Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Christopher Morel is Becoming a Legitimate NL Rookie of the Year Candidate


Christopher Morel has been a fun bolt of energy that Cubs fans desperately needed injected into the 2022 season. Now, after making his MLB debut in the middle of May, Morel has become a legitimate NL Rookie of the Year candidate through his first 41 games in the majors.

Morel, who wasn’t one of the players appearing near the top of any top Cubs prospects lists, was having a great year at Double-A, when he was called up to the show in May. If you read about him, though, you would have known he has the tools fans love. Great arm, hits the ball hard, can run fast and plays all over the field. But even the biggest optimists couldn’t envision this hot start to his career. I mean, the majority of us were thinking Morel was only coming up as a bench guy, who was probably going to be returning to the minors after a couple weeks.

But boy are Cubs fans glad that hasn’t been the case. It’s been a tough go for the Cubs, but imagine the past seven weeks without Morel on the team.

Christopher Morel Rooking Rankings

Here is how Morel ranks among other qualified National League rookie hitters.

.281 BA: 5th
.339 OBP: 5th
.503 SLG: 3rd
.842 OPS: 2nd
131 wRC+: 4th
.361 wOBA: 3rd
1.0 fWAR: t-4th
8 Home Runs: 3rd
31 Runs: 1st
23 RBI: 4th
7 Stolen Bases: t-1st

But of course in Rookie of the Year races you also have to take into account pitchers, as they’re lumped in with position players in the voting. Heading into Saturday, Atlanta’s Spencer Strider and San Diego’s MacKenzie Gore were atop the NL rookie leaderboard on Fangraphs with 1.5 and 1.2 fWARs, respectively.

Strider began the season as a multi-inning reliever out of the Braves’ bullpen before joining the rotation in late May. He’s thrown 53.2 innings so far, making six starts and has recorded a 3.02 ERA in 17 games so far this season. Meanwhile, Gore has started 11 times for the Padres, making one more appearance out of the bullpen, and he’s been solid with a 3.24 ERA in 59.1 innings.

Christopher Morel Odds to Win Rookie of the Year

A few weeks back Morel didn’t even appear in some sportsbooks to win NL Rookie of the Year. Here are his current odds to win the award.

BetMGM: +1400
PointsBet: +2000
FanDuel: +2000
Caesars: +2500
DraftKings: +2500
BetRivers: +3000

Current Favorites to Win Rookie of the Year

Although Morel is having a fantastic rookie season with the Cubs, he still is a long shot to win at this point anyway. Here are the current favorites to win NL Rookie of the Year according to the sportsbooks.

PointsBet: Oneil Cruz (+325)
DraftKings: Oneil Cruz (+330)
BerRivers: Michael Harris (+350)
FanDuel: Michael Harris (+370)
Caesars: Oneil Cruz (+370)
BetMGM: Oneil Cruz (+375)

So, lots of love for Michael Harris of the Braves and Oneil Cruz of the Pirates. Harris is currently slashing .316/.344/.513, in 32 games for Atlanta. Meanwhile, Cruz made his MLB debut with the Pirates against the Cubs on June 20. Cruz has only played in 12 games so far this year and he’s slashing .217/.250/.435, but odds makers seem to believe he’ll turn it on for the rest of the season and is currently seen as the favorite to win Rookie of the Year in the National League.

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