Jacob deGrom has put together arguably the best first half of a season for a pitcher in MLB history. But unless he keeps up his torrid pace, there’s no guarantee that the New York Mets ace will add the NL MVP award to his trophy collection.

deGrom NL MVP
Jacob deGrom leads the race for NL MVP thanks to a historic start by the New York Mets ace. (Image: Rich Schultz/Getty)

deGrom stands out as the runaway favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award, with DraftKings Sportsbook rating him as a -1000 pick to win the honor for a third time.

deGrom skipping All-Star Game

The 33-year-old has compiled a 7-2 record with a minuscule 0.95 ERA on the year. He suffered – relatively speaking – through his worst start of the year on Thursday as he allowed three earned runs in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves. He still struck out 14 and shut down Atlanta through the rest of his seven-inning appearance, keeping the Mets in the game before New York ultimately lost 4-3.

That incredible performance has made deGrom the favorite for NL MVP. DraftKings lists him as the -106 pick to win the award.

If there’s one blemish on his year, it’s that deGrom has only thrown 85 innings so far. That’s largely due to a series of minor injuries that have slowed deGrom down, though none have threatened his season. deGrom cited those bangs and bruises as a reason not to pitch at the All-Star Game in Colorado later this month.

“I’ve been a little beat up in this first half and obviously missed a few starts which I wish I wouldn’t have missed, so I don’t think it makes sense for me to throw in it,” deGrom said, via MLB.com. “It’s definitely an honor any time you get named to this.”

deGrom has also excelled at the plate, hitting .387 and driving in six runs on the year so far. That offensive impact, limited as it may be, could boost his candidacy as he battles two of the National League’s top sluggers for the NL MVP.

Tatis, Acuna slug their way into NL MVP race

Fernando Tatis Jr. (+200) ranks second on the NL MVP board. Like deGrom, the San Diego Padres shortstop has put up incredible numbers despite missing time due to injury. The 22-year-old has hit .305 with 26 homers and 57 RBI, and has put up an NL leading 1.084 OPS. He also leads the National League with 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts.


NL MVP Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Jacob deGrom: -106 Fernando Tatis Jr.: +200
Ronald Acuna Jr.: +550 Jesse Winker: +3300
Nolan Arenado: +4000 Mookie Betts: +4000
Kris Bryant: +4000 Nicholas Castellanos: +4000
Freddie Freeman: +4000 Kyle Schwarber: +4000
Juan Soto: +4000 Trea Turner: +4000

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna ranks slightly behind Tatis and deGrom, with DraftKings listing the 23-year-old as a +550 pick to win the NL MVP. Acuna has hit .276 with 23 homers while leading the league with 66 runs scored. While he’s clearly behind Tatis for the moment, he has kept himself in the race and has remained healthy. That could boost his candidacy if deGrom and/or Tatis miss more time in the second half.

The NL MVP discussion seems to be a three-horse contest, with few others even putting themselves in the periphery of the conversation. If you’re looking for a dark horse, keep an eye on Reds outfielder Jesse Winker (+3300). Winker has hit .310 with 19 homers, in the first half, quietly keeping himself among the leaders in both categories.

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