Odds to win AL Rookie of the Year: Julio Rodriguez is in a class of his own
Julio Rodriguez has played himself into the driver's seat in the AL Rookie of the Year odds. Photo by Ted S. Warren/AP.

Unknown rookies who emerge into the limelight can make for a great story, but sometimes it's just nice to see top-rated prospects rise to meet exorbitant expectations.

The latest: Inside the final three weeks of the season, the AL Rookie of the Year race is essentially down to two players — and even that might be generous. Seattle's Julio Rodriguez has really built up his lead over Baltimore's Adley Rutschman and everyone else recently.

Check out the latest AL Rookie of the Year odds.

AL Rookie of the Year odds

Check out the latest odds to win the AL Rookie of the Year. Click linked odds to add selection to your betslip.

PlayerOddsOdds on Sept. 13
Julio Rodriguez-3,335-2,000
Adley Rutschman+1,200+900
George Kirby+12,500+12,500
Steven Kwan+25,000+15,000
Bobby Witt Jr.+50,000+15,000
Jeremy Pena+50,000+20,000

Odds as of 8:16 p.m. on 09/15/2022.

Best AL Rookie of the Year odds

The favourite: Julio Rodriguez (-3,335)

Clearly, the Mariners know how valuable of a talent Rodriguez is.

Last month, Seattle signed its young star to a deal with 12 guaranteed years and at least $210 million attached to it. How's that for an investment in someone with less than a full season under his belt?

It's too early to say Rodriguez will be worth every penny, but he's looking like quite the value for bettors who backed him for AL ROY earlier this season. Though he's been a minus-odds favourite most of the way, Rodriguez's price has rarely approached what it is right now.

Given that he debuted on Opening Day, we knew Rodriguez stood a solid chance to outpace his peers in most counting stats. In 2022, he leads AL rookies in home runs (26) and runs (78), is tied for first in RBI (72), and sits second in stolen bases (25).

Rodriguez was slow out of the gate, posting a paltry .205/.284/.260 slash line in April. But the best big leaguers make adjustments, and Rodriguez has enjoyed a notable statistical turnaround since then.

Stats by monthGwRC+OPSK%
April2061.54437.0%
May28152.86625.2%
June29162.90325.4%
July19150.88422.9%
August17100.70125.0%
Sept./Oct.122591.24720.4%
Stats via FanGraphs, as of 09/14/22

By playing the full season — and playing it well — Rodriguez has earned his spot as the frontrunner. His hot start to September has made him a practical shoo-in to win this award.

Other AL Rookie of the Year choices

Best value: Adley Rutschman (+1,200)

From +2,500 in late July to +450 earlier this month, to +1,200 now, Rutschman's shift in AL ROY odds largely mirrors the successes of his club.

Rutschman, the No. 1 pick in the 2019, helped lead Baltimore into unexpected playoff contention after the all-star break. But as the O's have slowed down a bit lately, the wind has escaped the sails in Rutschman's pursuit of this award.

Over his past 21 games, Rutschman has just a .222/.333/.389 slash line. His early-August heater has given way to a bit of a September swoon.

Still, the 24-year-old catcher has posted some of the best numbers among AL rookies this year:

  • 4.1 fWAR (2nd)
  • 130 wRC+ (2nd)
  • .351 wOBA (2nd)
  • 1.61 WPA (2nd)

Rutschman was called up in late May, so he'll likely never catch Rodriguez in many of the traditional stats categories. And he's right behind J-Rod in all of these important rate stats.

Rodriguez has the statistical edge in seemingly every way, so Rutschman is going to need to go on some kind of tear to make this a photo finish.

Player to watch: Steve Kwan (+25,000)

Kwan has practically zero hope of winning this award, but let's make the case anyhow.

He's first among AL rookies in OBP (.368), third in fWAR (3.1) and fifth in wRC+ (118). The problem is, the Guardians outfielder isn't gaining any ground.

Kwan's greatest weakness is a lack of power. Among his 139 hits — t-15th in the AL — only 30 have gone for extra bases. That won't cut it against the likes of Rodriguez and Rutschman.

The 24-year-old had an epic first week in the majors, posting a 1.392 OPS in six games. Realistically, he'll need to go on another run like that (and then some) to have a crack at winning.

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