Betting Odds for National League and American League MVP
Shohei Ohtani’s 2021 MVP season ended up being a major loss for sportsbooks across the country.
William Hill lost more than $1 million with Ohtani winning the award last season, with William Hill's assistant director of trading, Adam Pullen, calling it the “biggest loss on that type of market ever.”
Ohtani opened as high as 60/1 in February of 2021. Sharp bettors pounced on the number, lowering it to 30/1 where five-figure bets continued to come in.
Ohtani then went on to slash .257/.372/.592 with 46 home runs, 100 RBI and 26 stolen bases. Add in his 3.18 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 156 strikeouts as a pitcher and he ended up being a runaway winner of the award.
With the MLB season at the All-Star break, Ohtani appears set to repeat as MVP. Here’s a betting breakdown of the American League and National League MVP race.
All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels, -115
It should come as no surprise Ohtani is once again leading the American League MVP race given his numbers. Offensively, he’s on a similar track as last season, slashing .258/.348/.486 with 19 home runs and 56 RBI.
He’s also having the best pitching season of his career. He has the lowest ERA (2.38), WHIP (0.989), strikeouts per nine innings (12.7) and walk rate of his career (2.3 walks per nine innings).
Really, either set of stats would be enough for him to be a favorite in the MVP race. But considering what he brings as both a pitcher and a batter, it’s hard to pick against him right now.
He’s also continuing to make history. In a 5-2 win over the Miami Marlins on July 6, Ohtani allowed just two hits and an unearned run over seven innings while driving in a two-run single in addition to a stolen base.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Ohtani became the first player since the RBI became an official stat in 1920 to record 10 strikeouts as a pitcher, two RBI as a batter and steal a base.
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, +150
DraftKings believes it’s a two-player race for the MVP award with Judge the only other person to have odds lower than 10/1. Judge has been one of the most dynamic hitters this season, with a league-leading 33 home runs and the third-most RBI (70).
The advanced metrics like Judge’s season, too, with him sporting the third-highest WAR among offensive players (4.5).
Rest of the favorites
Yordan Alvarez, Houston, +1000
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels, +1500
Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals, +100
According to WAR, Paul Goldschmidt has been the best offensive player this season, leading the league at 4.7 wins above replacement.
His .330 batting average is the second-best mark in baseball, and he has the best on-base percentage at .414 and the fifth-best slugging percentage at .590.
Goldschmidt has never finished higher than sixth in MVP voting, which came last season as a member of the Cardinals.
But if his numbers continue to stay where they are, it will be the first time he’s led the league in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage all in the same season.
Manny Machado, San Diego, +550
As Fernando Tatis Jr. remains sidelined while recovering from a broken left wrist, Machado has led the Padres while having one of his best seasons at the plate.
He’s slashing .303/.377/.513, with his on-base percentage a career-high. If he finishes with a batting average higher than.300, it will be the third time he has hit above that mark, while his slugging percentage would finish as the fourth-best of his career.
In addition to his 15 home runs, Machado has driven in 51 runs after recording 106 RBI last season. If he continues on this pace, it will be the first time in his career he has hit over 100 RBI in back-to-back seasons. The only other time he reached this mark was in 2018 when he had 107.
Rest of the Favorites
Pete Alonso, New York Mets, +700
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers, +1100
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