Latest AL MVP Award odds

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This article was contributed by DraftKings. For more sports betting insights, check out DraftKings Playbook.

The MVP race is essentially wrapped up, right? The two favorites on the board, Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt, have run away with the award, according to the odds. Judge is -2000 to win the AL award, while Goldschmidt is at -2500 for the NL. There isn’t any value in taking either of them at this rate, as you would need to bet $2,000 and $2,500 respectively to profit $100. However, there continues to be a highly contested debate that Shohei Ohtani deserves to win for the AL. Let’s focus on that for today.

Aaron Judge
AL MVP odds: -2000

If you go by the odds, Judge is the slam dunk favorite to win here. I would agree with that notion, personally. When I think about the award, I highly consider not just how a player performs overall but also what it means to his team. Can we honestly say that the Yankees, who have endured a brutal second half, would still be at the top of the division without Judge? Is it fair to say the Yankees’ lineup changes up drastically without Judge? I think those are all fair and valid thoughts that should be considered.

If you were watching the Yankees-Red Sox broadcast the other night, a graphic was posted that showed where Judge ranked in individual offense stats. Spoiler alert, he tops almost everything. The graphic showed him ranked first in home runs, RBIs, runs, WAR, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS+, total bases and extra-base hits. I mean, that’s beyond impressive if you ask me. These numbers weren’t even just amongst players in the American League, this was the entire league.

As I write this Friday morning, Judge has 19 more home runs than Kyle Schwarber, seven more runs than Mookie Betts, 11 more RBIs than Pete Alonso and he’s 85 points higher than Paul Goldschmidt in SLG. I could go on and on. You’ll also notice that all these players listed that are ranked second in the league, are also all from the National League. No one is even close to him in the AL. I totally understand that what Ohtani brings is such a different dynamic because he can also start games, but no one — and I mean no one — has been more important to a team than Judge has to the Yankees. He’s your winner.

Shohei Ohtani
AL MVP odds: +850

People have and will still bet on Ohtani to win the AL MVP Award. When it comes to pure talent, Ohtani should be ranked No. 1. How many players can legitimately go strike out 10 batters and then hit a home run, all in a day’s work? There is only one, and that’s Ohtani.

He will continue to be an MVP candidate each year with how he performs. Offensively, his numbers are great. He has 34 home runs, 88 RBIs and he has scored 80 runs. That said, his WAR currently sits at 3.5 as a hitter. Amongst those qualified, he ranks 22nd. Players like Yandy Díaz, Adolis García and Alejandro Kirk currently have a higher WAR offensively than Ohtani does. The leader is, of course, Judge, who is at 9.7. As a pitcher, Ohtani is at 4.6, which puts him right behind Justin Verlander at seventh in the league. Together, this gives Ohtani a WAR of 8.1, an elite number.

 Even with these numbers, the Angels have been eliminated from the AL West and are one Seattle, Toronto or Tampa Bay win away from being eliminated from the AL Wild Card. Awards shouldn’t be judged by how their individual team performs, but in a case like this, with two players very much in contention, I believe it should be a factor. Are the Angels better with Ohtani? Absolutely. But his presence compared to that of Judge on the Yankees is massive.  If Judge wasn’t having the season he currently is, I think Ohtani would be running away with this award himself. But with the potential historic season that Judge is having, I cannot steer away from that.

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