The MLB season is well underway and there have been some amazing stand-out performers in the National League right now.
The New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, and Los Angeles Dodgers are leading the way in their respective divisions, all racking up 30 or more wins with excellent home records, but who are the key men behind the successes of those teams? And which of the newcomers to the league are shining brightest?
We'll take a look at the Rookie of the Year race in the NL and provide our best free betting picks on who we believe is leading the race to pick up the prestigious award by the time the end of the season rolls around.
|MLB NL Rookie of the Year Award|
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Mackenzie Gore - San Diego Padres (+225)
Of all the contenders for this award, Mackenzie Gore is the one who broke camp with a big-league club and has been consistently good since the season got underway.
There are a number of things that are going for him currently, including the fact that he is able to be a mainstay in San Diego's rotation with Mike Clevinger struggling with injuries throughout the season so far.
Gore has a clear path if he continues to be consistent throughout the season, with great stats, and with the Padres battling against the Dodgers for the MLB NL West top spot he will have no problem with motivation for results.
His odds represent good value and he's the favorite for a reason, but the prices fluctuate quickly so catch him while you can
Seiya Suzuki - Chicago Cubs - (+275)
The 27-year-old Seiya Suzuki started the season on absolute fire and fired ahead in the betting odds for the award too, but has cooled off dramatically since then and now has people questioning whether he's as good as many believed him to be initially.
His recent lack of composure at the plate is definitely concerning as his wild swings and temperament have seen his strikeout rate shoot all the way up to 30%.
The Japanese rookie certainly has the talent to turn it around, and he showed at the start of the season just how good he can really be. But with his mid-season troubles and the lowly odds because of his fast start, it's not a bet worth taking at this point.
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Alek Thomas - Arizona Diamondbacks (+1200)
Alek Thomas has only been playing regularly for less than a month, but his performances in the MLB have got him right in the mix for this award such as the quality he's shown.
He hasn't been able to score many home runs, but he's rarely been struck out since coming to the plate on May 8th as shown by his 17% K rate, which will stop his averages from dropping too much between now and the end of the season.
There is a terrific combination of speed and power in his attributes, something that no other contender can match, but because he's in the bottom third of the order that will affect his end numbers when it comes to runs and RBI.
Despite that, though it's rare to see a rookie able to score, steal and get on base like he does so that should be enough to keep him in contention at least by the time the awards roll out.
Oneil Cruz - Pittsburgh Pirates (+2500)
Cruz was among the top contenders for the award at the start of the season, but he's dropped out of the reckoning because the Pittsburgh Pirates opted to keep him as a Triple-A rather than promote him.
Many questioned that decision at the time, but his batting percentage this season shows his struggles and probably justifies the decision and explains why they run the MLB franchise and we don't.
He's shown raw attributes of power and speed at times and if he manages to find some rhythm and get it done later in the season, there's a possibility that he claims some late plaudits and earns votes, but don't bank on it.
Check out the latest odds at BetOnline sports betting here.
There is still plenty of time to go in the race for this award, but all signs point toward Mackenzie Gore being the man to claim it at the end of the season.
His power and speed are key elements of his game, while his batting has been supremely good for the San Diego Padres all year.
As they continue to push towards the top of the MLB NL West with the Dodgers, we'll see the cream rise to the top of the pack and that will be the ultimate settler as to whether he wins the award.
Even if they fall away or he struggles at the highest level, the potential there is clear and you can expect plenty of plaudits for him as a rookie.
Expect him to claim the crown, and take the price now because it likely won't get much higher over the course of the season if he continues in this vein.