MLB MVP Race: Best Picks Outside Favorite Shohei Ohtani

It’s not all about reigning American League MVP, and current betting favorite, Shohei Ohtani. Check out why a number of other contenders warrant serious consideration

MLB MVP Odds: Recommended bet

MLB Awards odds: Analyzing the race for American League MVP

With the MLB all-star break upon us, now is the perfect time to start thinking seriously about postseason awards and look at the MLB MVP odds. The American League MVP race already has a handful of clear contenders but no obvious favorite. With more than 60 games left in the season, OddsIndex looks closely at the top candidates for American League MVP honors. 

As of September 2022, the MLB MVP race seems to be a two-horse race between Judge and Ohtani. Ohtani is making a late charge for the title with a sublime last few games. Our stat packs below look at some of the key figures between the two contenders: 

Aaron Judge vs Shohei Ohtani (MLB MVP Race 22/23)

Player

OBP

SLG

OPS

RBI

Judge

41.3%

68.8%

1.102

123

Ohtani

35.5%

53.4%

0.889

88

Stats taken from https://www.baseball-reference.com/ [09/15/22>

Shohei Ohtani MVP Odds

Shohei Ohtani, Angels, +1500 at FanDuel

The reigning MVP in the American League is the betting favorite at the All-Star break. Much like last season, Ohtani has a huge advantage over the rest of the field because he’s making an impact as both a hitter and a starting pitcher. Frankly, that will give him a leg up every year for the rest of his career. On top of that, Ohtani has been even better on the mound this year than he was in 2021. He’s already matched his win total from last season while posting a 2.38 ERA at the break compared to his 3.18 ERA at the end of last season. 

Of course, Ohtani isn’t having quite the same year at the plate, as his OPS has dropped from .964 last year to .834 at the break this year. With 19 home runs, there’s no way he’ll be able to match the 46 homers he hit in 2021. The other thing against Ohtani is that the Angels are completely irrelevant in the playoffs. However, unless Ohtani completely falls apart as either a pitcher or hitter down the stretch, it’ll be hard to argue against him being the most impactful player in the majors once again.

Despite being our first pick in the MVP race, his pitching record is very sporadic. We've suggested that bettors avoid Shohei Ohtani in our AL Cy Young Odds article, Shane McClanahan whose ERA is currently at 1.71 whilst Ohtani is recording an ERA of 2.8 this season. 

Aaron Judge MVP Odds

Aaron Judge, Yankees, -2500 with Caesars

The calculus with Judge is rather simple; he’s the best player on the best team. The Yankees have dominated the American League in every sense of the word and Judge has been the anchor in the middle of the lineup. Obviously, the power numbers are there with 33 home runs and a .618 slugging percentage but he’s also batting .284 and even has eight stolen bases. He’s done everything he can do to get the Yankees into the position they’re in right now, which is why he best fits the definition of a valuable player. During the games against the Minnesota Twins in July, Judge was a key player starting the scoring and damaging the Twins' odds to win the World Series, whilst eclipsed by Buxton during the game, he played an instrumental role in helping him in the MLB MVP race. 

Yordan Alvarez MVP Odds

Yordan Alvarez, Astros, +50000 with PointsBet

In a pure numbers game, it’s tough to beat what Alvarez has done to this point in the season. At the All-Star break, he ranks third in the American League in on-base percentage, first in slugging, and first in OPS. He’s also batting .306 and is second in the AL in home runs and fifth in RBIs. The only caveat with Alvarez is he went on the IL earlier this month. While he’s expected to return soon after the All-Star break, if the hand injury lingers, it could impact Alvarez’s power and production late in the season.

Mike Trout MVP Odds

Mike Trout, Angels, +50000 with FanDuel

It’s hard to imagine any MVP race without Trout being involved. Like Ohtani, his case is hurt a little because his team is out of contention. But the Angels also finished under .500 in 2016 and 2019 when Trout won MVP honors. By his standards, Trout is having a somewhat down season, as his OPS is a modest .967 at the break. But he still ranks top-5 in the AL in homers, slugging, and OPS. Despite battling an injury right before the All-Star break, if Trout has a strong second half, he’ll have the numbers to be a serious MVP candidate.

Rafael Devers MVP Odds

Rafael Devers, Red Sox, +50000 with FanDuel

Devers is on the periphery of the MVP race but is very much a threat. With a .324 average, he’s second in the race for the batting title and a close third behind Alvarez and Judge in OPS. Of course, the key to his candidacy could be how well the Red Sox do during the second half of the season. The 25-year-old Devers doesn’t have the name recognition of Ohtani or Trout and doesn’t have the pure power of Judge or Alvarez. He needs Boston to have a big second half and claim a playoff spot in order to have a legitimate chance at winning MVP.

Conclusion 

The race for MLB MVP is on with a few months of the season remaining. Interested in more Baseball content? Be sure to read our guide: How To Bet on Baseball and visit our odds comparison tool to compare the latest odds.

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