American League (AL) MVP 2021 Odds and Predictions

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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, updated on September 30, 2021.

Player Odds
Shohei Ohtani -5000
Vladimir Guerrero Jr +1200
G. Cole +25000

Odds from DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.

Best Bets and Long Shots to Watch

While the NL has seen the award won by 10 different players over the last 10 years, it’s been a very different story in the AL. Mike Trout has won three of the past seven awards including the last time there was a full 162 game season.

So who will it be this year? Let’s take a look at the top five players in terms of MVP odds, discuss if there’s value in betting them, and pick a long shot.

Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

No, that’s not a typo — Mike Trout really is only a 2:1 underdog to the entire rest of the American League. But quite frankly this shouldn’t be surprising. Trout has played nine full seasons in the major leagues. He’s finished in the top five in MVP voting each year, with four second-place finishes and three titles to his credit.

Trout is like the LeBron James of the MVP award. You could give it to him every year and it wouldn’t be “wrong” but when someone plays up to their level, it feels like it’s worthy of the award. But beyond that, there’s a very real case Trout wins it once more.

You can pencil him in for 35 home runs, 100 RBI, and a 1.000 OPS every season, and this year the Angels are expected to finish above .500 for the first time in five seasons. If they do that, it’s because Trout had a great season.

So I have two pieces of advice with this bet. One, it’s a good bet. He’s essentially a 50/50 proposition every year. But the other side of that is, there’s almost no value in betting this now and having the book hold onto your money for 6 full months to only double it at best. I could see going either way, but for what it’s worth, I think Trout finishes top three in the MVP race this year.

Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros

He’s been nursing a hamstring injury early in the spring, but that’s not expected to cause any true problems this season for Houston’s star.

Bregman had an up-and-down shortened 2020 season, but prior to that had finished top-five in MVP voting in each of the last two seasons including a second-place finish in 2019. The two-time all-star third baseman is good for 30-40 home runs and more than 100 RBI as well as a .400 OBP in a proper season.

The Astros are the favorite to win the American League West and if they do, it will because of their offense. Alex Bregman should have a big season, but I don’t think I would choose him to be the MVP.

Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees

This might be the best bet on the board right now. The Yankees are due for a big season and Aaron Judge — when healthy — is the best player on the team. Of course, that’s been the biggest factor holding him back from being one of the true top three forces in the league — he’s often injured.

Judge played less than half the season last year and prior to that has just one year in his career with more than 112 games played. The one time he stayed healthy for a full season, he belted 52 home runs had 114 RBI, and finished second in the league in MVP voting while winning Rookie of the Year.

Nobody is a better bet to hit 50 home runs this year than Judge and if he can stay healthy all season long — which is a valid concern — he will have a monster season. This is a good bet.

Jose Ramirez, 3B, Cleveland Indians

If you’re a fan of an AL Central team like me that’s not the Cleveland Indians, you know exactly how much damage Jose Ramirez has done the last five years in the prime of his career.

Somehow it feels like Ramirez doesn’t get the credit he deserves when he’s been unquestionably one of the top 10 players in the game for the last four years. He has finished top three in MVP voting in three of the last four years and just finished as the runner-up last season. He had a very good case to be the winner.

Now, with Francisco Lindor gone, there’s absolutely no question about whose team this is. If the Indians are going to do what they seemingly often do and surprise people, it’s because Ramirez is hitting .320, getting on base at a .400 clip and leading them to victory. Again, at +2400, these are good odds.

Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletics

Matt Chapman is tied with Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon for the fifth shortest odds but we’re looking at Chapman because we like his chances better. Chapman is the best defensive third baseman in the game and has established himself as an elite hitter as well.

The Athletics aren’t supposed to compete for anything significant this year, which could be one of two factors that hold Chapman back. The other is his market. He plays on the West Coast in a small market — and while that shouldn’t matter at all — so much of the MVP award is being a household name. While Chapman should be a household name, he just isn’t yet, so I don’t think it’s worth it to try Chapman this year.

Longshot: Shohei Ohtani, P/DH, Los Angeles Angels

He throws 100 miles per hour and can hit 450-foot bombs — in terms of raw skills alone, Shohei Ohtani is an absolute freak.

Of course, it’s just spring training, but look at his numbers early on — he’s hit four home runs while batting .579/.571/1.211 with an absurd 1.782 OPS.

That’s not to mention that he is expected to rejoin the rotation after undergoing Tommy John’s surgery at the end of 2018 and not having pitched in more than two years. There was a point in time a few years ago where Ohtani was one of the betting favorites to win MVP. His skills haven’t gone anywhere, but injuries have raised questions. So at +550, this is fantastic value.

What is the AL MVP Award?

In the National and American League each season, the best player is awarded the league’s Most Valuable Player Award. The MVP trophy is the top achievement that any player can obtain in Major League Baseball.

The award is important because it is a mark of excellence that holds substantial weight when a player’s legacy is judged by voters for the Hall of Fame at the conclusion of a player’s career.

Check out our Prop Drop video for an interesting talk around the AL MVP Award.

How is the American League MVP Award Decided?

The AL MVP Award is chosen by a group of baseball writers. Each team in the American League has two writers that are given votes for the league’s MVP award.

The voters are usually writers that follow the team on a daily basis and see most of the other players in the league. These voters use their ballots to designate a place for the players they feel are worthy of the award.

Once their ballot is completed, voters have chosen a first through tenth place player for the MVP in the league they are voting for, whether it be for the American or National League.

The votes are then calculated by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, who employs a weighted formula to count the final vote totals and designate an eventual winner of the honor.

There has been just one tie for an MVP award since the leagues split their voting in 1931. That irregularity happened in 1979 when Keith Hernandez and Willie Stargell tied in votes and both won the NL MVP.

Who Has Won the Most MVP Awards?

Barry Bonds leads the MLB in total wins with seven MVP trophies. In the early 1990s, Bonds won three MVP awards in four years. Bonds then won four straight NL MVPs from 2001-2004 with the San Francisco Giants.

Next to Bonds, Yankees’ legends Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Joe Dimaggio won three AL MVP awards.

Other American League superstars to win three MVP awards include controversial shortstop Alex Rodriguez. Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams won two MVP awards during his prolific career.

How Do I Find AL MVP Bets Online?

For sportsbooks like DraftKings, bettors looking for MLB futures bets, like AL MVP, must first click on the A-Z SPORTS tab. Under the heading of BASEBALL, you’ll see MLB and you should click that link.

Next, click PLAYER FUTURES, and underneath that banner, you’ll see four choices to click, including AL MVP.

For more on MLB betting check out our quick guide on “How to bet on MLB“.

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