice year. His wins above replacement is 4.9, putting him just behind Tatis (5.0) for the lead among NL position players. Freeman would be a great pick too. 

But Harper has a chance to make a splash in the race. 

Can Bryce Harper win his second MVP award? (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Can Bryce Harper win his second MVP award? (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Harper has been hot lately

Harper was hitting .306 coming into Thursday's game. He hit his 18th homer of the year early in Thursday's game. He's having a fine season, even if his overall numbers aren't special due to time on the IL. 

That might help his case. You can picture how it plays out: A healthy Harper plays well in August and September, the Phillies overtake the New York Mets in the NL East (Philly was one game back when they began Thursday's game) and Harper's value looks fantastic. 

Harper is heating up. He had a .947 OPS in June, 1.023 OPS in July and started August with a 1.579 through his first four games. We have seen him go on blazing hot streaks before, most notably 2015 when he won NL MVP. 

MVPs are often won in September. It helps when you're a huge star in a big market and leading a charge for a division title. If the Phillies take the NL East and Harper continues anywhere near the pace he's had since the start of June, those +1200 odds to win MVP will look pretty good. 

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