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Odds to win AL and NL MVP

It’s time for bettors to dust off the catcher’s mitt and grease up your bats with pine tar as Major League Baseball is finally upon us. That means a plethora of prop bets are available, including odds to win MVP, with former winners topping the oddsboard to take home the hardware.

Online sportsbook Bovada has Mike Trout as the betting favorite in the American League at +130 and Bryce Harper at +325 in the National League. Trout won the award in 2014 and 2016 and has finished near the top of voting in every year he’s been in the league since his debut in 2012. Harper, on the other hand, collected his MVP in 2015 but injuries have limited his production in subsequent seasons.

While those two are the betting favorites, let’s take a look at some players from each league who would offer significantly more value than the two wunderkinds of Major League Baseball.

American League’s Most Valuable Player

Giancarlo Stanton +1400

Based on the statistics and potential, Stanton should be higher on the list. The power hitter was a wrecking ball at the plate last season, smashing 59 home runs and 132 RBIs, and was fourth in WAR in all of baseball.

When you consider that he accomplished this feat at arguably the worst ballpark for hitters in Miami, 50 home runs seems like a feat Stanton could accomplish by August. Having another bash brother like Aaron Judge as his teammate shouldn’t deter voters when it’s time to cast votes for MVP because if the Yankees win 100 games and Stanton has similar stats to 2017, he’ll be a lock for MVP and the first player since Frank Robinson to win the award in both leagues.

Stanton had 59 home runs and 132 RBIs and was fourth in WAR in all of baseball last season.

Manny Machado +2000

This is strictly a talent-based pick as Machado had what was considered a down year in 2017 with ONLY 33 home runs and 95 RBIs. The Orioles slugger is in a contract year and is expected to command a long-term deal that could equal or surpass Stanton’s record-setting contract in 2014.

The main thing that may hold the 25-year-old back is the performance of the rest of his team. MVP voters typically like to give the award to players who have insane statistical seasons (Mike Trout) or above-average stats on a successful team (Dustin Pedroia in 2008). So, unless Machado breaks 40 home runs and/or the Orioles are in the hunt for the playoffs, the Baltimore Bomber could be an afterthought in voter consideration. 

Byron Buxton +10000

The dark-horse pick of the bunch, Buxton has been touted for years as the next man up in a new wave of talent in the majors. Buxton finished 2017 on a high note after some nagging injuries through the summer and ended up winning his first Gold Glove Award in center field.

While he may never become a 35 home-run hitter, his ability to steal bases and play immaculate defense could give voters cause to include Buxton in their MVP debate. Durability will be key and if he plays more than 150 games with the Twins making noise in the AL Central Division, Buxton could be a steal at this value.

AL MVP Winner Odds

Odds as of March 28 at Bovada

  • Mike Trout +130
  • Jose Altuve +650
  • Carlos Correa +1000
  • Francisco Lindor +1200
  • Giancarlo Stanton +1400
  • Aaron Judge +1800
  • Josh Donaldson +2000
  • Mookie Betts +2000
  • Manny Machado +2000
  • J.D. Martinez +2500
  • Jose Ramirez +3000
  • Gary Sanchez +3000
  • George Springer +4000
  • Chris Sale +5000
  • Edwin Encarnacion +6000
  • Nelson Cruz +6000
  • Brian Dozier +6000
  • Robinson Cano +6000
  • Jonathan Schoop +6000
  • Miguel Sano +6000
  • Corey Kluber +6600
  • Andrew Benintendi +7500
  • Miguel Cabrera +8000
  • Justin Upton +8000
  • Jose Abreu +9000
  • Matt Olson +9000
  • Khris Davis +9000
  • Adam Jones +10000
  • Kyle Seager +10000
  • Shohei Ohtani +10000
  • Alex Bregman +10000
  • Xander Bogaerts +10000
  • Byron Buxton +10000
  • Adrian Beltre +12500
  • Andrelton Simmons +25000

National League’s Most Valuable Player

Nolan Arenado +700

The Rocky Mountain slugger has been easily the Rockies’ best player for the last three seasons, smashing 120 home runs and 393 RBIs in that span. It’s easy to think that playing 81 games in the thin air of Coors Field each year has inflated Arenado’s stats but he has averaged 20 or more home runs on the road during those seasons.

If the Rockies can continue to improve and usurp the Dodgers in the NL West, Arenado could be the biggest beneficiary as the 26-year-old third baseman is entering his prime.

Nolan Arenado has 120 home runs and 393 RBIs in the last three seasons.

Yoenis Cespedes +3300

Injuries are the key factor when evaluating Cespedes’ MVP chances and it may make bettors reluctant to invest in the 32-year-old as he’s missed 80 games in the last two seasons with the Mets. When he is healthy, though, he is one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball, and the Mets are primed for a bounce-back season with their stable of blue-chip pitchers and the signings of Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce.

Cespedes has averaged 25 home runs per season since entering the majors in 2012 and is the type of hitter who can get hot and hit home runs in bunches, as evidenced by his output in 2015 when he slugged 17 home runs in August and September while leading the Mets to the World Series. There are obvious risks with Cespedes but at that value, he can’t be overlooked.
 

NL MVP Winner Odds

Odds as of March 28 at Bovada

  • Bryce Harper +325
  • Kris Bryant +450
  • Nolan Arenado +700
  • Paul Goldschmidt +900
  • Joey Votto +1000
  • Trea Turner +1100
  • Cody Bellinger +1200
  • Anthony Rizzo +1800
  • Freddie Freeman +1800
  • Corey Seager +2000
  • Charlie Blackmon +2800
  • Clayton Kershaw +3300
  • Yoenis Cespedes +3300
  • Marcell Ozuna +3300
  • Max Scherzer +3500
  • Anthony Rendon +4000
  • Wilson Contreras +5000
  • Eric Hosmer +5500
  • Buster Posey +5500
  • Rhys Hoskins +6000
  • Kyle Schwarber +7000
  • Daniel Murphy +8000
  • Tommy Pham +8000
  • Jake Lamb +10000
  • Evan Longoria +10000
  • Jay Bruce +10000
  • Ryan Zimmerman +10000
  • Wil Myers +10000
  • Yasiel Puig +10000
  • Lorenzo Cain +10000
  • Ronald Acuna Jr .+25000

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