The American League is loaded with talent, as evidenced by the lengthy Most Valuable Player futures board.
Dual-threat Shohei Ohtani is the reigning MVP and currently has the best MLB odds to win the award again. It’s going to take a special season from one of the other contenders to knock him off his perch. Still, there are a number of candidates who continue to put up generational numbers, coming for Ohtani’s crown.
We’re running through the top candidates to take home the award to help when it comes to MLB betting.
Here are the leaders in 2022 AL MVP odds (as of April 29):
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||+475|
Shohei Ohtani (+210)
Last week: What a difference a week makes. Reigning MVP Shohei Ohtani started to figure things out at the plate, positively impacting his odds in the AL MVP race. Ohtani finished the week with a 1.171 on-base plus slugging percentage, swatting two homers, two doubles, to go along with seven runs batted in and five runs scored. The dual-threat didn’t stop there, also holding the Tampa Bay Rays to just one run in six innings pitched.
This week: If this is a sign of things to come, then there’s no catching Ohtani again this season. The 27-year-old has MVP-caliber pitching and hitting metrics, making him the best player in the AL and MLB.
Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels could soar to new heights, with their next four series coming against the bottom two teams in the AL West — the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers.
Mike Trout (+400)
Last week: Mike Trout had an even more impressive week than Ohtani, racking up a 1.526 on-base plus slugging percentage thanks to some questionable Rays’ pitching. All three of Trout’s home runs this week came against Tampa, including five of his six hits overall, and all six runs batted in. Still, his odds remain unchanged as he tries to catch his teammate on the futures board.
This week: Trout remains the league leader in on-base plus slugging percentage and could use the next couple of weeks against inferior opponents to create an even more significant gap between him and his AL counterparts.
The Rangers have given up the fourth-most home runs in the majors, while all of the A’s four wins since April 29 have come against the Detroit Tigers. Trout’s odds aren’t getting any worse over the coming weeks.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+475)
Last week: It was another ho-hum week for Toronto Blue Jays cornerstone Vladimir Guerrero Jr., finishing the past seven days with a .263 slugging percentage. All five of his hits were singles, and he scored just one run and failed to drive in any.
Somehow he is still clinging to a top-three spot on the futures board, despite a season on-base plus slugging percentage of .873. Although elite, he’s off the pace from several other contenders.
This week: As Guerrero Jr. goes, so do the Jays. They enter this weekend’s crucial AL East matchup against the Rays amid a four-game losing streak, scoring three or fewer runs in three of those four contests.
A series against the Seattle Mariners to start next week is more appealing, as the Mariners have given up the second-most homers so far this season.
Aaron Judge (+700)
Last week: The top of the New York Yankees order is proliferating right now, and a lot of that has to do with Aaron Judge, whose MVP odds improved for the second straight week.
Judge capped off the week with a two-hit, four runs batted in, and three runs scored performance against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, improving his on-base plus slugging percentage to .935 this week.
This week: The momentum from the past couple of weeks should carry Judge into next week, as the Yankees conclude a four-game set against the White Sox this weekend before playing four more against the Baltimore Orioles. With the Yankees lineup being what it is, opposing pitchers have no choice but to pitch to Judge.
Byron Buxton (+1200)
Last week: Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton keeps oscillating in and out of the top five but somehow managed to work his way back into contention despite an awful, albeit short, week.
A hip strain limited Buxton to just three games and nine at-bats this week, with the 28-year-old failing to deliver a hit and striking out four times. Buxton’s emergence as a top-five contender resulted from other players slipping further down the futures board.
This week: Buxton was back in the lineup for Thursday’s 5-0 loss to the Houston Astros, which should be a sign of things to come. However, it’s not clear if the nagging injuries, which have forced him in and out of the lineup all season, have recently impacted his effectiveness at the plate.
Take a wait-and-see approach with Buxton as he and the Twins look to get back on track after recording just three runs over their past three games while getting shut out in two of those matchups.