The Cincinnati Reds have a big hole to fill with former National League MVP Joey Votto hitting the disabled list following knee surgery this week.
The Reds, who are one game ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central, will likely see a dip in their moneyline odds until they figure out how to win without the All-Star first baseman, who was hitting .342 with 14 home runs and 49 RBIs before suffering a torn meniscus.
Votto, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers, is one of the most valuable players in the majors when it comes to the moneyline, estimating his worth around 10 cents.
He’s not alone atop the list either. Covers polled books and bettors to find out which position players have the biggest impact on the MLB moneyline odds:
Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
McCutchen is a terrific player on a terrible team. His .372 average, 21 home runs and stellar work in the outfield have nearly singlehandedly taken the Bucs to the top of the NL Central.
“He’s worth it because of his situation,” Chris Andrews, assistant sportsbook director at Cal-Neva, told Covers. “He’s in the hunt for MVP so he’s in that position now. Pittsburgh has no one besides him.”
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
There was some debate over which Tigers star was worth more to the moneyline, Cabrera or Prince Fielder. However, Cabrera wins out (Fielder ranks in the nickel range) because of his work at third base and Detroit’s lack of depth at the hot corner.
Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
The former AL MVP still qualifies among the most valuable players to the moneyline despite Texas having a surplus of talent to absorb his absence. The Rangers are 5-2 without Hamilton in the lineup this season, thanks to the bats of Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler.
“You look at that team, and there are a lot of good players around him,” Andrew Patterson, oddsmaker for the Las Vegas Sports Consultants, told Covers. “If he was on a lesser team, like Seattle that struggles with offense, then he’d easily be the most valuable player.”
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
Kemp proved his worth with a huge opening to the season, which sparked the Dodgers’ run to the top of the NL West. His nagging hamstring injury has also shown just how valuable Kemp is, after L.A. tumbled without its star outfielder.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Trout was another player that sparked debate among MLB betting types. His contributions to the Halos since being called up are huge, hitting .348 with 12 homers and 42 RBIs. Some oddsmakers didn’t think Trout was quite in the 10-cent range, but wouldn’t deny his impact on the Angels.
“A center fielder who hits and runs - good God,” says Andrews. “I know we’re jumping the gun a bit, but we’re betting on today’s games, not five years down the road. And today, he’s had the biggest impact of any player.”
Six to eight cent players
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Most agreed that when healthy, Longoria is easily worth 10 cents to the moneyline. But the Rays stud third baseman is rarely 100 percent and is currently on the 15-day DL nursing a torn left hamstring. He’s only played in 23 games this season, with Tampa Bay going 31-36 (-10.40 units) without him.
“The Rays are a completely different team with him in there,” says Patterson.
Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
Bautista went down with a wrist injury and the Jays are without their star slugger for the next two weeks. While Bautista is a force to be reckoned with, forcing opponents to game plan around him, Toronto does have some other power hitters. That brings down Joey Bats' moneyline worth a touch.
Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels
On name along, Pujols is worth more because of the public’s reaction to his absence. His numbers may be down a bit after a slow start to his L.A. career, but the former NL MVP is starting to show his swagger and is still making pitchers sweat.
“I don’t want to say he’s found himself,” says Andrews. “But he’s pretty damn close to finding himself.”
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
The reigning NL MVP is worth a little more than a nickel, especially after Fielder left for the Motor City. Braun is batting .312 with 26 home runs and 65 RBIs – tied for second most in the National League. He’s also a threat to steal bases, swiping 33 bags last summer.
David Wright, New York Mets
Wright is having a great season in the Big Apple, hitting .345 (fourth best in the NL) with an OPS of .991, 11 home runs and 59 RBIs. There is some debate to whether Wright really deserves to be this high, but how much his team depends on him to produce gives him the nod.
“When you look at the past few years, he’s only worth a little bit,” says Patterson. “But this year, you’ve got to put him in that category. He’s the best player on a really bad Mets team.”
Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
Cano is one of the top talents in the majors but plays for a talent-rich Yankees team that can plug replacements into the lineup without suffering a huge step back. Cano has replaced Alex Rodriguez as the most valuable Yankee to the moneyline, with A-Rod not making much of a blip with books.
“Few players in the majors are as good as Cano,” says Andrews. “But, because of that lineup, he comes in around a nickel.”
Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies
Howard is in danger of falling into A-Rod range. The Phillies slugger is finally back after recovering from an Achilles injury and hit his first homer of the season the other night. But, most books agree that he has lost a step and is on the decline.
Melky Cabrera, San Francisco Giants
One of the biggest surprises of the MLB season has been the resurgence of Cabrera in the Bay Area. After bouncing around the past two seasons, the veteran outfielder is giving the Giants a much-needed offensive jolt, hitting .353 with an OPS of .906 and 45 RBIs.
Matt Holliday/Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals
After Pujols left for the coast, the weight of the Cardinals lineup fell on Holliday and Beltran. The two have performed exceptionally well, with Holliday hitting .317 with 59 RBIs and Beltran playing beyond his years, posting 20 home runs and 65 RBIs – tied for most in the NL.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
Harper is just scratching at the nickel range, but is still being discounted by some oddsmakers. While his stats are impressive for a first-year guy - .273 BA, eight home runs, 25 RBIs – his name and hype may have more impact with bettors after the lines are posted.
“He’s worth a couple cents,” says Patterson. “I’d like to rank him higher, being a young guy from Las Vegas, but he’s just not there yet.”