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21.12.2018 07:54
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Norm Hall/Getty ImagesIf the latest odds are any indication [url=]Boone Logan Jersey[/url] , the Chicago Cubs could have their second National League MVP winner in three years.Per OddsShark, Cubs star Javier Baez is the leading candidate to win 2018 NL MVP at -110 (bet $11for $10 return). St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter and Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (+250, bet $10 for $25 return) are tied for second:OddsShark OddsSharkUpdated odds to win National League MVP (BovadaOfficial):Javier Baez -110 猬嗭笍Matt Carpenter +250 猬嗭笍Nolan Arenado +250Paul Goldschmidt +500Christian Yelich +600 猬嗭笍On the American League side, Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts is the overwhelming choice to take home his first MVP award:OddsShark OddsSharkUpdated odds to win American League MVP (BovadaOfficial):Mookie Betts -240 猬嗭笍J.D. Martinez +450Mike Trout +450Alex Bregman +500 猬嗭笍Jose Ramirez +500Betts and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels aretied for the MLB leadwith 9.2 FanGraphs wins above replacement. Trout holds a significant edge in on-base percentage (.466 to .431) and a slight edge in slugging percentage (.629 to .619).Betts leads MLB with a .337 batting average andranksthird in the AL with 20 defensive runs saved. He is putting up these numbers for a Red Sox team that owns MLB's best record (103-48) and can clinch the American League East with a win over the New York Yankees on Wednesday.The Cubs own the NL's best record at 89-62 and are closing in on their third straight division title thanks in no small part to Baez's breakout year.An All-Star for the first time in 2018, Baez has done a lot of heavy lifting for Chicago with Kris Bryant having two different stints on the disabled list and Anthony Rizzo having a down year by his standards.The 25-year-old leads the NL with 107 RBI and a .571 slugging percentage. His 33 homers are tied for fourth.Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich is rising in the MVP rankings. He's currently fifth in the odds at +600 and is building a strong case to win the award.Yelichleadsall NL position players with 6.0 FanGraphs wins above replacement, a .317 batting average and .952 OPS. The California native has a .353/.414/.724 slash line in 54 games since the All-Star break, helping the Brewers carry a two-game lead for the top wild-card spot in the NL.Not listed among the top candidates, New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGromleadsall NL players with 8.0 FanGraphs wins above replacement. Despite leading the league with a 1.78 ERA and having 251 strikeouts in 202 innings, he could be relegated solely to Cy Young consideration because the Mets are currently 11 games under .500.With less than two weeks remaining in MLB's regular season, the race for the NL MVP award will likely come down to which player has the strongest finish. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the busiest teams on the MLB trade market in recent years.Ahead of Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers acquired Manny Machado for a quintet of prospects [url=][/url] , but that isn't the only upgrade they're looking to make.With Machado already in the lineup, the Dodgers are in search of bullpen help to alleviate some of the pressure on closer Kenley Jansen's shoulders.The relief market is shifting by the day, as a few trades have taken place since the All-Star break, but there are still plenty of players available who could help the Dodgers down the stretch.Below is a look at the latest buzz surrounding the Dodgers' trade targets.Zach BrittonThe Dodgers are one of many teams involved in talks for theBaltimore Orioles' Zach Britton, who is deemed the best reliever left on the market.Although the Dodgers are discussing a potential deal with theO's, they don't appear to be the front-runner for the 30-year-old yet, as theBoston Red Sox, Houston AstrosandChicago Cubs are more active in talks, per MASN's Roch Kubatko:Roch Kubatko masnRochWhile it鈥檚 true #dodgers in talks with #orioles regarding Britton, hearing #astros, #redsox and #cubs more active.The main concern for the Dodgers if they acquire Britton is his salary [url=]Max Kepler Jersey[/url] , as the $4.5 million he's still owed would put them near the luxury-tax threshold, which would force them to make a corresponding move, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal:Ken Rosenthal Ken_RosenthalBritton still owed more than $4.5M. #Dodgers up against luxury-tax threshold. If they acquire Britton, they almost certainly will need to purge another salary to remain under. vESaGQbivvIf the Dodgers find a way to get a deal done for Britton, they would be seen as one of the biggest winners of the non-waiver trade deadline, and they'd be viewed as one of the top contenders to win the World Series.Britton's experience as a closer would help the Dodgers in eighth-inning situations, with Jansen waiting to take over in the ninth.Gail Burton/Associated PressBy possessing a dynamic one-two punch in Britton and Jansen, the Dodgers could turn into an unstoppable team in the postseason if their starters are able to go six or seven innings.Since Britton spent time as a starter earlier in his career, it wouldn't be out of the question for the Dodgers to use him starting in the seventh to bridge the gap to Jansen.However, the Dodgers might be in a less-than-ideal position in their attempts to acquire Britton since they already sent five prospects to Baltimore for Machado.With Brad Hand and Jeurys Familia already dealt, the Orioles might try to drive up the price for Britton [url=][/url] , knowing he's the most coveted trade target.If that occurs, the Dodgers might be outpriced by other contenders willing to go all-in for a championship by sacrificing a few key prospects. Brad BrachIf the Dodgers are unable to bring in Britton, they could turn to another part of the Orioles bullpen to bolster their relief pitching.According toBill Shaikinof theLos Angeles Times,the Dodgers are interested in Brad Brach in addition to Britton.Brach, who unlike Britton pitched since the start of the season, has 10 saves in 41 appearances for the Orioles, but he possesses a 4.97 ERA in 38 innings.The 32-year-old right-hander would be a downgrade from Britton, but he'd still be an addition who could help Jansen throughout the final two months of the regular season and playoffs.Jim Mone/Associated PressA year ago, Brach recorded a 3.18 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 68 innings, and he gained experience as a closer after Britton went down with an Achilles injury.While he isn't a big fish on the trade market like Britton, Brach might be the better option for the Dodgers if they're looking to trade away fewer prospects while still improving the bullpen.One of the downfalls to acquiring Brach instead of Britton would be the lack of a left-handed power arm in front of Jansen [url=]Michael Pineda Jersey[/url] , but the Dodgers could look elsewhere.Other options include Miami's Kyle Barraclough and Drew Steckenrider, who could move to the forefront of the relief market if the Miami Marlins believe they can receive favorable packages in return.A surprise name or two could always pop up as well, which might lead the Dodgers in another direction, but for now, their focus appears to be on the two Orioles relievers.Follow Joe on Twitter, JTansey90.

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