Padres’ Jayce Tingler favored to win NL Manager of the Year honors

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

March 29th, 2021

Following a busy offseason for his organization, San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler is favored by oddsmakers to win the 2021 NL Manager of the Year Award at +350. This will be just his second season as an MLB skipper – he guided the Friars to a 37-23 record and a trip to the NLDS in 2020.

Let’s dive into the cases for and against Tingler before deciding what the best available bet is in this market.

2021 NL Manager of the Year favorites

Jayce Tingler
Dave Roberts
Brian Snitker
Mike Shildt
Luis Rojas

The case for Tingler

The Padres overachieved in Tingler’s debut season, and they’re expected by many to contend for the World Series in 2021 following their acquisitions of Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. But first, they have to get past the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers in their own division.

If the Friars surpass Dave Roberts’ squad in the NL West this season, it’s almost a certainty that Tingler will be voted NL Manager of the Year.

Another element working in Tingler’s favor is that five of his rivals in the NL Manager of the Year race – Roberts, Torey Lovullo, Brian Snitker, Mike Shildt, and Don Mattingly – have already won the award. It sounds counterintuitive at first blush, but it makes sense when one looks back at the voting history. No manager has won back-to-back awards since Bobby Cox did so with the Atlanta Braves in 2004 and 2005. That effectively rules out Mattingly.

In recent years – especially in the NL – the “new kid on the block” has reigned supreme. Mattingly’s Manager of the Year win in 2020 broke a streak dating back to 2006 in which the award recipient was with his club for three seasons or less. Mattingly was in his fourth year with the organization.

The case against Tingler

A lot of times, the Manager of the Year winner hails from a team that becomes a “surprise” playoff contender during the season, or at least improves drastically from the year before. But San Diego isn’t sneaking up on anybody in 2021, and there’s not an incredible amount of room for improvement over last year.

The Padres have been saddled with some lofty expectations, and if they don’t live up to them, Tingler’s chances at Manager of the Year honors could dissipate.

Dark horse candidate: Luis Rojas (+650)

The frontrunner for “most improved team” in 2021 is the New York Mets, who turned over nearly half their roster after going 26-34 last season. Luis Rojas, the organization’s “Plan B” following the dismissal of Carlos Beltran, is back at the helm.

If the Mets go from “worst to first” in the NL East, beating a viable World Series candidate in the Braves for top honors, Rojas would deserve plenty of votes for NL Manager of the Year. Taking him at nearly twice the price of Tingler is very tempting.