Tampa Bay Rays’ Randy Arozarena celebrates his double off Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
- Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena is favored to follow up his record-breaking 2020 postseason by winning AL Rookie of the Year
- Third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes is already the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates and is favored to win the 2021 NL rookie award
- Read on for full odds and a preview along with a best bet for both leagues
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena is attempting to join former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden as the rare professional athletes to claim rookie-of-the-year honors after being named playoff MVP. Dryden achieved the feat in 1971, leading the Habs to a Stanley Cup before he had even lost a regular-season game.
While Arozarena won’t have that luxury, the American League rookie will enter the 2021 season off the back of a breakout postseason, where he hit an MLB record 10 home runs while powering the Rays to the AL Pennant.
Over in the National League, Ke’Bryan Hayes has become a beacon of hope for the rebuilding Pittsburgh Pirates. As the son of a former major leaguer, Hayes knows what it takes to succeed at this level and is the NL favorite in the MLB Rookie of the Year odds. But, as always, it’s about producing on the field.
2021 AL Rookie Of The Year Odds
|Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays||+350|
|Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays||+1000|
|Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners||+1000|
|Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox||+1100|
|Ryan Mountcastle, Baltimore Orioles||+1200|
|Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles||+1200|
|Bobby Dalbec, Boston Red Sox||+1500|
|Casey Mize, Detroit Tigers||+1500|
|Nate Pearson, Toronto Blue Jays||+1500|
|Garrett Crochet, Chicago White Sox||+1800|
|Luis Patino, Tampa Bay Rays||+1800|
|Andrew Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins||+2000|
|Nick Madrigal, Chicago White Sox||+2000|
|Brendan McKay, Tampa Bay Rays||+2000|
|Triston McKenzie, Cleveland baseball team||+2000|
|Bobby Bradley, Cleveland baseball team||+2200|
|Deivi Garcia, New York Yankees||+2200|
|Nolan Jones, Cleveland baseball team||+2500|
|Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox||+2500|
|Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners||+2500|
|Taylor Trammel, Seattle Mariners||+2500|
|Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals||+2500|
Odds as of March 31st at DraftKings.
Arozarena Ready to Roll
While October was the greatest month of Arozarena’s life as a professional athlete, the winter wasn’t was as kind to the Cuban-born outfielder, as the 26-year-old was detained after allegedly trying to kidnap his daughter in Mexico. He was ultimately released after the mother of his daughter did not press charges.
While he hasn’t looked lights-out in spring training – it was always going to be hard to follow up his October heroics in the relatively pressure-free existence of spring ball – it’s important to remember that it’s just exhibition play. Arozarena has hit .237 with one hit and no home runs through 38 at-bats.
All Signs Point to Tampa Star
However, he does have a couple of factors on his side entering the 2021 season. For one, he is a position player, with 14 of the last 18 winners of a rookie-of-the-year award being position players. The other factor going for him is that he is coming off the Tampa Bay Rays production line, a facility that has produced three AL Rookie of the Year winners in the past 13 seasons.
Randy Arozarena has won an AL Pennant.
Has nearly 100 postseason ABs.
Owns the MLB record for most HR in a single postseason.
Owns the MLB record for most hits in a single postseason.
Won an ALCS MVP.
…and he will qualify for Rookie of the Year this season. So weird. pic.twitter.com/W51DvH2jwG
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) March 29, 2021
As an established star in the Rays lineup, Arozarena will also not struggle for at-bats and playing time. Despite getting just 64 at-bats, and producing seven home runs with 11 RBIs and a .281 average in the 2020 regular season, come the playoffs he exploded at a .377 clip, with an MLB postseason-record 29 hits and 10 home runs.
Best bet: Arozarena (+350)
2021 World Series Odds Tracker
2021 NL Rookie Of The Year Odds
|Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates||+350|
|Sixto Sanchez, Miami Marlins||+500|
|Dylan Carlson, St. Louis Cardinals||+700|
|Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves||+750|
|Nick Lodolo, Cincinnati Reds||+1200|
|Cristian Pache, Atlanta Braves||+1200|
|Joey Bart, San Francisco Giants||+1500|
|Spencer Howard, Philadelphia Phillies||+1800|
|Tyler Stephenson, Cincinnati Reds||+1800|
|Ha-Seong Kim, San Diego Padres||+1800|
|Mackenzie Gore, San Diego Padres||+2000|
|Miguel Amaya, Chicago Cubs||+2200|
|Seth Beer, Arizona Diamondbacks||+2200|
|Jazz Chisholm, Miami Marlins||+3000|
|Adonis Medina, Philadelphia Phillies||+3000|
|Seth Romero, Washington Nationals||+3000|
|Lewin Diaz, Miami Marlins||+3300|
|Josiah Gray, Los Angeles Dodgers||+3300|
|Pavin Smith, Arizona Diamondbacks||+2500|
Odds as of March 31st at DraftKings.
Carlson Can Do
While Hayes may be the favorite in the NL, looking a little further down the list may provide better value.
Case in point is St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Dylan Carlson. Despite underwhelming during the regular season, batting .200 with three home runs and 16 RBI during 110 regular-season at-bats, the 22-year-old had become the team’s cleanup hitter by the time the playoffs rolled around (albeit a short three-game stay in the postseason).
Another moonshot ☄️ pic.twitter.com/oYwO30zYWG
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) March 22, 2021
But with the Cardinals now having added Nolan Arenado to go alongside Paul Goldschmidt in the batting order, Carlson’s value in the rookie-of-the-year race may also increase as a result.
Carlson may have underwhelmed in his first stint in the majors last year, going .162 with a .458 OPS in 23 games in his first time in the majors. But after a quick stint at the Cards’ alternate site midway through the season, he showed he was a quick study, returning to MLB with a bang and posting an average of .289 and an OPS of .967 in 15 games over the remainder of 2020 and the playoffs.
A GOOD EXAMPLE OF EARLY SPRING STATS SHOULDN’T BE WORRIED ABOUT:
Dylan Carlson on March 12: .200 average, .494 OPS
Dylan Carlson on March 22: .303 average, .940 OPS
Just enjoy baseball.
— Redbird Rants (@FSRedbirdRants) March 22, 2021
It’s that kind of fast learning that should see Carlson have a good shot of becoming the first NL Rookie of the Year winner in St. Louis since Albert Pujols in 2001.
Best bet: Carlson (+700)
For the last 20 years, Paul Attfield has worked in sports media. Starting out in his native Britain with the likes of The Independent, he eventually switched continents, with his work appearing in the likes of the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Yahoo Sports since.