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Trout And Harper Are Early MVP Favorites

Odds have been released for the 2019 American League and National League MVP awards, and to nobody’s surprise, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are the respective favorites. Trout is a +150 favorite to win in the AL, while Harper is a little longer at +650 over in the NL. 

Trout is a two-time winner of the American League MVP award, winning in both 2014 and 2016. Harper was the National League’s 2015 MVP with his now-former team in Washington. If you’ve been living in the woods, Harper signed with Philadelphia on February 28. 

Let’s take a look at some of the other front-runners:

American League Favorites

Mookie Betts put his stamp on being one of the best players in baseball (some would argue that he is THE best) by winning the American League MVP award in 2018. Betts hit .346 with 32 home runs and 80 RBIs to take home the honors. He opens at No. 2 on the oddsboard with +550 odds to repeat. Miguel Cabrera (2012-13) and Frank Thomas (1993-94) are the only players to go back to back since Roger Maris in 1960 and 1961.

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is third on the list at +700 odds. Like Betts last year, Judge will likely face the argument that he’s not the only MVP-caliber player in an insanely strong Yankees lineup. Of course, it also remains to be seen if Judge can stay healthy for the full season. The 26-year-old from California played in just 112 games last year. Judge is a career .273 hitter who is hitting a home run every 12.5 at-bats. My biggest problem with Judge is that he strikes out every 2.5 at-bats. 

Alex Bregman is fourth on the list at +900. Bregman was as good as anyone in MLB from June through the end of the season last year. Like many of the Astros, he had a bit of a World Series hangover at the beginning of the season and had worked himself into MVP talks by September. 

National League Favorites

Newly rich Nolan Arenado is second on the oddsboard behind Bryce Harper in the National League at +850. The Colorado Rockies made a nice run last season and Arenado was a big part of it. It remains to be seen if the Rockies can stay hot this year and it also remains to be seen if Arenado is afflicted with the curse of the big contract. Arenado had a .935 OPS last season, up from his .886 career mark. The third baseman had 38 home runs and 110 RBIs to lead his team. 

Paul Goldschmidt, who was dominant for a period of time for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season, has moved to St. Louis to play for the Cardinals. The ninth-year big leaguer had 33 home runs and 83 RBIs last season but really fell off in late August and through September when his team was still in a race. Expectations will be higher now than ever, and if he has the same reaction to pressure as he did last season, the MVP is a long shot. 

At +1800, Manny Machado is among the MVP candidates in the NL after signing with the San Diego Padres, staying in California after being traded to the Dodgers last summer. Machado drew the ire of fans and baseball commentators with his laissez-faire attitude down the stretch and into the playoffs with the Dodgers. Comparing him to a guy who comes to play every day like Kris Bryant,  at +900, I’d take the latter every single time. 

My Best Bet for AL MVP

Mookie Betts +600

Every single year the media anoints Mike Trout as the best player in the AL, but the thing is, every year, the Angels are completely irrelevant. That’s why I think betting on a Mookie Betts MVP repeat is a prudent play for the AL MVP. 

Betts made a remarkable jump in his play and production last season, undoubtedly due in part to a strong lineup around him. The World Series champs will be just as dangerous this year as they were last year, and a five-tool player like Betts is my favorite choice at +600.

My Best Bet for NL MVP

Christian Yelich +1800

Over in the National League, the MVP race wasn’t decided until very late in the season in 2018. The winner, by the way, was Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers, who is all the way down at +1800 on the MVP odds. 

Yelich is an absolute stud and I’m also backing him as the MVP in the National League once again. Like Betts, there’s no BS when it comes to Yelich’s game. He goes out and he gets the job done. The 27-year-old outfielder was off the radar while playing in Miami, and, frankly, was flying under the radar in Milwaukee until the Brewers made a run toward the playoffs. 

Nobody will be underestimating Yelich this season, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t duplicate or improve on the 36 home runs and 110 RBIs he produced last season.

