I wanted to write a baseball futures article this week but as I look at the current odds, nothing stands out to me. Except for one name. And that name, is Jesse “don’t wink or you’ll miss him” Winker. This guy has been a machine all season long and just hit his 2nd 3-HR game of the season. So why is no one talking about this guy? Because he plays for the Reds? Ok fair, but still! I’m shocked at some of the names that sport better odds than him to win the NL MVP given how well Winker has played. Let me break down why I love this bet so much.
At +2000, Jesse Winker Is A Great Value Play
I’ve said it a million times, but futures are all about value. Winker’s stats so far this season are comparable to, if not better than, all of the players with better odds to win the award. Tatis, Acuna, and Kris Bryant are all considered more likely than him to win. Winker ranks above them all in almost every significant statistic. Yes, I know the Reds are terrible and unlikely to make the playoffs, but team success is much less of a factor for individual awards in baseball (nice to see you Mike Trout). Here is a rundown of Winker’s stats along with where he ranks among batters in the NL:
BA: .350 (2nd)
H: 70 (4th)
TB: 133 (1st)
HR: 17 (T-1st)
R: 44 (2nd)
RBI: 37 (T-8th)
OPS: 1.077 (1st)
The only stat he’s not top-5 in is RBI’s, but considering he’s batting .333 RISP, that number is likely a result of bad situational luck. The fact that Winker’s performance this year is so similar (and I believe better) than the guys ahead of him, I’m shocked he is valued so low from a betting perspective. Now, here are Tatis’s numbers (the current odds-on favorite to win NL MVP):
BA: .292 (9th)
H: 45 (T-41st)
TB: 105 (12th)
HR: 17 (T-1st)
R: 41 (4th)
RBI: 39 (T-4th)
OPS: 1.058 (2nd)
Why Winker’s Odds Should Be Better
Yes, Tatis has many more stolen bases than Winker and is considered a better defender. But did you know Tatis’s 15 errors this season are the most at SS in the entire MLB? So yeah, he isn’t the defensive wizard you thought he was. The purpose of this article is not to slander Tatis, I think he is an incredible young player with a bright future ahead of him.
All I want to demonstrate is that Winker’s stats and performance this season imply that his odds of winning MVP should be similar to whoever the odds-on favorite is, in this case Tatis. But they’re not, in fact Winker’s odds are much lower. That is the definition of value in futures betting, and that is why I love a #WinkerWager.
You can bet Tatis at +300, or Acuna at +375, or you can get Winker at +2000. Winker’s odds are clearly a result of his lack of reputation and past regular season performances. But considering he is only 27 years old, it’s more likely than not that Winker is simply having a breakout season. This is a great value bet, and one you should make before his odds inevitably improve.