NL Rookie of the Year Odds: Yoshinobu Yamamoto Leads Wide Open Race

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr

The 2024 MLB season has had a full month of action, and plenty of players are showing what they're all about.

It's always a joy to follow award races in baseball, as they can take huge swings throughout the season. One market that may experience that is the National League Rookie of the Year.

Right now, the race for the NL Rookie of the Year is wide open. There's plenty of names in the conversation, but no player has taken charge. With such a wide-open field, it makes the betting market one of the most interesting in terms of MLB awards.

Let's dive into the NL Rookie of the Year odds via the MLB odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

NL Rookie of the Year Odds

NL Rookie of the Year Odds
Yoshinobu Yamamoto+470
Jackson Merrill+500
Michael Busch+500
Jared Jones+500
Shota Imanaga+550
Jackson Chourio+950
Jung Hoo Lee+1500
View Full Table

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (+470)

It hasn't been the perfect start to his MLB career, but Yoshinobu Yamamoto is showing signs of being "worth it" for the Los Angeles Dodgers. It's why, despite a rocky first month in some starts, he remains at the top of the NL Rookie of the Year odds.

On the surface, Yamamoto is having a fine start to his career. The Japanese phenom has a 4.50 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and has allowed 12 runs to score on 20 hits -- three of which are home runs. But when you dive a bit deeper into his underlying metrics, Yamamoto is showing signs of being an ace. He needs a few more innings to qualify, but right now he'd rank sixth among starters with a 2.59 SIERA and fourth with a 32.3% strikeout rate.

Yamamoto is averaging 12.27 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) and has a swinging-strike rate of 13.4%. There's some clear domination happening here for the 25-year-old, who should only continue to figure things out more and more as the season progresses.

At +470 odds, this may very well be the best spot to get Yamamoto for the remainder of the season.

Jackson Merrill (+500)

Jackson Merrill made the San Diego Padres' Opening Day roster and hasn't looked back since.

San Diego believed in Merrill from the start to be their everyday centerfielder. He has answered the call with a .318 batting average, 1 home run, .378 OBP, 12 runs scored, 12 RBIs, and 4 stolen bases.

It's the reason he's tied for the second-best odds in this market, as his consistency at the plate (and in the field) should carry him throughout the year.

Merrill entered the season as's No. 11 prospect, and so far, he's living up to the billing. Beyond those stats mentioned above is a strong .349 wOBA, 126 wRC+, and .787 OPS.

If there's something to look for as the season goes along, it's Merrill making some more noise in the power department. Despite racking up 28 hits already, he's got only five extra-base hits -- leaving his ISO down at a miniscule .091 while also sporting a .409 SLG.

There are paths for him to improve, and if he can do so, then he will be as capable of anyone of taking home the the NL Rookie of the Year.

Michael Busch (+500)

The Los Angeles Dodgers needed to trade Michael Busch, and it couldn't have worked out better for the Chicago Cubs.

Los Angeles dealt Busch and Yency Almonte to the Cubs for prospects Jackson Ferris and Zhyir Hope. So far, so good for Chicago.

The 26-year-old has been driving the ball in the middle of Chicago's order, putting together a .391 wOBA, 6 home runs, 16 RBIs, .280 ISO, and .560 SLG. He's also got some of the best metrics a rookie can have with a 44.9% hard-hit rate and 50.0% fly-ball rate.

Busch is displaying the numbers to be a force in the NL Rookie of the Year race. His strikeout rate is a bit concerning (32.6%). But as long as Busch keeps delivering power, it's hard to not like his chances.

Jared Jones (+500)

It's easy to love everything Jared Jones is bringing to the table for the Pittsburgh Pirates thus far.

If Jones' first five starts are anything to go by, he may be the biggest threat to Yamamoto.

Jones has dazzled in those starts, putting together a 2.79 ERA, 39 strikeouts, and a 0.83 WHIP. His only problem to this point has been the long ball, as he's allowed five to leave the yard. Even with that, the advanced statistics look amazing -- especially for a rookie.

The 22-year-old is second in the majors in both SIERA (2.16) and K rate (34.8%). He leads all starters with a 2.21 xFIP -- showing his ability to dominate each and every time he takes the mound.

Yamamoto may be the hyped, exciting pick among rookie pitchers -- and understandably so. But Jones deserves a lot of love. At +500, he's an appealing pick right now in this market.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.