2022 MLB MVP Odds: Goldschmidt Shines In Spite of Recent Struggles

NL MVP odds have reopened and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt remains the betting favorite at a whopping -6,000 with two games to play. While stats are tight with the competition, Goldy's offensive output looks strong enough.

Last Updated: Oct 4, 2022 1:58 PM ET Read Time: 5 min
Paul Goldschmidt St. Louis Cardinals MLB
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The 2022 Major League Baseball season has come and gone and the MLB futures odds are rounding into shape as the season's home stretch is on the horizon.

Aaron Judge ran away with his first AL MVP award thanks to a power-filled season that saw him hit an AL record 62 home runs. Meanwhile, on the National League side, Paul Goldschmidt won his first NL honors thanks to a remarkable and balanced offensive season while also being perhaps the best defensive first baseman in baseball.

Here were the final MLB MVP odds. Check this space next spring for the next race.

Odds to win AL MVP

Player Team Position MVP Odds
Aaron Judge  Yankees New York Yankees OF -30,000
Shohei Ohtani Angels Los Angeles Angels DH/P +3,500
Jose Ramirez Guardians Cleveland Guardians 3B +50,000
Yordan Alvarez Astros Houston Astros DH +50,000

Odds courtesy of FanDuel as of October 2, 2022.

AL MVP favorites

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees (-30,000)

Five different players have hit 60 home runs in a single season over the totality of MLB history entering the 2022 season. No one had done it since both Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa eclipsed the number in 2001. Aaron Judge became the sixth with a solo home run off Pirates reliever Will Crowe on September 20. He's since matched the AL — and Yankees — record (61) set by Roger Maris in 1961. 

And when it comes to assessing "value," where exactly would the Yankees be without him? Before their recent run of success, they were clinging to the AL East lead and may never have even held the top spot had Judge not been on the team. And even if he hasn't been hitting homers at a prolific rate in recent games — mostly due to pitchers staying away from his happy zone — he's batting .407 with 10 dingers in 121 plate appearances (entering Sunday) since the start of September.

Overall, Judge is slashing .311/.427/.698 and is leading in two Triple Crown categories (61 home runs, 130 RBI). Judge narrowly trails Luis Arraez (.315) in the batting average department and has a legitimate shot at being the AL's first Triple Crown winner since Miguel Cabrera in 2012, who was the first since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels (+3,500)

In pretty much any other season, Shohei Ohtani would be a borderline lock to win MVP. He won it last year and is arguably having a more complete season in 2022 thanks to improved numbers from the pitching side of the equation.

Last year, Ohtani went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 130 1-3 innings while striking out 156 batters (29.3% strikeout rate). Across four more starts in 2022, Ohtani is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts in 161 innings (33.1 K%). And over his last 18 starts, he's 12-4 with a 1.66 ERA. He's bumped up his strikeouts, reduced walks and home runs allowed, and has pitched deeper into his outings. 

And that's not even taking into account how good he's been with the bat. While he likely won't top the 46 homers and 26 stolen bases from last year, he's batting .276 compared to .257 and has still gone deep 34 times (third in the AL). A phenomenal, well-rounded season that can't be ruined by Judge winning the award or by how unfathomably awful the Angels continue to be in spite of him.

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Odds to win NL MVP

Player Team Position MVP Odds
Paul Goldschmidt  Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 1B -6,000
Freddie Freeman Dodgers Los Angeles Dodgers 1B +5,000
Nolan Arenado Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 3B +7,000
Manny Machado Padres San Diego Padres 3B +7,000

Odds courtesy of FanDuel as of October 4, 2022.

NL MVP favorites

Paul Goldschmidt (-6,000)

The odds would indicate St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is a shoo-in to win his first NL MVP award but the numbers suggest a closer race. He's actually tied for the NL lead with 7.2 wins above replacement (per FanGraphs) alongside San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado and teammate Nolan Arenado.

At one time, Goldy appeared poised to run away with the batting title and possibly the first NL Triple Crown since Joe Medwick in 1937. A prolonged slump at the start of September dashed both of those hopes, but when looking at the totality of the season, a rough final act might not be enough to dethrone the veteran.

Goldschmidt is still hitting .319/.406/.581 with 35 home runs (one off his career high) and 114 RBI while posting a career-best 179 wRC+. Without him (or Arenado, really), the Cardinals are nowhere near the playoffs.

Freddie Freeman (+5,000)

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman has acclimated himself very well in his first year in Hollywood, batting .325 in 157 games. Despite not possessing the same power as his peers — just 20 home runs — Freeman is almost a certainty to claim his first batting title and could parlay that into his second NL MVP after first doing so in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.

Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado (+7,000)

When looking solely at WAR, Goldschmidt, Arenado, and Machado are equal. However, a bulk of Arenado's and Machado's value can be attributed to defense, where first basemen are generally punished when calculating defensive WAR.

So, will the voting process actually be as tight as the WAR indicates or will Goldschmidt's offensive contributions simply be too much to ignore? He has more home runs, RBI, and total bases than any of these closest rivals on the odds board. He has a better walk rate and only trails Freeman in terms of batting average and OBP. In all of baseball, only Aaron Judge and Yordan Alvarez have better slugging percentages and no one else is within 40 points of Goldy.

So Arenado (.292./358/.533, 30 HRs) and Machado (.294/.364/.529, 32 HRs) are certainly worthy of consideration — and perhaps even a sprinkle of a wager considering how long their odds are relative to the proximity of their numbers next to Goldschmidt's — but this may be out of reach even amid recent market doubt.

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 $1,000 to win $100 by betting on Trout to win MVP. Before the season starts, almost every player will have a plus (+) sign ahead of their odds.

  • Jacob deGrom +3,300

That means a bettor would have profited $3,300 for a $100 wager on deGrom before the season started. 

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.

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