MLB MVP Picks: How to bet on the award market as ASG approaches
MLB MVP Picks: How to bet on the award market as ASG approaches

With the MLB All-Star break approaching, we are taking a break from daily MLB games, making it a good time to get into the futures markets.

Today we’re focusing specifically on the MVP market and going into detail about how to bet on the award. If you’re looking for NL and AL Cy Young predictions, you can check out those articles here and here.

National League MVP odds

FanDuel DraftKings BetMGM
Shohei Ohtani -330 -280 -350
Bryce Harper +900 +750 +900
Freddie Freeman +1200 +1100 +1000

It’s no surprise that Shohei Ohtani, the Dodgers’ designated hitter, is the clear favorite to win NL MVP. This makes perfect sense, as Ohtani leads the NL in home runs, slugging, OPS, ISO rate, wOBA, wRC+ and WAR. Even when you dig deeper – and deeper – into MLB’s advanced analytics, Ohtani is among the best, if not the most The the best for a batsman in almost every important category.

He leads the NL in barrel rate, hard hit rate, total hard hits and average exit velocity. Ohtani is having an incredible season, and while the Dodgers don’t have the best record in the National League, they lead their division by a wide margin (7.5 games) and are four wins shy of the Phillies for the best record in the NL. They have the team success needed for Ohtani to be MVP, and it’s not even a question of who was the best player in the NL.

If there was ever a chance that anyone could challenge Ohtani, it would have been Bryce Harper, but a recent hamstring injury landed Harper on the injured list, essentially killing that possibility. With the Phillies having the best record in the entire league, they’ll get quite a bit of attention during awards season, but it’s hard to imagine anyone knocking Ohtani off his perch, barring an injury to Ohtani himself.

American League MVP odds

FanDuel DraftKings BetMGM
Aaron Richter -300 -300 -300
Gunnar Henderson +350 +280 +325
Juan Soto +1500 +1600 +1300

Unfortunately, the race for MVP in the AL is very similar to the race for the NL in that there is a clear favorite and then a number of underdogs. In the AL, Aaron Judge is the clear favorite at -300 odds, while Gunnar Henderson is the second favorite with odds ranging from +280 to +350. At least this race is pretty close compared to the NL, but there is still a very clear frontrunner, and for good reason.

Judge leads the MLB in the following categories: home runs, slugging, OPS, ISO rate, wOBA, and wRC+. He is similar to Ohtani in that he leads in almost every major batting category, including the advanced stats. Judge also leads the MLB in barrel rate, hard hit rate, and average exit velocity. At least in the AL, there is a chance someone else could be MVP, and in this case it would be Gunnar Henderson.

The Yankees started the season red hot, but have been ice cold lately. They no longer lead the AL East, and the Orioles now have a 3-game lead over the Yankees. The Yankees also have the worst record in baseball at 5-15 over their last 20 games. Henderson is close behind Judge in many of the metrics mentioned above.

In the AL, Henderson has hit the second-most home runs with 27 (Judge has 32), with the second-best slugging, second-best OPS, second-best ISO rate, third-best wOBA, and third-best wRC+. One metric that Henderson ranks higher than Judge is WAR (Wins Above Replacement), where Henderson has a WAR of 6.2, leading the entire league. WAR takes fielding into account in addition to batting stats, and Henderson is not only a top hitter in the AL, but also the fifth-best fielder in the AL, according to FanGraphs.

So if the season ends with Henderson having the best WAR in MLB and the Orioles having a better record than the Yankees, there’s a chance voters end up leaning toward Henderson. Admittedly, that’s an unlikely scenario since Judge was so good, but at +350 odds, it’s worth a chance.

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