Cincinnati Reds rookie Elly De La Cruz is closing gap the in the NL award market

Cincinnati Reds' Elly De La Cruz steals home with Milwaukee Brewers catcher William Contreras covering during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 8, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Ever since he made his debut in early June, Elly De La Cruz has been the biggest storyline when talking about the Cincinnati Reds. All eyes will continue to be on the sensational rookie following MLB’s All-Star break, particularly in one award market.

At FanDuel Sportsbook, De La Cruz has the second-best odds to win the National League’s Rookie of the Year award. De La Cruz has a value of +280, which gives him a 26.32% implied probability of claiming the coveted award.

Corbin Carroll of the Arizona Diamondbacks is still a decisive favorite in this market with -360 odds. Carroll is not only the favorite to win this award, but he is one of the biggest challengers in the NL MVP race if Ronald Acuña Jr. were to relinquish his grip on that trophy.

But De La Cruz is trying his best to catch Carroll in this race, and FanDuel is currently offering the best price on the market for him to do so. Carroll dealt with injuries leading up to the All-Star break, while De La Cruz continued to produce nightly highlights with his combination of speed and power.

So far this season, De La Cruz is posting a .325 batting average with a .363 on-base percentage. He has hit four home runs, 16 RBIs, nine doubles, two triples and managed to swipe 16 stolen bases. All of this production came in just 30 games of action.

De La Cruz clearly has a long way to go before he can surpass Carroll, but this is an award that is being priced as a two-man race. In fact, no other player has better than 39/1 odds at FanDuel.

As for the team outlook, the Reds are sitting atop the NL Central standings with a 50-41 overall record and a 7-3 clip over the last 10. They are one game up on the Milwaukee Brewers, who are 49-42 on the year and 6-4 over their last 10 outings.

Despite the current standings, the Brewers are actually +100 favorites to win the NL Central compared to the Reds’ price of +125. For what it is worth, FanGraphs gives Milwaukee a 54.7% chance of winning the division while projecting a 30% chance for Cincinnati. 

The Reds haven’t won their division since 2012 when they ultimately lost in the NLDS. This weekend could be a good chance to better their chances at making history. Cincinnati is set to host Milwaukee for a three-game weekend set when everybody resumes play following the All-Star break.

Friday’s series opener is set for 7:10 p.m. ET, with the Reds priced as short +102 underdogs at FanDuel. The total has been set at 10 (-110 on both sides), marking the second-highest over/under for Friday’s slate of games.


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