Good news for the Padres: They are perhaps the second-best team in baseball. The bad news: They are clearly the second-best team in the NL West. Still, with a win projection around 95, they will have one of the better teams in baseball. Team success is relevant when looking at individual awards. The MVP is likely to come from a playoff team, and the Padres almost certainly will be one.
Fernando Tatis Jr. is the name most people talk about when they think of the Padres. He’s young, he flips the bat, and he often stares at the baseballs he sends into orbit. He is the face of the Padres and possibly on his way to becoming the face of baseball, as he stands out even among an exceptionally talented pool of young players in today’s game. However, at 9/1 at BetMGM, I don’t see a ton of value.
Enter Manny Machado, who put up a mediocre 2019 season after signing a huge contract to become a Padre but bounced back in the condensed ’20 season. Machado was third in the NL last year in RBIs, tied for third in home runs, and batted .304 to go along with a .370 on-base percentage. He is in an outstanding lineup, so not only will he be pitched to frequently, he often will be hitting with men on base.
Even though Machado seemingly has been in the league for ages, he is just 28. He is also a superb defender with range and arm strength, something an analytically inclined voter pool will strongly consider. The Padres might be the most exciting team in baseball this summer and will be fun to watch. Getting perhaps their best player at this price is well worth a shot.
The play: Manny Machado to win NL MVP (20/1).