NL MVP race more wide open than AL according to betting odds: See our best values

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Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani runs to first as he flies out during the sixth inning of a preseason baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Major League Baseball is stocked with superstars in 2023, and there’s no higher individual award than MVP in both the American League and National League.

World Series odds are still the go-to for most MLB futures bettors, but both the AL and NL MVP awards are fun to keep up with and tend to offer some intriguing values. That’s because it’s rare for a player to win back-to-back MVP awards, and it’s reflected in the odds considering both 2022 MVPs Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt aren’t favored to repeat.

Judge is still among the AL favorites at +700, only trailing two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani at +220, but Goldschmidt has the ninth-best NL odds at +1500 with Juan Soto favored at +550.

There are also some intriguing names further down the list in both leagues, so let’s take a deeper look and see if we can find the best values.

NOTE: All odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

National League MVP odds

 Player  Team Odds 
 Juan Soto  Padres  +550
 Mookie Betts  Dodgers  +950
 Ronald Acuna  Braves  +1000
 Fernando Tatis Jr.  Padres  +1000
 Trea Turner  Phillies  +1100
 Manny Machado  Padres  +1200
 Nolan Arenado  Cardinals  +1200
 Freddie Freeman  Dodgers  +1400
 Paul Goldschmidt  Cardinals  +1500
 Austin Riley  Braves  +1600
 Pete Alonso  Mets  +1600
 Matt Olson  Braves  +2400
 Francisco Lindor  Mets  +2500
 Kyle Schwarber  Phillies  +3500
 Xander Bogaerts  Padres  +4000
 Michael Harris  Braves  +4500
 Jazz Chisholm  Marlins  +7000
 Ozzie Albies  Braves  +8000
 Bryce Harper  Phillies  +8000
 J.T. Realmuto  Phillies  +8000

 

Analysis: Soto comes in as the heavy favorite, but there’s no way we’re betting on him at +450 considering he might not even have the best hitting season on his own team, which is why we like his Padres teammate Manny Machado better from a value standpoint at +1200.

Machado was the NL MVP runner-up last season behind Goldschmidt and should put up just as strong or stronger numbers this season with an improved supporting cast around him, and Ronald Acuna is another favorite worth keeping an eye on at +1000 considering he’s capable of putting up elite numbers and is now more than a year removed from a torn ACL to where he should return to his pre-injury dominance.

As we go further down the list, Trea Turner feels like a bargain at +1100, as he’s moving to a hitter’s park in Philadelphia and should benefit from the new rules to where he could be in line for a career-best season.

Austin Riley is another name to keep an eye on at +1600 as someone who’s evolving into an elite power hitter at third base, and his teammate Michael Harris is a long shot to watch at +4500 since he put up Acuna-esque numbers in his NL Rookie of the Year campaign last season and could reach greater heights in 2023.

American League MVP odds

Player  Team Odds 
 Shohei Ohtani  Angels  +220
 Aaron Judge  Yankees  +700
 Mike Trout  Angels  +800
 Julio Rodriguez  Mariners  +900
 Yordan Alvarez  Astros  +1200
 Vladimir Guerrero  Blue Jays  +1300
 Jose Ramirez  Guardians  +1500
 Kyle Tucker  Astros  +2500
 Rafael Devers  Red Sox  +3000
 Adley Rutschman  Orioles  +3500
 Byron Buxton  Twins  +4000
 Wander Franco  Rays  +4000
 Corey Seager  Rangers  +4500
 Carlos Correa  Twins  +5000
 Bo Bichette  Blue Jays  +5500
 Alex Bregman  Astros  +6000
 Luis Robert Jr.  White Sox  +6000
 Jose Abreu  Astros  +6000
 Randy Arozarena  Rays  +6500
 Jose Altuve  Astros  +7000

 

Analysis: The AL MVP race doesn’t feel as wide open as the NL, as it has the feel of a two-horse race between Ohtani and Judge considering just how far ahead of the pack they were last season.

It’s tough to bet on a +220 chalk favorite, but the bottom line is that Ohtani is in line to win the award if healthy since he puts up elite numbers as both a hitter and a pitcher to where we’d feel better about betting on him as opposed to Judge, who likely won’t hit 60-plus home runs again and doesn’t have as much support throughout the lineup around him as one would think.

Mike Trout’s recent injury history has us fading him at +800, and Julio Rodriguez simply doesn’t offer value at +900 despite his elite skill set, so we’re rolling with sluggers Yordan Alvarez (+1200) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+1300) from a value standpoint since they’re both capable of putting up offensive numbers that could top the AL and will be leading the way for two of the AL’s top teams.

As far as long shots, Guerrero’s Blue Jays teammate Bo Bichette could offer value at +5500 as one of the best pure hitters in the game at shortstop, and Alvarez’s Astros teammates Kyle Tucker (+2500) and Jeremy Pena (+12000) could also be worth taking fliers on considering the voters tend to favor players on contending teams.

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