National & American League Rookie of the Year Predictions: With Opening Day now behind us the race for yearly MLB awards has begun and with it a new class of rookies fighting to earn their spots on major league rosters. This year The pool of candidates for the two Rookie of the Year awards will be more diluted than usual.

The MLB voted to prorate the rookie eligibility rules in order to include players from last season. The players with the best odds to win the awards include some you grew familiar with a year ago.

This is an important development because the second-year players despite a shortened season still have experience at the major league level.

Having experience in the majors and being a part of a major league team’s strength program makes all the difference for the second-year players that will be counted for this year’s award.

Now let’s break down the players from the National and American Leagues with the best odds and why those players can each win rookie of the year.

2021 American League Rookie of the Year Race

Player (Position, Team) Odds at DraftKings
Randy Arozarena (OF, Rays) +350
Jarred Kelenic (OF, Mariners) +650
Wander Franco (SS, Rays) +1000
Ryan Mountcastle (OF/1B, Orioles) +1200
Adley Rutschman (C/1B, Orioles) +1200
Andrew Vaughn (1B, White Sox) +1250
Nate Pearson (P, Blue Jays) +1500
Bobby Dalbec (OF, Red Sox) +1500
Casey Mize (P, Tigers) +1500
Garrett Crochet (P, White Sox) +2000

Safest Pick: Randy Arozarena (Outfielder, Rays) +350

Arozarena exploded onto the MLB scene after he shattered records in last year’s playoff run for the Rays. In 20 playoff games, Arozarena hit .377/.442/.821 with a record 10 home runs.

He is the clear favorite in an American League race that features fewer candidates than the more crowded National League. The downside of already having experience in the MLB means that other teams have film on him and can key off his weaknesses.

Long Shot Pick: Andrew Vaughn (1B, White Sox) +1250

At the beginning of Spring training, Vaughn was at +1800 in odds to win Rookie of the Year. Predicting who will win the rookie of the year is a mix of potential and opportunity.

Since Spring training Vaughn’s odds have jumped up to +1250 with the news of starting outfielder Eloy Jiménez’s brutal injury that will cause him to miss most of the season.

While the idea of Vaughn, whose natural position is 1st base, playing outfield is suspect, the opportunity for playing time on offense is huge. Vaughn posses uncanny talent to hit the ball can win him the award regardless of what he does in left field

2021 National League Rookie of the Year Race

Player (Position, Team) Odds According to DraftKings
Ke’Bryan Hayes (3B, Pirates) +350
Sixto Sanchez (P, Marlins) +500
Dylan Carlson (OF, Cardinals) +700
Ian Anderson (P, Braves) +750
Nick Lodolo (P, Reds) +1200
Cristian Pache (OF, Braves) +1200
Joey Bart (C, Giants) +1500
Oneil Cruz (SS/3B, Pirates) +1500
Spencer Howard (P, Phillies) +1800

Safest Pick: Ke’Bryan Hayes (3B, Pitcher. Pirates) +350

Three of the last 10 Rookie of the Year winners have been pitchers. One was Shohei Ohtani and the second was Devin Williams who has become one of the best relievers in baseball.

As stated before potential and opportunity are the combos necessary for a player to have a shot at winning Rookie of the Year.

Hayes is one of the MLB’s few super athletes. In 24 games last season Hayes racked up 1.124 OPS.

He should be able to keep racking up numbers as he will play every day for a terrible Pirates team. Other pitchers in this race are good prospects too but none are the athlete and pitcher that Hayes is.

Longshot Pick: Joey Bart (C, Giants) +1500

For now, Buster Posey is locked in as the Giants catcher but he will be watching over his shoulder for Joey Bart. Bart is the Giants catcher of the future and it is only a matter of time before he takes the job from the incumbent Posey.

Bart will start the season in the minor leagues but he should still get some reps up in the majors by midseason. The NL West is controlled by the Dodgers and Padres, San Francisco is playing for third place and might as well prepare their young rookie for his future.