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Adley Rutschman approaches Julio Rodriguez

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For the better part of two months, Julio Rodriguez was the runaway favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year. However, with less than two months to go, he has competition.

The Mariners star is still trading as the -500 favorite at BetMGM to fill out his already impressive resume, just a month away from his first All-Star nod. He would be the second outfielder in Seattle to win it in the past three years (Kyle Lewis, 2020) and he would be on a list with Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani and Yordan Alvarez in the past five years alone.

This race isn’t over, though, as Baltimore catcher Adley Rutschman (+400) makes a late push for this award thanks to a stellar defense and a blistering run at the plate for upstart Orioles.

2022 AL Rookie of the Year Odds

Julio Rodriguez -500
Adley Rutschman +400
Jeremy Pena +5000
Bobby Witt Jr. +5000
Steven Kwan +6600
Jose Miranda +8000
George Kirby +15000
Brock Burke +25000
Felix Bautista +25000
Riley Greene +50000
Joe Ryan +50000
Reid Detmers +50000
AJ Puk +50000
MJ Melendez +50000
Vinnie Pasquantino +50000
(via BetMGM)

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Julio Rodriguez
Julio Rodriguez
Getty Images

The case for Julio Rodriguez

It’s not hard to see Rodriguez’s merits for this award as there’s a legitimate chance he could end up on the MVP ballot by the end of the season.

That’s how spectacular the Mariners rookie got through the first five months of his career. He ranks 14th among qualified AL hitters in fWAR (3.5) and home runs (21) and fifth in stolen bases (23). In fact, he is one of only two players in both leagues to have completed a 20-20 season and only the fourth rookie to do so in MLB history, with an AL record of 107 games.

Of course, his performances among first-year batters are among the absolute top. He leads all AL rookies in home runs and slugging percentage (.468), is second in stolen bases, fifth in batting average (.264) and sixth in on-base percentage (0.323). And there’s a good chance his stellar rookie year will be the catalyst for the Mariners to break through the longest postseason drought (20 years) in North American professional sports. How’s that for a ROY campaign?

The case for Adley Rutschman

You’ll have to squeeze a little harder to make out the case for Rutschman, who has played in just 79 games after the Orioles delayed the debut of the former No. 1 overall forward. But he quickly made an impression.

Despite Rutschman playing the fewest games of anyone in the top five, Rutschman leads all AL rookies in fWAR (3.6) and would finish 12th out of all AL hitters if he played enough games. That’s largely due to his alien defense behind the plate – his Fangraphs defensive rating (8.1) ranks 16th in the AL, despite having played fewer games than 12 of the 15 players before him. lying down.

He’s not slow on the board either. Rutschman leads all AL rookies in OPS (.805) and is second in OBP (.363) thanks to a great running speed (13.7%) that also leads the field. Much of that production has come since the All-Star break: he ranks third in fWAR (2.2) and eighth in OPS (.912) among all AL qualified batters in that range, not just rookies. Not bad for a late call.

Adley Rutschman
Adley Rutschman
Getty Images

Betting on baseball?

Who will win AL Rookie of the Year?

At this point, you still have to give a nod to Rodriguez, who has more volumetric production on the record in a race that rewards home runs and splashy play. But Rutschman is still priced within striking distance for a reason, as he has arguably been the better player this year, even in a more limited sample.

If you had to bet one, the value of the O’s is catcher, which has sparked one of the best stories in baseball as Baltimore tries to chase Seattle for the final wildcard spot. Ultimately, the team that proves fruitful in its highly anticipated playoff quest could be the tipping point in this race unless they both sneak into the field. At that point, it’s a matter of volume versus efficiency – and at this price, it’s worth betting on the latter.

AL Rookie of the Year choice

Adley Rutschman +400

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