Michael Harris II betting favorite to win Rookie of the Year, Spencer Strider close behind

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The Braves are the hottest team in baseball, winners of 27 of their last 33 games with a real chance to be the first team to repeat since the Yankees at the turn of the century. The club has caught fire this Summer and shrunk the Mets’ division lead from 10.5 games to just 2.5, and much of that success has come after calling Michael Harris II up and moving Spencer Strider to the rotation.

Harris has solidified the outfield, and Strider continues to look like one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball every time out. Each player is an integral part of this team winning so many games, and they’re finally being recognized. Harris is now the betting favorite to take home the NL Rookie of the Year Award, and Strider follows closely behind.

The youngest player in baseball, Harris, is a true five-tool phenom. He’s probably the most athletic member of the Braves, which is saying something with a roster that boasts Ronald Acuna Jr. and Dansby Swanson. Since being called up from Double-A, the Braves have a 27-10 record as Harris has slashed .293/.329/.489 with an .817 OPS, five home runs, nine extra-base hits, 19 RBIs, and six stolen bags. If he continues at this pace, the only rookie that might be able to rival him for the ROY Award is Spencer Strider.

To begin the year, Strider dominated out of the bullpen. He boasted a 2.22 ERA, and his 1.45 FIP suggests he was a bit unlucky. Over that same stretch, Strider only allowed batters to hit for a .167 average, striking out 37 of them. Then, he switched roles, but it’s just been more of the same from the hard-throwing righty.

In seven starts, Strider has a smooth 3.31 ERA over 35.1 innings, and his 2.40 FIP once again suggests his ERA should be even lower. On the year, the Braves’ Huckleberry has a 2.87 ERA with a 13.58 K/9 in 59.2 innings, including a 4-2 record as a starter. It was only a matter of time before he passed MacKenzie Gore, who has begun to slide a bit recently, in the odds. Strider also boasts an impressive 1.9 fWAR, which is even higher than Michael Harris’ 1.5.

Both players are deserving of the honor, and now it seems they’ll battle it out down the stretch.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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