Harper’s Hot August Starts Shoots Him up NL MVP Futures

Posted on September 9, 2021

As the divisional races heat up across baseball, one name has led his team up the standings. Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper has only continued to get better, carrying the Phillies on his back with only 2.5 games behind the Braves. Without Harper they would probably be out of contention. But what do the Bryce Harper MVP odds look like now?.

Bryce Harper MVP Odds – MLB National League 2021

National League MVP Odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook: May 2023

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The first week of each month has been very good to the Fightins. The first seven days of each month, the Phillies are now 24-6. Other than that, the team is 35-47. The remaining strength of schedule is .478, second-easiest in the National League behind the Reds.

How will Harper fare? Well, he has some pretty good numbers in the dog days. He has been in some pennant races with the Nationals before coming to Philly. His August splits for batting average (.293) and slugging percentage (.535) are second-best, while his September OBP (.393) is second-best of any month, just ahead of August’s .385. After injuries cost him games and seemed to affect his play, he has played with vigor and bolstered the team. 

Harper can play well and bring the team their first division title in 10 years. However, like Ryan Howard’s run in 2008, it may not be enough to win MVP. Baseball Reference has Tatis’ WAR currently at 5.0, ahead of Harper’s 3.4. That might be hard to overcome, even if Tatis stays sidelined and Harper keeps firing balls into the stands. The Phillies’ depth and improved pitching might work against the star right fielder. 

With two months to go, this should be a fun pennant race in Philadelphia. Harper’s enthusiasm has seemed to charge his team (if it can prove he fixed the suspect bullpen, he should get MVP and maybe the Nobel Prize). Hopefully this brings the crowds back and keeps South Philly jumping.

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