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It’s the end of Bryce Harper’s MLB free agency season, as the former Washington Nationals right fielder has agreed to join the Philadelphia Phillies.
As soon as the news broke, odds of the Phillies winning the World Series in the forthcoming year increased, likely music to the ears of long-suffering fans.
According to Bet Online, World Series odds went from 12/1 to 8/1, and NL pennant odds went from 7/1 to 4/1. The chances of 26-year-old Harper leading his new team to an NL East title also shifted, going from 2/1 to 5/4.
Bryce Harper Effect (original odds from this morning)
Word Series Odds went from 12/1 to 8/1
NL Pennant odds went from 7/1 to 4/1
NL East Odds went from 2/1 to 5/4
Phillies win totals went from 85.5 to 89.5
Phillies Playoff Odds went from 3/2 to 4/5
Bryce Harper Stats
Will Bryce Harper win the 2019 MVP?
Yes +300 (3/1)
No -500 (1/5)
Bryce Harper – 2019 Regular Season Home Runs
Bryce Harper – 2019 Regular Season RBI’s
Bryce Harper – 2019 Regular Season Batting Average
Win totals didn’t make too much of a bump, adding four more wins to their season at 89.5 from 85.5.
Harper was unanimously voted the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 2015, and his move to Philadelphia also increased his odds to win the league MVP. Per Bet Online, there’s a 3/1 chance he’ll be crowned the league’s best player next year, compared to a 1/5 chance he won’t.
The Phillies closed the 2018 season with 80 wins, and they experienced top-of-the-table triumph in mid-August, only to spiral downhill the final six weeks of the season. In September, they only won eight of 28 games. That prompted a change in direction and team owner John Middleton knew he had to start working on Harper’s arrival, even if that meant he was going to splash a record amount for the All-Star.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” Middleton said shortly before meeting with Harper and his wife Kayla in mid-January in Las Vegas.
Even though Harper’s contract greatly improves the Phillies’ odds, they unfortunately still have ground to gain to compete with some of the better teams across the league. Per an earlier Yahoo report, the Houston Astros remain the most competitive club this upcoming year, despite the Boston Red Sox most recently winning the pennant.
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