My American League Long Shot

Alex Bregman +900

I don’t know if he’s a long shot, but I think Alex Bregman at +900 is a good bet for MVP. This guy is the real deal and has a lot of supporters around the league. I also like the +3000 odds on his teammate Jose Altuve. 

The Venezuelan Altuve was hobbled by a knee injury last season and missed significant playing time. Even when he did play, he was kept off the infield and was the DH a lot of the time. Altuve had offseason knee surgery and is reported as ready to go. The 2017 winner is definitely worth a look at that price. 

My National League Long Shot

Ronald Acuna Jr. +1200 / Juan Soto +2500

In terms of National League long shots, Atlanta Braves sophomore Ronald Acuna Jr. at +1200 is an intriguing bet. He opened at +3300 but has already been bet down by early bettors. As a rookie last year, Acuna hit .293 with 26 home runs and 64 RBIs in 111 games. 

Acuna instantly became a fan favorite and a player that opposing pitchers had to worry about. With the improved roster in Atlanta this season, he will play more important games and get even more national spotlight. He’s a great option for a long-shot bet. 

For the exact same reasons as Acuna, combined with the departure of Bryce Harper from Washington, Juan Soto, who opened at +5000 and rocketed to +2500, is still phenomenal value on this stud of a baseball player. 

The Rest of the Best

Check out the full odds tables for both leagues below:

2019 American League MVP
PlayerOpening OddsCurrent Odds
Mike Trout+250+150
Mookie Betts+600+600
Aaron Judge+800+700
Alex Bregman+900+900
Jose Ramirez+1800+2000
Carlos Correa+2000+2000
Francisco Lindor+2000+2000
Giancarlo Stanton+2000+2500
Jose Altuve+2000+3000
J.D. Martinez+2000+3000
Matt Chapman+6600+4000
Khris Davis+4000+4000
George Springer+4000+4500
Andrew Benintendi+5000+4500
Nomar Mazara+4000+5000
Matt Olson+4000+5000
Gary Sanchez+4000+5000
Eddie RosarioOTB+5000
NIcholas CastellanosOTB+5000
Xander Bogaerts+5000+5500
Gleyber TorresOTB+6000
Joey GalloOTB+6000
Nelson CruzOTB+6000
Randal GrichukOTB+6600
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.+5000OTB
Chris Sale+6600OTB
Whit Merrifield+6600OTB
Justin Upton+6600OTB
Justin Smoak+6600OTB
Miguel Cabrera+10000OTB
2019 National League MVP
PlayerOpening OddsCurrent Odds
Bryce Harper+400+650
Nolan Arenado+600+850
Kris Bryant+1200+900
Paul Goldschmidt+900+1400
Manny Machado+1200+1800
Christian Yelich+1600+1800
Ronald Acuna Jr. +3300+1200
Rhys Hoskins+2500+2000
Eugenio Suarez+2200+2000
Freddie Freeman+2200+2000
Javier Baez+3300+2000
Trevor Story+3300+2500
Anthony Rendon+2800+2500
Anthony Rizzo+2500+2500
Cody Bellinger+2800+2500
Corey Seager+5000+2500
Juan Soto+5000+2500
Joey Votto+3300+3000
Justin Turner+3300+3000
Charlie Blackmon+4000+4000
Eric Hosmer+5000+4000
Robinson Cano+5000+4000
Yasiel PuigOTB+4000
Marcell OzunaOTB+4000
JT RealmutoOTB+4000
Josh Donaldson+5000+4000
Matt Carpenter+5000+5000
Max Scherzer+5000+5000
Starling MarteOTB+5000
Wil MyersOTB+5000
Max MuncyOTB+5000
Trea Turner+5000+6000
Ozzie AlbiesOTB+6000
Jacob deGromOTB+10000
Michael ConfortoOTBOTB
Lorenzo Cain+5000OTB
Andrew McCutchen+6600OTB

Odds as of March 27 at Bovada