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Sizing up the World Series MVP betting market

Will Bryce Harper mash the Phillies to a surprising World Series? Will Justin Verlander erase history?

Bryce Harper reacts after hitting a two run home run during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres in game five of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Bryce Harper reacts after hitting a two run home run during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres in game five of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)Read moreMike Ehrmann / Getty Images

It’s Bryce Harper’s world and we’re all just living in it.

That’s what the last week has felt like, as the Phillies, behind their $330 million slugger, improbably reached the World Series.

If the Phillies, underdogs in the World Series vs. the Astros, are to do the unthinkable, it’ll likely be because Harper stays hot. The NLCS MVP might continue to add to his trophy collection.

Here’s a look at the World Series MVP market over at BetMGM.

Player
Yordan Álvarez, Astros
Odds
+600
Player
Bryce Harper, Phillies
Odds
+750
Player
Justin Verlander, Astros
Odds
+1000
Player
Kyle Tucker, Astros
Odds
+1000
Player
Alex Bregman, Astros
Odds
+1000
Player
Framber Valdez, Astros
Odds
+1100
Player
Kyle Schwarber, Phillies
Odds
+1100
Player
José Altuve, Astros
Odds
+1300
Player
Aaron Nola, Phillies
Odds
+1500
Player
Four players (Pena; Realmuto; Wheeler; Hoskins)
Odds
+1800

Think Houston is a pretty sizable favorite in this series? Six of the nine players with the shortest odds are Astros players, led by Álvarez, who would have a strong case this season for American League MVP if it wasn’t for Aaron Judge.

» READ MORE: ‘An extra bonus for having the faith’: Phillies World Series bettors have a decision: Let it ride or cash it out?

The favorites

Yordan Álvarez (+600)

The 25-year-old designated hitter made his presence felt right away in these playoffs when he blasted a three-run home run in ALDS Game One to stun Seattle and set off a string of what has become seven straight wins for the Astros entering the World Series.

He homered in Game Two, too, but hasn’t left the yard since, and has just one extra-base hit and one RBI in the five games since then... yet Houston keeps rolling.

Álvarez is the “chalk” play, but if the Astros run over the Phillies, it may be because the slugger heats up.

Bryce Harper (+750)

Oddsmakers like Harper’s chances of winning the MVP if the Phillies are to pull off the upset, and that makes a lot of sense. The reigning National League MVP has been mashing in these playoffs. Harper has 18 hits in 11 postseason games and 39 total bases in the postseason, 11 more than San Diego’s Manny Machado, who is second.

It’s hard to imagine the Phillies being able to pull off a win in this seven-game series if Harper goes cold. If you like the Phillies to win the World Series, then you should like Harper’s value at 7.5/1.

» READ MORE: World Series props odds, predictions: Bet on Harper to collect most hits

Justin Verlander (+1000)

You’ve seen the numbers by now: Verlander is 0-6 in his career during World Series games. Call it a trend, fine. But what Verlander has done this season is pretty remarkable at age 39. The shoe-in for AL Cy Young went 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA and an astonishing 0.83 WHIP with 185 strikeouts in 175 innings pitched during the regular season.

He struggled in his first playoff start vs. Seattle, but dominated the Yankees in Game One of the ALCS.

Verlander will get the ball to kick off the World Series Friday, and despite his history, 10/1 odds on him having two great starts in a potential 4-1 Astros series win doesn’t seem that crazy.

Alex Bregman (+1000)

Bregman has gotten off to a great start this postseason, with 10 hits in 30 ABs. Four of those 10 hits have gone for extra bases, including two home runs.

The former LSU slugger, who had 23 homers and 93 RBI during the regular season, hits fourth in a pretty potent Astros lineup. He’ll have plenty of chances to drive in runs.

The other guys

Kyle Schwarber (+1100) and Rhys Hoskins (+1800)

Schwarber and Hoskins are the two guys who could get hot — or stay hot, in Hoskins’ case — and power the Phillies to a World Series win if Harper struggles during the series.

Hoskins has had quite a redemption arc this postseason and has had some timely home runs for the Phillies.

Aaron Nola (+1500) and Zack Wheeler (+1800)

When the Phillies last won the World Series, in 2008, pitcher Cole Hamels was named the MVP of the series. If the Phillies are to win, Nola and Wheeler will have a lot to do with it. Nola gets the ball in Game One. If he out-duels Verlander and the Phillies win, then Nola throws well in another, perhaps series-clinching game, the award could be his.

The same goes with Wheeler, who will start Saturday in Game Two.

Kyle Tucker (+1000)

Tucker isn’t quite as much of a sleeper as the guys above, and probably belongs in the “favorites” section given his actual odds, but he’s not the household name some of the other players are outside of the Houston market.

Still, Tucker is a great hitter who bats fifth in that lineup and mashed 30 home runs this season. If it’s not Álvarez supplying the power, it very well could be Tucker.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.