Tatis Jr Almost an Even-Money Favorite to Win NL MVP with 16 Games Remaining


Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates with teammate Manny Machado

Fernando Tatis Jr has dominated the 2020 MLB season and is now a heavy favorite to win NL MVP. Photo by @DannyVietti (Twitter).

  • Fernando Tatis Jr is running away with the 2020 NL MVP award (+124)
  • Just two other players are shorter than +1000 in the latest odds update (Mookie Betts and Mike Yastrzemski)
  • See the odds and analysis on whether Tatis Jr has NL MVP locked up

Shortened season or not, September officially means it’s the stretch run when it comes to the NL MVP award.

Just as he has done since late July when this 60-game season kicked off, San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr continues to electrify.

Tatis Jr has performed at an elite level offensively and defensively. He’s hit for average, power and has continually put his speed on display. With the way he’s dominated the NL so far, it should come as little surprise that he is favored to win NL MVP – though the margin between Tatis Jr and the rest of the field is alarming.

Is there any other choice for the award?

2020 NL MVP Odds

Player Odds as of Sept 1 Odds as of Sept 9
Fernando Tatis JR (SS, Padres) +300 +124
Mookie Betts (OF, Dodgers) +567 +575
Mike Yastrzemski (OF, Giants) +550 +763
Juan Soto (LF, Nationals) +2667 +1100
Bryce Harper (RF, Phillies) +1333 +1500
Charlie Blackmon (OF, Rockies) +1467 +1650
Manny Machado (3B, Padres) +2333 +1700
Trevor Story (SS, Rockies) +1667 +1800
Ian Happ (OF, Cubs) +2000 +2000
Paul Goldschmidt (1B, Cardinals) +6067 +2000
JT Realmuto (C, Phillies) +2467 +2250
Corey Seager (SS, Dodgers) +2867 +2350
Freddie Freeman (1B, Braves) +2500 +2350
Trea Turner (SS, Nationals) +3400 +2400
Anthony Rizzo (1B, Cubs) +2500 +2500

Odds as of Sept 9th.

Before the season, Mookie Betts was expected to own the conversation when it came to NL MVP. But the first in-season 2020 NL MVP odds update had Tatis right behind him.

Since then, the second-year shortstop has elevated into favorite status, leaving Betts in the dust (relatively speaking). Mike Yastrzemski slid between the two in August, but has since fallen to third.

2020 Cy Young Odds Tracker

Tatis Jr Dominating Across the Board Offensively

Sometimes an NL MVP candidate can dominate a single category for the bulk of the season.

But Fernando Tatis Jr has been all over the charts in 2020, making for an impressive 44-game stretch.

Tatis Jr vs Betts

.310 (T-10) Batting Average .310 (T-10)
15 (1) Home Runs 13 (2)
39 (1) RBI 32 (T-4)
45 (1) Runs 32 (8)
0.407 (8) On-Base Percentage .385 (15)
0.655 (1) Slugging Percentage .608 (7)
2.8 WAR 2.9

(NL Rank)

Tatis Jr also has the edge on Betts in OPS and stolen bases.

The key in all of this is the 16-games remaining. The books are already factoring in the Padres trailing the Dodgers by 4.5 games in the NL West. That means the “division winner vs Wild Card” argument doesn’t matter. Tatis Jr just has to hold on for a few more weeks.

Could he slow down significantly?

Poor 16-Game Stretches for Tatis Jr

Season AVG HR RBI Runs OBP SLG%
2020 .286 5 12 17 0.375 .556
2019 .268 5 11 9 0.344 .689

Here’s the crazy thing about Tatis’ rookie season. He went hitless in back-to-back games just four times in 2019. The 16-game sample sample, above, was his first 16 games in the majors.

It’s also tough to find a soft-spot in a season where the shortstop has five hit-streaks of five games or more, and 16 multi-hit games.

Betts and the Dodgers have 17 games remaining. Betts’ best stretch (.313 average, seven homers and 16 RBI) from this year would essentially tie Tatis in most categories. And that may not be enough to overtake him for NL MVP.

Turner, Soto, and Goldschmidt Enjoy Bumps in NL MVP Odds

When re-examining the movement in the odds, Trea Turner, Juan Soto, and Paul Goldschmidt made significant moves up.

Any of them worth consideration?

Turner, Soto and Goldschmidt: Sept 1-9

Player AVG HR RBI Runs OBP SLG%
Trea Turner .297 2 7 17 0.350 .541
Juan Soto .273 0 0 1 0.529 .364
Paul Goldschmidt .276 1 3 5 0.382 .414

Soto’s bump may be the strangest, as he’s played just four times over that stretch. His season has been outstanding to date, however. Goldschmidt, too, hasn’t been great between updates, but is currently riding a five-game hit-streak.

Turner has turned in another season with a nice blend of power, contact, and speed, but has been overshadowed by Tatis. If he somehow got the Nationals back to relevancy, he’d be the best longshot candidate.

NL MVP Will Remain Out West

A year after Cody Bellinger took home NL MVP honors, it will again reside on the West coast.

But it won’t be with the Dodgers.

Fernando Tatis Jr’s season has been so eye-opening that it’s hard to see anyone prying the award away from him. Even Mookie Betts.

If you can find value on El Nino anywhere, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Author Image

Bryan Thiel

NFL MLB NHL Sports Writer

NFL MLB NHL