It’s an enviable position to be in. The Los Angeles Angels feature two of the best players in MLB, Shohei Ohtani, and Mike Trout. Ohtani is the defending AL MVP, taking all 30 first-place votes last season, and has the best MLB odds again, while Trout has won the award three times over the first 11 years of his career.
Both players are thriving right now and that’s reflected in their positions at the top of the AL MVP futures board.
The betting market has dual-threat Ohtani priced as the odds-on favorite to repeat as the MVP, with Trout a close second. Although it’s tempting to back Ohtani, my analysis concludes that there’s no better time than now to back Trout.
A hot start to the season helped Trout surge up the leaderboard, moving from low double-digits up to the second-best odds. His implied value has fallen slightly since he hit a high of +400. Still, I am anticipating the price to continue to climb as Trout is showing no signs of slowing down.
Top 5 AL MVP Odds
- Shohei Ohtani +250
- Mike Trout +425
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. +475
- Aaron Judge +600
- Byron Buxton +1200
Being the MVP is a relative proposition. Not only are you competing against other players, but current metrics are measured against previous successes. Trout is dominating in both facets.
Through 31 games, Trout has the best on-base plus slugging percentage of his career at 1.092. His previous career-best across an entire season was 1.088, albeit his 1.090 rating in 36 games last season was marginally higher.
What’s been most impressive is that we’ve seen his on-base plus slugging percentage value increase over the past few weeks. The 30-year-old is crushing the ball over the past seven days to the tune of a 1.417 on-base plus slugging percentage. While his metrics drop slightly over the last month, he’s still above-average with a 1.139 mark.
.@MikeTrout has the most homers in the history of Angel Stadium! pic.twitter.com/XfqGLqjuWR
— MLB (@MLB) May 10, 2022
Trout’s current on-base percentage remains above average, but the most notable jump is in his power metrics.
The Angels centerfielder’s slugging percentage is at an all-time high at .676, nearly 100 points above his career average of .585. Similarly, he’s getting the barrel to ball 25.7% of the time, above his 11-year average of 16.3%. His expected slugging percentage of .746 is even higher than the actual, implying that we could continue to see growth from Trout over the coming weeks.
Trout is outdoing himself this season, but he’s also outplaying his opponents, ranking among the best in most offensive categories.
His on-base plus slugging percentage is tops among qualified AL batters, ranking second in runs, third in home runs, and 10th in runs batted in. All things considered, Trout has an AL-leading 2.4 WAR so far in 2022, eclipsing his ratings from each of the past two seasons despite playing in fewer games.
Compared to the current contenders or his previous career highs, Trout remains one of the best. The Angels’ cornerstone is setting a new standard this season and his stats could continue to improve as actual metrics work up towards expected values.
Now is the time to buy Trout as the AL MVP.