Updated MLB 2017 AL/NL MVP Odds

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Updated: July 12, 2017

The All-Star break is always a good time to take stock of things and it’s an especially good time to take a look at the updated odds for AL MVP and NL MVP. The first half has been all about Aaron Judge in the American League, with a little help from an injury to Mike Trout. The NL MVP race is a bit more wide open and it feels like it depends a lot more on how teams do in the second half. Let’s take a closer look at the odds and see if we can find some value.

We’ll start with the American League:

American League MVP
Aaron Judge   -290
Carlos Correa   +750
Jose Altuve   +1025
Mookie Betts   +1125
Mike Trout   +1600
George Springer   +1600
Corey Dickerson   +4000
Jose Ramirez   +5000
Francisco Lindor   +7500
Miguel Sano   +8500
Manny Machado   +10000

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The big favorite here is Judge and for good reason, he leads the AL in homeruns, slugging, on-base, OPS, walks, total bases and WAR. He has been the dominating force of the first half and it seems like he should win the Rookie of the Year and the MVP. The only real knock against him I can find is that his BABIP is extremely high at .426 and you have to think it will come down at some point. His HR/FB rate is 26.5% which is pretty high, but just looking at him it is hard to make an argument for that coming down.

An argument should be made for someone from Houston, but the problem is that they have THREE awesome players who will probably split the vote in some way. Carlos Correa is currently second in WAR, Jose Altuve is third and George Springer is sixth. Springer is probably the best bet as he is right behind Judge in both OPS and homeruns with a chance at catching him if Judge slows up.

Another interesting name is Mike Trout. He was on pace for his best ever season and better than Judge in the time they played. If he picks back up where he left off he could make a run at it. Hypothetically, what if the Angels beat out the Yankees for the second Wild Card? Would that turn people off Judge and onto Trout?

Onto the National League…

National League MVP
Paul Goldschmidt   +198
Bryce Harper   +320
Nolan Arenado   +1000
Justin Turner   +1475
Corey Seager   +1800
Cody Bellinger   +1800
Charlie Blackmon   +1900
Joey Votto   +2000
Anthony Rendon   +2100
Ryan Zimmerman   +2200
Clayton Kershaw   +3000
Kris Bryant   +3375
Anthony Rizzo   +3850
Daniel Murphy   +4350
Buster Posey   +5100
Eric Thames   +5650
Christian Yelich   +8300
Matt Carpenter   +10500

Now this is a race.

There is a pitcher not listed in these odds that leads the entire National League in WAR. That man’s name is Max Scherzer and while I’m never a fan of a pitcher winning MVP, that could be a thing that happens in a wide open year like this.

The favorite here is Paul Goldschmidt and the surprising run by the Diamondbacks has to help him here. If they can hold on and get a playoff birth, he would get a lot of votes. The interesting thing about him though is that he is actually tied for the NL lead in WAR (among hitters) with Justin Turner of the Dodgers. What’s so interesting about that? Well, Turner has played 65 games and Goldschmidt has played 88. If Turner can stay healthy and maintain this pace, I’d think he has to be the favorite. A .377 batting average is pretty hard to maintain though.

I’m not sure the writers would ever elect a guy on a team in last place like the Reds, but if they did Joey Votto would probably be the favorite. He leads the league in slugging, OPS and is tied for the lead in homeruns. He’s third in RBI, second in walks and is just 0.1 WAR behind Goldschmidt and Turner in WAR. Joey Votto is great and I wish more people would realize it.

Bryce Harper is high in the odds and is having a great season, but he ranks just behind a lot of other people. A good underdog bet might be Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers who has 25 homeruns in just 70 games. If he keeps this pace, he’ll be hard to deny. Then again, he has Turner and Corey Seager on his team that will steal votes away.

Nolan Arenado at +1000 may be the best value on this board though. The Rockies making the playoffs would be a story and get a lot of attention. Arenado is the best defensive 3B on the planet and is currently at 3.7 WAR, just 0.5 behind the leaders. He’s tied for the lead in RBIs and Coors Field should pad his numbers in the second half.

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