The Bryce Harper saga has been like watching a sitcom that should’ve been canceled a few years ago. It was fun and entertaining at first but it jumped the shark at some point and now everyone just wants it to be over.
With Spring Training in full swing and about three weeks away from the MLB season, one of the stars of the league is still without a team. That hasn’t stopped Harper’s hometown from believing that he’s going to have a great season no matter where he goes, whether that’s with the Dodgers, Phillies, Giants or somewhere else.
According to ESPN, The Westgate in Las Vegas has Harper as a 6/1 favorite for NL MVP. Following the free agent is Colorado’s Nolan Arenado (7/1), Paul Goldschmidt (10/1) of the Cardinals, Kris Bryant of the Cubs (12/1) and newly signed Padres slugger Manny Machado (15/1).
The sportsbook is set to commit that Harper is signing with an NL team. They might be right with that assessment. But there are a lot of variables depending on where Harper goes that might impact whether or not he has an MVP year in 2019. It seems like The Westgate is going with the Phillies as the likely destination so they are high on Harper’s MVP hopes.
“We think Harper’s favorite destination is Philadelphia,” Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook director John Murray told ESPN. “That’s a Little League park. You can imagine how many home runs he’d hit there as his home park. If he ends up going to the Dodgers, you could see the odds tweaked a bit since that’s such a pitchers’ park.”
Harper does have 14 home runs in Citizens Bank Park as a player for the Nationals, the most in a visiting ballpark. Some of that is due to the Phillies being in the NL East, another is due to the ballpark. So if he were to go to the Phillies, that 6/1 odds may make sense. But if I was betting on NL MVP, I think I might hold off until knowing exactly where Harper is going. Harper’s odds probably won’t get any better so it’s worth waiting.