2019 American League MVP Betting Odds & Picks

Date | AuthorAdam Burke

Last Updated: 2019-03-05

The American League Mike Trout Award has only gone to Mike Trout twice. Did you know that he’s also never won a Player of the Month award? Ludicrous. Anyway, the American League MVP odds look a lot different than those in the National League. In the Junior Circuit, it seems highly likely that Mike Trout or reigning champ Mookie Betts will take home some more hardware.

But, injuries do happen and, as we’ve seen, voters seem to really take Trout for granted year in and year out. He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer at 27 and only has two MVP awards to his name. Maybe that means that we do have some value on the board.

Compared to the Senior Circuit, we’ve seen less randomness in the AL. The last repeat winner in the NL is Albert Pujols in 2008 and 2009. Trout won in 2014 and 2016 and Miguel Cabrera won back-to-back awards in 2012 and 2013. Two voters are selected from each city with an American League team to make up the electorate.

Much like the NL, it is hard for a pitcher to win the award. Many feel that the Cy Young is enough. Justin Verlander won in 2011, but the last pitcher before that was Dennis Eckersley in 1992. In other words, we won’t see a pitcher win it, so don’t even bother.

Odds for the AL MVP are pulled from Bookmaker Sportsbook as of March 5, 2019.

Mike Trout +254
Mookie Betts +400
Aaron Judge +1008
Alex Bregman +1823
Jose Ramirez +2028
Francisco Lindor +2028
Carlos Correa +2028
Jose Altuve +2543
Giancarlo Stanton +3060
Khris Davis +3060
JD Martinez +3060
Gary Sanchez +3581
George Springer +3581
Jose Abreu +3581
Nomar Mazara +4500
Andrew Benintendi +5000
Eddie Rosario +5000
Matt Chapman +5000
Matt Olson +5000
Nicholas Castellanos +5000
Gleyber Torres +6500
Joey Gallo +6500
Randal Grichuk +7000
Xander Bogaerts +7000
Justin Smoak +8000
Nelson Cruz +8000
Miguel Andujar +8000
Carlos Santana +10000
Eloy Jimenez +10000
Justin Upton +10000
Mitch Haniger +10000
Rougned Odor +10000
Trey Mancini +10000
Vladimir Guerrero Jr +10000
Aaron Hicks +10000
Edwin Encarnacion +10000
Jurickson Profar +15000
Kyle Seager +15000
Max Kepler +15000
Michael Brantley +15000
Miguel Cabrera +15000
Rafael Devers +15000
Tommy Pham +15000
Albert Pujols +20000
Andrelton Simmons +20000
Byron Buxton +20000
Chris Sale +20000
Corey Kluber +20000
Jackie Bradley Jr +20000
Jorge Soler +20000
Whit Merrifield +20000
Yoan Moncada +20000
Stephen Piscotty +20000

Because Trout and Betts have such small prices at +254 and +400, respectively, there are some really interesting values on the board. Again, it is hard to see those two guys coming up short because both are capable of posting 10 fWAR, and it takes enormous numbers to do that, injuries do happen and other players are certainly capable of getting into the discussion.

Here are my three favorite picks for the AL MVP:

Alex Bregman (+1823) – Alex Bregman has become the best player on the Astros for me and is a legitimate top-five player in baseball in my eyes. Bregman checks most of the important boxes in terms of awards like this. He plays good defense at a tough position. He hit 30 home runs and drove in 100 runs. He has enough steals to be dangerous in that regard. He also has elite plate discipline and that is going to continue to elevate his offensive profile.

Bregman struck out in only 12.1 percent of his plate appearances and posted a 13.6 percent BB%. Some BABIP gains are likely coming after a .289 mark last season that held his average down a little bit at .286. Last season, Bregman pulled the ball more and hit more fly balls, while not sacrificing his line drive rate. That should mean that the 30+ home runs are here to stay and he’s hitting in the middle of an exceptional lineup that will allow him to rack up those counting numbers that so many voters like.

Bregman’s absurd 4.2 percent swinging strike rate does come with a very low 37.1 percent Swing%. I’d expect him to be a tad more aggressive this season, which likely means bigger numbers across the board. He established himself as one of the game’s elites last season with 7.6 fWAR and I’d expect more of the same, if not better.

JD Martinez (+3060) – It may be tough for JD Martinez to outshine Mookie Betts enough to steal those votes, but 30/1 for a guy with his offensive profile is remarkable value. Imagine having a player capable of posting 5.9 fWAR while providing a ton of negative defensive value. That’s what Martinez did. He slashed .330/.402/.629 with a .427 wOBA and a 170 wRC+ and those were similar numbers to what he posted in 2017 when he hit 45 home runs in just 489 plate appearances.

The obvious worry here is whether or not the voters will give the nod to a designated hitter. With offensive numbers like this, he is impossible to ignore. As long as Martinez can stay healthy, crank 40+ again, and stay on his current offensive trajectory, he’s going to be in the discussion. Getting a top-five guy at 30/1 is too hard to pass up.

Jose Ramirez (+2028) – With Francisco Lindor likely to miss a chunk of April, it will be hard for him to get into a position where he shares votes with Jose Ramirez. Jose Ramirez posted a .288/.400/.597 slash over his first 132 games last season, which covered the start of the season through August. He was a .300 hitter until August 19, which is an important thing for this award, as Trout in 2014 and Josh Donaldson in 2015 are the only winners to be under .300 in batting average among position players since Alex Rodriguez in 2003. Before that, you have to go back to Don Baylor in 1979.

Ramirez should hit for a high enough average to be in the discussion. He had 37 home runs through the month of August last season. In September, Ramirez cratered with a .174/.322/.315 slash and just two more home runs. Ramirez has a chance at being the first 40 HR, 30 SB player since Ryan Braun in 2012 this season. The September swoon was enough to push him down to third in the AL MVP voting.

It also has kept his price lower here. Had Ramirez not fallen back and gotten a bigger share of the vote, he’s likely in the +1500 or maybe even +1200 range. Instead, we get him at 20/1. The Indians are going to be a good team and win the division, so those that view this as a team award are going to like his contributions.

He certainly has a good shot to take down the award and 20/1 is a very nice price.

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2019 MLB Betting Guide