Looking ahead to the 2023 Major League Baseball season, new MLB props odds have been released, including predictions for who will win the AL and NL MVP awards. Last week, pitchers and catchers reported for duty, signaling the start of the season.
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The MVP honors are awarded based on a vote by the Baseball Writers' Association of America members. Since it's a vote, the writers typically look for more than just statistical leaders for the award.
Although Aaron Judge dominated the field and won his first AL MVP award in 2022, setting an AL record with 62 home runs, he isn't the favorite to win this year. The frontrunner is a versatile player who excels at both offense and defense.
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Shohei Ohtani is the clear favorite after finishing second to Judge last season. If not for Judge's historic season, Ohtani would have won his second straight AL MVP last year. However, Ohtani's odds of +210 offer little value compared to the rest of the field.
Let's take a look at some contenders with much more valuable odds. Ohtani's teammate Mike Trout is someone to keep an eye on because despite injuries limiting him to 119 games last season he still hit 40 home runs. His odds of +550 are much more enticing than Ohtani's.
Although, the thought of Trout adding a 4th MVP to his career trophy case seems unlikely due to voter fatigue. It's difficult to see them rewarding Trout with a 4th MVP while the Angels struggle to make the playoffs.
Aaron Judge was rightfully awarded the 2022 MVP after a historical season. The only thing more difficult than winning MVP is repeating as MVP. The BBWA has been handing out the MVP award since 1931 and only 13 players have won two consecutive MVPs. It's been a decade since the last AL player won back-to-back MVPs, Miguel Cabrera in 2012-13.
Taking into account these historical stats seems to indicate Judge's shot at winning his second straight MVP is unlikely. I would have to recommend passing on his +650 odds to win the award.
Rodriguez started last season on a tear en route to winning AL Rookie of the Year and leading the Seattle Mariners to their first playoff appearance in 21 years. The promising young player hits for both average and power and is a menace on the base paths, stealing 25 bases last year.
If you believe in the Mariners chances of returning to the playoffs, Rodriguez will be the reason why. I would say there's a pretty solid value in betting Rodriguez for MVP at +700, the fourth-best odds.
This is where I'm seeing tremendous value on the board. Alvarez having the fifth-best odds seems like a mistake by bookmakers. He finished 3rd in MVP voting last year and has everything needed to win the award this year. His .306 batting average and 97 RBIs indicate how dangerous he is behind the plate.
The slugger is also disciplined at the plate, boasting an 18.9% strikeout rate and a 13.9% walk rate. Pair these impressive stats with a quality lineup around Alvarez and he has a great opportunity to win his first MVP.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has similar odds to Alvarez and should garner MVP consideration. At 24 years of age, he should be entering his prime, and despite his 2022 season being less impressive than his 2021 season a stronger supporting cast should help Guerrero, Jr. recapture the success he had in 2021.
We can't forget Jose Ramirez, who continues to be in the MVP conversation finishing in the top 10 in AL MVP voting in five of the past six years. If he's fully recovered from a thumb injury forcing a November surgery, there's no reason to believe Ramirez won't be in the MVP mix again.
It's too difficult for me to pass on the opportunity to take advantage of the value Yordan Alvarez has at +1200 odds. I don't understand why he has such favorable odds, the only concern would be him being a DH. I believe he continues to impress and takes home the MVP award this year.
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