NL Rookie of the Year odds: Strider favored over Braves teammate Harris

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If the season ended today, a Braves rookie would take home the NL Rookie of the Year. That much seems clear. But which one?

That's the burning question over the final two months of the season, as teammates Spencer Strider (-190) and Michael Harris II (+325) are still battling for the top spot in the rookie rankings. Those two are the only players priced shorter than 10-1 to win it, with preseason favorites Oneil Cruz (+1300) and Seiya Suzuki (+2000) as the only others dealing at 20-1 or shorter.

PLAYER ODDS
Spencer Strider -190
Michael Harris II +325
Oneil Cruz +1300
Seiya Suzuki +2000
Christopher Morel +2200
Brendan Donovan +5000
Luis Gonzalez +5500
Nolan Gorman +6000
Alek Thomas +6000
Jack Suwinski +7500
Juan Yepez +10000
MacKenzie Gore +12500
Hunter Greene +15000
Nick Lodolo +15000
Bryson Stott +15000
CJ Abrams +25000
Matt Vierling +25000
Graham Ashcroft +25000
Joey Bart +50000

It's been a tight race between Strider and Harris, one of whom seems certain to become the second Atlanta rookie to win the award in the last five years. Neither is having quite the season that Ronald Acuna Jr. had in 2018, when he finished 12th in NL MVP voting, but they've both been instrumental to the Braves' success this season.

At this point, it's no surprise that Strider is the favorite to win ROY. The 23-year-old righty opened the year as a reliever and was simply electric, boasting a 2.22 ERA and 1.43 FIP with a ridiculous 38.9% strikeout rate across 24 1/3 innings to force his way into the Rookie of the Year conversation.

The Braves moved Strider to the rotation in late May, and he's been filthy as a starter, too. In 12 starts, he's posted a 3.02 ERA with a paltry 2.19 FIP - only Kevin Gausman (2.02) has a better mark among qualified starters - while continuing to strike out 38.1% of the batters he faces. Simply put, he's been dominant no matter how the Braves use him.

You could say the same about Harris, too. The young center fielder entered Thursday with the NL's highest fWAR (2.2) among rookie bats despite playing just 58 games - fewer than each of the next eight hitters below him. He also ranks second among NL rookies in batting average (.280), OPS (.798), and RBIs (30) while leading the field in slugging percentage (.478).

Don't forget about Cruz, who opened as the preseason favorite and was briefly favored again in June before a rocky run at the plate. The Pirates slugger entered Thursday hitting just .218 in 36 games, but he could be heating up at the right time - he's hit a home run in each of his last two games, including a 434-foot blast on Wednesday that made its way to the Allegheny River outside PNC Park.

Still, it would take a serious run to upend either of the Braves' young stars, who appear locked into the top two spots for this award. And while Strider has the edge entering the final two months, this race is anything but decided.

C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at cjackson.cowart@thescore.com.

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NL Rookie of the Year odds: Strider favored over Braves teammate Harris
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