Betting on Who Will Win the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year
The 2020 MLB season is almost certainly happening. We just don’t know when. What we do know, however, is it will be unlike most seasons we’ve seen before.
That could be due to incoming talent, too, just as much as it is because of surrounding circumstances. Fortunately, there are some terrific prospects set to work their way up from the amateur ranks, and some of them could become household names in short order.
Which players could see their star shine so bright that they help their team reach the MLB playoffs? Better yet, which players have a real shot to be named MLB Rookie of the Year?
I take a look at the latest AL Rookie of the Year odds and gauge who the top contenders to win the award might be in 2020 before giving my prediction on who’ll win.
2020 AL Rookie of the Year Odds
The AL Rookie of the Year isn’t always the most obvious candidate. Huge names like Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Aaron Judge in recent years weren’t that shocking when you consider the talent.
However, there have also been seasons where guys like Michael Fulmer and Jeremy Hellickson won the award.
That could have some looking for value at the best MLB betting sites, especially since some very interesting prospects have favorable pricing this season.
While true, I still tend to feel inclined to roll with the AL ROY favorites going into 2020. Let’s break down the top options and why they’re solid bets to win.
Luis Robert (+300)
Robert is the favorite to win the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year, as the #1 prospect for the Chicago White Sox is currently slated to start the year with the team.
Path to consistent playing time is just as important as talent, and the 22-year-old has both going into 2020. Robert can do a little bit of everything, as evidenced by his 32 homers and 36 stolen bases in the minors in 2019.
There’s always a chance he doesn’t immediately live up to expectations, but there’s no denying the buzz around this kid.
Jesus Luzardo (+450)
A pitcher hasn’t won the AL ROY since Michael Fulmer in 2016, but Luzardo looks like a pretty good bet to give it a go.
The 22-year-old southpaw was sharp in limited action in the majors last year, but he crushed in the minors with a 2.51 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 57 strikeouts.
His main knock is health to this point, but if he can stay on the mound, he has a real shot at blazing his way to Rookie of the Year glory.
Michael Kopech (+600)
I almost like another rookie arm better, however. That’d be Kopech, who offers more compelling odds for bettors seeking upside and is the more revered prospect.
The right-hander had some nice moments across four starts with the White Sox in 2018 prior to going under the knife for Tommy John surgery.
Now healthy, the 23-year-old may not start 2020 on the roster initially but will likely be called up. He has all the tools of a legit ace, and this could finally be the year he breaks out.
Brendan McKay (+800)
Another great arm to root for is McKay, who got his feet wet with 11 starts last year and whiffed 56 batters in the process.
One of baseball’s best prospects, the 24-year-old McKay usually does a great job of keeping the ball inside the park and has fantastic command.
The former quality wasn’t on display last year, but if he can get back to his strengths, he could eventually be in line for a big year as a key starter in Tampa Bay’s pitching rotation.
Casey Mize (+1000)
This could be the year of the young pitcher, as I’ll also touch on Mize, who is the last guy with +1000 odds or better to win the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year award.
The top pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, Mize has a lot of people drooling over his upside in the majors. The 22-year-old righty showcased his absurd potential in the minors with a 2.55 ERA and 106 strikeouts last year and is expected to make the full-time jump this year for the Detroit Tigers.
Who Will Win AL Rookie of the Year in 2020?
Mize is approaching sleeper status, but +1000 still feels like a relative favorite to me. I still think he’ll endure his own struggles playing for a team like the Tigers, though, while the list of guys he’s going up against isn’t weak.
Any of these 2020 AL Rookie of the Year favorites have a shot, but I don’t see a good reason to deviate from Robert. He was a man amongst boys in the minors, and all signs point to a huge year.
Chicago improved their entire roster this offseason, and bringing him up was part of it. He has monster upside, and with pretty palatable +300 odds, he’s as good a bet as anyone.