2021 AL MVP Candidates

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 01: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels hits an hits an RBI single against the Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning on Opening Day at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 01, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

This year’s American League Most Valuable Player Award race should be exciting, but so far, one name sticks out — Mike Trout. Trout tops the MLB odds to nab the high honors in 2021, but there’s a crop of talented players right behind him just waiting to join the fray. Could somebody come from lower in the odds to unseat Trout?

And while we’re spotlighting individual awards, check out BetMGM’s MLB Team Season Specials and promotions for 2021. Check out our Bet and Get A Home Run Boost promotion and much more. And who will win the NL MVP Award and the AL Cy Young and NL Cy Young? We take a look.

Top Candidates

1. Mike Trout (+200), Los Angeles Angels: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why Trout is atop the MLB awards odds. He has won three AL MVP Awards (2014, 2016, and 2019) and during his career has been ranked as one of the top players in baseball in runs produced, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Again, we all know why he’s in this spot atop the AL. It’s not even close.

2t. Alex Bregman (+1000), Houston Astros: Remember when Bregman hit a league-leading 51 doubles in 2018 and made the AL All-Star Team? Or when he tore up the league with 41 home runs, 112 RBIs and took second place in the AL MVP race in 2019? He’s to be one of the top contributors to an Astros team already at the top of MLB betting odds

2t. Aaron Judge (+1000), New York Yankees: In 2017, Judge was the AL runner-up for MVP honors. He posted an astounding 52 home runs, 128 runs scored, and basically became the power-hitting monster of the year in the AL. So yes, he’s always a threat to be considered. His production dipped in 2018, but he still was a major factor (.278, 27 HRs, 76 RBIs). 

2t. Jose Ramirez (+1000), Cleveland Indians: Ramirez has finished in the top three for AL MVP three different times with the Indians. And who knows? Maybe this is his time? In two full seasons in 2017 and 2018, he was an AL All-Star and close to the MVP honor. In last year’s COVID-shortened year, he took runner-up honors after a solid 58-game campaign (.292, league-leading 45 runs scored, 17 HRs, 46 RBIs). 

TEMPE, ARIZONA - MARCH 24: Anthony Rendon #6 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts while at bat in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals during the MLB spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on March 24, 2021 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

5. Anthony Rendon (+1200), Los Angeles Angels: Rendon’s top prior finish in an MVP race was third in the NL when he was with Washington in 2019. He’s a run-producing machine, as evidenced by his 126 RBIs and 117 runs scored that year, while he also led the NL in doubles (44). He’s in his second year now with the AL, and the 30-year old looks to improve upon last year’s performance when he had a sub-.300 batting average for the first time since 2016.

6. Matt Chapman (+1500), Oakland Athletics: Chapman showed his power over the years, hitting 84 home runs with 224 RBIs in what essentially is three full seasons (as a rookie, he played in 84 games in 2017 and just 37 games in 2020 in the pandemic-infected year). Along with the power display, the infielder also has shown he can be a slick fielder, as his two Gold Glove Awards in 2018 and 2019 prove. If his batting average came up a bit (career .254 hitter), there’s no question he’d have a shot at MVP honors.

7. Six-way tie (+2500): Behind the first six players mentioned above, we have a gaggle of another six AL standouts from three different teams who stand at +2500 in the odds. 

The Chicago White Sox trio of Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, and Luis Robert are all stellar candidates, and Abreu is actually coming off the abbreviated 2020 season where he captured AL MVP honors. Robert is just getting started after his rookie season last year, and Moncada is only two years removed from his best season, 2019, when he hit .315 with 25 HRs.

The New York Yankees’ Gleyber Torres and D.J. LeMahieu are two of the six candidates at +2500. LeMahieu was third in the voting last year with a .364 batting average, which led the AL. His .421 on-base percentage also led the league.

Lastly, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder/designated hitter George Springer rounds out the list.

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Brian McLaughlin is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of BMac and Herd’s FCS Podcast. He has covered the national recruiting scene in football and basketball for The Sporting News, headed up the PARADE Magazine High School All-America selections, handled FCS college football for HERO Sports, and covered Jacob deGrom for his local newspaper when he played for a tiny Class 1A high school in Daytona Beach, Fla. Follow BMac on Twitter @BrianMacWriter.