Harper, Hoskins among MVP favorites

Harper met the collected media for a dugout-top press conference at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida.

Since the Philadelphia Phillies and Bryce Harper agreed to a deal, merchandise and ticket sales have sky-rocketed. There’s no doubting the excitement in Philadelphia, and Clearwater, as Harper begins his Phillies career. Our Matt Veasey wrote on Sunday about when we can expect to see Harper don Phillies red in game action for the first time, but fans are already imagining the success that Bryce will have at Citizens Bank Park. His career numbers there are extremely impressive (48 hits, 14 homers, 32 RBI in 50 games) and that likely plays a part as to why Harper leads the latest National League MVP odds. The 26-year-old has 4/1 odds to win Most Valuable Player while teammate Rhys Hoskins is also in the top-10.

Despite having a .249 average last season, Harper tallied career-high’s in RBI (100) and walks (130) while also posting a .393 OBP and .496 slugging-percentage. Meanwhile, Hoskins ranks 8th in NL MVP odds at 20/1 after slugging 34 home runs and driving in 96 on a Phillies team that was in the bottom of the league in runs scored and RBI in 2018. Rhys is back at his natural position at first base, which should help his game all-around with regard to comfort level.

In a somewhat surprising scene though, new Phillie J.T. Realmuto is nowhere to be found on the MVP odds list. Viewed by many as the best catcher in baseball, Realmuto slashed .277.340/.484 last season with 21 home runs, 74 RBI and 74 runs scored. Going from a not-so hitter’s friendly ballpark in Miami to Citizens Bank Park should help Realmuto’s numbers just like it will with Harper’s.

Phillies ace Aaron Nola comes in at third in National League Cy Young odds at 9/1. Phillies Nation’s Tim Kelly has the latest on that.

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