The American League is loaded with talented players, giving bettors plenty of options to consider in MLB betting markets for AL MVP.
BetMGM has written tickets for nearly 40 different players ahead of Opening Day. Still, only four players have a higher handle percentage than ticket percentage, which typically suggests sharp bettors are holding some of those tickets.
Here’s a look at those four players:
Shohei Ohtani (+350)
The reigning MVP, Shohei Ohtani, opened as the betting favorite to repeat as the best player in the AL. That’s not stopping sharp bettors from getting in on the action; Ohtani is drawing the fourth-highest handle despite the steep odds.
There’s no belittling Ohtani’s accomplishments, as no other player can do what he’s doing. The 28-year-old swatted 46 home runs, drove in 100 runs, and stole 26 bases while pitching 130.1 innings with a 3.18 earned run average and 156 strikeouts. Nobody in the modern era could hold a candle to what Ohtani does on a nightly basis.
A Shohei Ohtani bomb in front of one hell of a crowd for a preseason game pic.twitter.com/Lt72bu0UPg
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) April 4, 2022
The Angels’ star is entering prime baseball years and last season’s MVP-winning campaign could be the stepping-off point. The dual-threat is drawing 10.8% of the money while being written on only 3.1% of tickets, indicating some big money wagers coming in on Ohtani.
Luis Robert (+2200)
No player is drawing as much attention as Luis Robert in AL MVP betting.
Injuries limited Robert to 68 games in 2021, but he showed what an impact he could make when in the lineup. The 24-year-old put up a .946 on-base plus slugging percentage and knocked 13 home runs with 43 runs batted in. Extrapolating those stats over the course of a season would lead to 31 home runs and 102 runs batted in.
This Luis Robert guy is pretty damn good pic.twitter.com/6aABgy52Pf
— Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) March 27, 2022
Add in another year of development around a strong supporting cast and it’s easy to see the attraction.
Robert is driving ticket count and cash flow ahead of the season reflected on 25.5% of AL MVP tickets and attracting 29.3% of the actual dollars wagered. That’s a substantive amount of action from sharps and squares alike, suggesting Robert may be worth the hype.
Kyle Tucker (+2500)
The Houston Astros had some lean years as they built their organization from the ground up. That’s led to individual and team success, with the team boasting several award-winning players, AL pennants, and a World Series title. Kyle Tucker could add to the team’s mantle and is among the betting favorites in the MVP race.
Kyle Tucker home run! Looks like the Astros are going to the World Series! pic.twitter.com/qVdb175ctE
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) October 23, 2021
Tucker opened up as a mid-range option at +3500; however, public and pro bettors are getting a piece of him on the future tickets. The 25-year-old has improved his on-base percentage in every season in the majors and is coming off a career-best .557 slugging percentage. If Tucker continues his analytics climb, the Most Valuable Player Award could be much closer than the betting market implies.
This line should continue to fall as public bettors eye the perceived movement as an indicator of Tucker’s value.
Giancarlo Stanton (+5000)
Losing is never acceptable in the Bronx and the New York Yankees continue to bring in talented players as they compete in the ultra-tough AL East. Those upgrades bring attention to Giancarlo Stanton as an MVP candidate at +5000.
Stanton is drawing only 1.6% of the wagers but 5.7% of the handle, suggesting high rollers like the appeal of the Yankees slugger. The four-time All-Star is insulated at the top of the batting order and is coming off his best slugging percentage since his NL MVP-winning campaign in 2017.
Giancarlo Stanton home run! The Yankees are MASHING tonight pic.twitter.com/FjiCGjREiB
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) March 24, 2022
With the talent behind him in the batting order, opponents can’t afford to put Stanton on base. That means he’s going to get some pitches to hit as he looks to build off a successful 2021 season, elevating his appeal as an MVP candidate.