With free agency largely over, and pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, MLB MVP winner odds for the AL and NL MVP awards are on the board.
With the new season just over a month away, we break down the AL MVP favorites and NL MVP betting odds, as well as bringing you some of our best value bets for MLB MVP betting.
Odds to win AL MVP
|Players||Odds to win AL MVP (as of February 20)|
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||+2,500|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
AL MVP favorite
Mike Trout, L.A. Angels (+200)
Already a three-time AL MVP, it should come as no surprise to see Mike Trout so far out in front of the rest of the field. The Angels' centerfielder remains at the height of his powers, coming off a season that saw him bat .281 with 17 home runs and 56 hits in 53 games.
Provided L.A. isn't a complete disappointment in 2021, after going 26-34 in 2020, Trout should maintain his place as an MVP contender in the American League.
Sharp bet to win AL MVP
One of the game's true physical freaks and a phenomenal power hitter, Aaron Judge's push for his first AL MVP award in 2021 would likely only be derailed by injury, as it has been previously. That was the case last year, when a calf injury limited Judge to just 28 games for the 33-27 New York Yankees.
Though recent health problems have stopped Judge from matching his absurd rookie season numbers, in which he hit 52 home runs while batting .284, he is always just a healthy season away from challenging record books. If he can do so in 2021, he will remain firmly in the AL MVP chase.
Best value bet to win AL MVP
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+2,500)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is only entering his age-22 season and it could be time for the anticipated breakout campaign. A solid, promising start to his career has seen Guerrero collect 24 home runs and 102 RBIs, with the majors never appearing to be too big for him at such a young age. After shedding 40 pounds over the offseason, it's time for Guerrero to develop from a promising young player to a true star.
With a big jump in numbers, Guerrero could absolutely surprise as an AL MVP contender, especially if the Blue Jays push for an AL East crown in 2021. A wild card team a year ago, the much-heralded addition of George Springer and continued growth from Guerrero could be enough to push Toronto into a division chase — and Guerrero into the MVP race.
Odds to win NL MVP
|Player||Odds to win NL MVP (as of February 20)|
|Fernando Tatis Jr.||+850|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
NL MVP favorite
Mookie Betts, L.A. Dodgers and Juan Soto, Washington Nationals (+750)
Just as it comes as no surprise to see Trout atop the AL MVP odds board, Mookie Betts' place on top of the NL is obvious. The Dodgers' superstar won the AL MVP award in 2018 and finished second in NL MVP voting a year ago, en route to a World Series win for Los Angeles. Entering his eighth season, and second with the Dodgers, Betts is a picture of consistency and only an injury would keep him out of the MVP conversation by the end of the season.
Juan Soto has finished in the Top-10 in NL MVP voting twice in three seasons, and a breakthrough appears to be a matter of when and not if. Soto's ridiculous numbers in 2020, which included a .351 batting average and an on base percentage of .490, wasn't enough to power the Nationals out of the NL East basement. But after leading the majors in OBP, slugging and OPS a year ago, Soto is primed to further his tremendous impact in 2021.
Sharp bet to win NL MVP
Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers (+1,200)
After winning NL MVP in 2018 and finishing as the runner-up in 2019, the shortened 2020 season was bitterly disappointing for Christian Yelich. The Brewers' outfielder saw a considerable drop in numbers across the board, as Milwaukee limped to a fourth-place finish in the NL Central.
A versatile player in the field and a well-rounded, often elite hitter, Yelich should bounce back for the Brew Crew in 2021. Provided he gets even close to the form he has consistently displayed in Milwaukee prior to last season, he will again emerge as one of the brightest stars in the Majors and an MVP contender.
Best value bet to win NL MVP
Pete Alonso, New York Mets (+3,300)
The New York Mets underwent major changes over the offseason, including a change in ownership. That new ownership led to the Mets reaching into their pockets and finding the money to sign James McCann, while swinging a trade for Francisco Lindor. Both of the two new additions will help New York push for the postseason in 2021.
The brighter spotlight on the Mets will be good news for 2019 NL Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso. After bursting onto the scene as a rookie, with 53 home runs and 120 RBIs, Alonso was a letdown in 2020, with his batting average falling significantly. An improved lineup will only help Alonso, and if he can bring his average back up while recapturing his 2019 power for a contending New York team, the MVP conversation will find him.
Understanding MLB MVP odds
Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. When Trout ran away with the MVP award in 2019 his odds had a minus (-) sign ahead of the number for a large part of the season.
- Mike Trout -1,000
That means that a bettor in August had to wager $1000 to win $100 by betting on Trout to win MVP. Although this year's race hasn't even begun yet, some books already have Trout with odds as high as -125.
- Ronald Acuna +600
With Acuna's current odds, a bettor stands to profit $600 for every $100 wagered on him.
If American odds aren't your thing, simply use a tool like our odds converter to switch the odds to decimal or fractional format. Most online sportsbooks also give you the option to change the odds format that you see.
How to bet futures odds
Futures betting is different than betting on an individual game because you need to consider the long haul as opposed to a single event. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when betting futures odds.
Change your strategy at different points in the season
While some futures bets must be placed before the season begins and are then removed off the board (such as team win totals), other wagers will change odds as the season goes on.
If you are wagering money on a futures bet with changing odds keep in mind that there is less variance at the beginning of the season (when more players and teams are still in contention) and more variance as the season goes on (when teams and players at the top separate themselves from those at the bottom).
In the preseason and beginning of the season, betting on dark horses can prove very profitable. But as the season continues, expect to see odds tighten around the favorites. At that point it becomes wise to focus on the players near the top of the odds board and betting big underdogs is practically like giving your money away.
Look for value with underdogs
While the bigger names tend to be strong favorites, there are also live long shots that can provide tremendous value. Look at younger players on the verge of breaking out, or guys that have already been playing at a high level but could take the next step now that they are in an ideal situation with a new team, coach or system.
Other players that can give a great payout are established stars coming off under-performing years due to injuries or other factors. If you're lucky you might be able to catch them in a bounce-back year.
Follow the narrative
When placing futures bets on individual awards, keep in mind that voters, not a scoreboard are often the deciding factor. Voters can be influenced by a variety of factors, including media coverage and public opinion. Consider what the media narrative is for a particular season and which players they seem to be rooting for and against.
For example in LeBron James' first season in Miami he was viewed as a villain or heel by the media and Derrick Rose who ended up winning MVP was the perfect foil for that. When Ron Dayne won the Heisman trophy back in 1999 it was viewed by many as a well-deserved reward for his entire career at Wisconsin.
Research historical trends
Historical trends, especially recent ones, can give you a good idea of which way voters tend to lean.
The NBA MVP for example, almost always goes to a player on the best or second-best regular-season team in the league. While the Heisman trophy is almost exclusively given to a quarterback or running back - and over the last couple of decades has been overwhelmingly handed out to QBs.
Identifying those trends is a good way to separate the true contenders from the pretenders.
Where can I bet on American League and National League MVP odds?
Almost every online sportsbook and casino will provide MLB MVP futures odds. Check out the best sportsbooks available where you live and see what MLB betting odds they currently have available.