Vladdy Jr. put on a historic show in the Home Run Derby at the 2019 All-Star Game. Could he make a big jump and win MVP in his second season?
It’s starting to look more and more like there will be a 2020 Major League Baseball season barring another massive coronavirus outbreak in the USA and Canada. It’s possible the regular season could begin as early as-mid June but most likely July 4, the American Independence Day. So here’s a look at the current favourites to win the AL MVP Award on the MLB odds board.
MLB American League MVP Odds
We might be watching the greatest player in MLB history. Trout is still just 28 (29 in August), and while it’s a shame he has yet to win a playoff game in his career (Angels only made it in his career in 2014 and were swept in the LDS), the numbers don’t lie.
Trout won his third MVP Award last year, which is tied for the second-most in MLB history behind the seven won by Barry Bonds – and a handful of Bonds’ MVPs come with a steroid asterisk. Since Trout’s first full season in 2012, he has finished first or second seven times in the AL MVP voting. His worst was a fourth-place finish in 2017 when he was limited to 117 games. Last year in 134 games, Trout’s average dipped a bit to .291 but he hit a career-high 45 homers to go with 104 RBIs and an absurd .438 on-base percentage.
Per Baseball Reference, Trout’s career Wins Above Replacement number of 72.8 is already the 86th-best of all-time and better than two players in the 2020 Hall of Fame Class in Derek Jeter (71.3) and Canadian Larry Walker (72.7).
Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. MVP Odds
Judge is a monster, no doubt, but he can’t seem to stay healthy. Since playing 155 games in 2017 when he was AL Rookie of the Year and set an MLB rookie record with 52 homers (broken last year by the Mets’ Pete Alonso), Judge has played 112 and 102 games, respectively, and wasn’t going to be ready for the original Opening Day this year with a cracked rib and collapsed lung. Bettors shouldn’t trust injury-prone guys on season-long props.
Bregman was runner-up to Trout for AL MVP last year, hitting .296 with 41 homers and 112 RBIs – all career bests. Houston smartly locked up Bregman long term on a six-year, $100 million (US) extension before last season that already looks like a bargain.
Rendon was the top position player free agent on the market this winter and signed a seven-year, $245 million (US) deal to leave Washington for Anaheim. He finished third in the 2019 NL MVP race, leading the majors in doubles (44) and RBIs (126) while hitting .319 with 34 homers. He and Trout should form the top 1-2 offensive punch in the majors, and Rendon makes it that much harder to pitch around Trout.
Baby Vlad sure looks like an eventual MVP winner but might still be a bit young at age 21. He of course put on a historic show in the Home Run Derby at the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland — although Guerrero Jr. didn’t win — and hit .272 with 15 homers and 69 RBIs in 123 regular-season games. Even the best players can have a bit of a sophomore slump. The last Blue Jay to win AL MVP was Josh Donaldson (now with Twins) in 2015 and +2000 on this prop.
Lindor was a potential trade candidate this season because Cleveland won’t be able to afford him when the shortstop hits free agency after the 2021 campaign. Not clear if there will be any trades with a shortened season. Torres, not Judge or Giancarlo Stanton, is probably the best all-around hitter on the Yankees and is only 23. The Cuban Moncada had a breakout 2019 campaign in batting .315 with 25 homers and 79 RBIs but still strikes out too much.
American League MLB Most Valuable Player Prediction
It’s always smart to wager on a guy entering his free agent year as he will be motivated to have a big season – and stay on the field. Thus, our pick is Houston outfielder George Springer, the 2017 World Series MVP. He’s good value at +2500 after hitting .292 with 39 homers and 96 RBIs in 2019.