Bryce Harper Max Scherzer
Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals congratulates Max Scherzer #31 after scoring on a wild pitch during the third inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 27, 2018 in Miami, Florida. Eric Espada/Getty Images

Few players will face higher expectations in the 2019 MLB season than Bryce Harper. Shortly after agreeing to a record-setting $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, the outfielder has been given the best odds to be named the NL MVP.

Harper (4/1) joins Mike Trout (5/2), who is the favorite to win the AL MVP award. Max Scherzer (9/4) has the best NL Cy Young odds, via BetOnline. Corey Kluber (5/2) is the AL Cy Young favorite.

Trout clearly deserves to be atop the list of AL candidates after finishing in the top-two for MVP voting for the sixth time in seven seasons. Scherzer finished behind only Jacob deGrom in the 2018 NL Cy Young race after winning the award in both 2016 and 2017. Kluber finished third in the 2018 AL Cy Young voting after winning the award in both 2014 and 2017.

Harper became the youngest unanimous MVP in MLB history when he received every vote in 2015 as a 23-year-old. The star has since signed the richest deal the sport has ever seen, but he hasn’t been an MVP candidate.

Part of the reason Harper’s free agency lasted four months is that his on-field production hasn’t matched his star power. He failed to post a WAR north of 1.5 or a .900 OPS in 2016 or 2018. Harper might have been in the MVP race in 2017 if an injury didn’t force him to miss more than 50 games.

Harper could put up big numbers now that he’ll be playing half his games at the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. He finished last season strong, hitting .300/.434/538 in 223 at-bats after the All-Star break.

Nolan Arenado (6/1) is considered to be the biggest threat to Harper, followed by Paul Goldschmidt (9/1). Christian Yelich (16/1) is somewhat of a long shot to win the award for a second straight year.

Mookie Betts (6/1) has the second-best AL MVP odds after finishing in first place in 2018. The same goes for deGrom (7/2) in the NL Cy Young race.

Blake Snell (16/1) is tied for the fourth-best odds in his quest to repeat as the AL Cy Young winner. Chris Sale (3/1) is second and Luis Severino (7/1) is third.