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If you’re going to come into this article and look for confirmation that you should bet on Shohei Ohtani to be the AL MVP this year, you’re not going to find it. Ohtani is a great player, is a unique player, and deservedly the favorite for MVP. In fact, he probably deserves to be the MVP favorite for the next five to ten years provided he remains healthy. With all that said, +190 for him is not a good investment in my opinion. If someone gets to a hot start, he will probably fall back in odds. There is no value in Ohtani for MVP and you’re tying your money up for roughly seven months and not even getting 2:1 value on something that isn’t a 50% probability.
So who should you bet? I’ll share a few of my personal favorites with you. Aaron Judge would likely need to replicate last season, and I don’t think that is likely. Even if he does replicate it, he might need to exceed it for people to consider voting for him again. At +500 I think this is actually fair odds for him, so I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to take a ticket on him. I just think it is very unlikely that he wins back-to-back MVPs. Mike Trout is always in contention when he plays, but you have to be a bit weary about health and how many games he will actually play this year. Trout is one of the best players in baseball, there is no denying it. But, in order to win the award, you need to be on the field. Something he hasn’t been able to consistently do lately. Plus, his teammate is likely to cut into voters.
I do like Wander Franco to win the award this season at +2500. Franco doesn’t have the most eye-popping statistics, and he only played in 83 games last season for the Rays. However, I could see him getting 150+ hits this year and maybe around 20 home runs. I also think the Rays could contend for the division which gives the team a bit more attention. Franco plays shortstop which is one of those positions that people put a lot of love into. I’m not super confident in this, but he is on my short list of people that I want to get a share of – baseball is very hard to predict MVP because it is such a long season and it is more of a team sport. In basketball, it will be a superstar of a playoff team. In football, it will be a quarterback (most of the time). In baseball, it can be really anyone.
As much as I don’t want this to have a realistic chance because it probably hurts my divisional bet – Jose Ramirez is easily the best player on the Guardians. He is a very good hitter that seemingly drives the Guardians offense. He’s a true hitter that is probably the only person to fear in the lineup. At +1500 he has a lot of good value. If the Guardians once again take the division, it is worth it to take him as MVP. The drawback with him, same with Franco, is the market they play in.
Some other considerations include Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez, both Astros that are going to have bigger roles with Altuve currently sidelined. The sad reality of the AL MVP race to me is that there are more people I’d stay away from than put money on.
I will grab a ticket on Franco and Ramirez, but I won’t be putting much of value.
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