Now that we’re a week into September, the end of the 2021 MLB season is quickly approaching. That means that there’s less than a month for players to prove why deserve to win one of the league’s individual awards. Fortunately, sportsbooks like BetOnline have released award odds to help narrow down possible winners. When it comes to 2021 AL Rookie of the Year honors, BetOnline is favored Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena to win it all at -135 odds.
Arozarena was a major part of Tampa Bay’s 2020 World Series appearance. He recorded 29 hits over 20 games for 10 home runs and 14 RBI while slashing .377/.442/.831. Many wondered if he could translate that into regular season success in 2021. While he hasn’t come close to reach those statistics this year, that hasn’t stopped him from being one of the best rookies in the American League.
Arozarena has appeared in 121 games for the Rays this season, recording 24 doubles, 19 home runs and 62 RBI. He’s currently averaging a .275/.356/.464 slash line, which is still impressive for a rookie. Additionally, Arozarena leads all MLB position rookies with 4.6 wins above replacement. Considering the fact that the Rays’ 87-51 is the second-best in all of baseball, it’s not hard to see the rookie’s value when it comes to his club. As a result, Arozarena is well-deserving of being the 2021 AL Rookie of the Year favorite.
2021 AL Rookie of the Year Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Tuesday, September 7
- Randy Arozarena (-135)
- Adolis Garcia (+325)
- Wander Franco (+350)
- Luis Garcia (+750)
- Andrew Vaughn (+1600)
- Ryan Mountcastle (+2000)
Adolis Garcia Rookie Odds
At +325 odds, Texas Rangers outfielder Luis Garcia has the second-best shot at being named 2021 AL Rookie of the Year. The 28-year-old Cuban may be a lot older than most of his fellow rookies, however, he only had 24 games of MLB experience prior to this season. Fast forward to September and Garcia has quickly become one of the most exciting players to watch in all of baseball — especially on a Rangers team that hasn’t given fans a lot to cheer about this year.
His 29 home runs and 78 RBIs rank second and third, respectively, among all American League rookies. While that’s impressive on its own, Garcia leads all Rangers players in both categories, which shows his impact on the team. He’s also tied for the fourth-best WAR among all MLB rookies.
Nevertheless, one thing that Garcia has going against him in the 2021 AL Rookie of the Year race is the fact that he strikes out a lot. His 176 strikeouts are the most in the league and he’s struck out in 31.5% of his at-bats. While that’s an improvement over last year’s percentage (57.1%), it shows that Garcia still has a lot to do before he’s a more consistent hitter. Perhaps major improvement shown this month could help him make this award race a little closer than it already is.
Wander Franco 2021 AL Rookie of the Year Odds
Rays shortstop Wander Franco was one of the most-talked-about prospects ahead of the 2021 season. After a lot of anticipation, he made his debut towards the end of June and hasn’t looked back since. Now, he has +350 odds to be named AL Rookie of the Year.
Despite only playing in 59 games so far, Franco has looked like an absolute professional. He’s recorded seven home runs and 36 RBIs in that span while averaging a .290/.349/.475 slash line. That’s even to mention how he’s been an on-base machine as of late, reaching base in each of his last 36 games — tying him with the legendary Mickey Mantle for the longest streak by an American League player who’s 20 years old or younger. Considering how that record is nearly 70 years old, that goes to show just how special a player Franco has been.
While Franco also has demonstrated his importance to the Rays with his 3.0 WAR, it doesn't change the fact that he’s played fewer games than those ahead of him on BetOnline’s odds list. If he managed to continue this production while playing in more games, his name would likely be higher on the list. Unfortunately, that just isn’t the case, however, continuing his historic on-base streak would certainly do him some favours. At the end of the day, the future looks bright in Tampa and it’s led by Franco and Arozarena.