Winning the MVP is nothing new to Bryce Harper. The $330 million man won the NL MVP when he was just 22 years old with the Nationals as he first ascended into MLB stardom. This year, Harper’s MVP odds can be found to be anywhere between 13/1 and 20/1 and he sits at the 6th highest odds in baseball. This will be a unique MVP race due to the short season, so whoever wins will need to come out of the gates with a hot start and Bryce may be a guy who can take advantage of this.
For starters, Bryce Harper is known for his ability to have a hot start to the season. In the first opening day of his career, Harper hit 2 long-balls and continued on a hot pace early in this season. In his 2015 MVP season, Harper had one of the greatest starts to the season in history. Through the first 60 games, he knocked in 21 home runs and had a batting average of .333. The following year Bryce posted a .412 On-Base Percentage along with hitting 13 HRs in his first 60 games.
With expectations sky-high, Bryce’s first season with the Phillies can be considered a slight disappointment but he still made a major impact on the team. Through the first 60 games, he had a batting average of .242, but he still managed to tally 11 home-runs and keep an on-base percentage of .832. While these are by no means MVP caliber numbers, it still is more productive than the perception of his first year in Philly seems to be.
Now that his first season with the Phillies in the books, it is hopeful that Harper has settled in. He has looked tremendous since training has picked back up and made this clear by hitting a moonshot off Max Scherzer in the first exhibition game. With so much time off from baseball as well as having to watch his former team win the World Series last year, Bryce should not be short on motivation for this season. It will be a very interesting race for MVP this year and there is certainly a chance for someone to run away with it out of the gate. Harper is a legitimate superstar and has as good of odds as anyone to be the guy to do it.
Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports