The 2020 MLB season began July 23, although given what has transpired just within the baseball world since that point, it feels like it’s been a longer haul. That’s primarily due to a rash of team-centered COVID-19 outbreaks that at times seemed to threaten the viability of completing the season. To MLB’s credit, perseverance has won out, and all 30 teams continue on the path to wrapping up their regular season schedules.
The MVP leaderboard at major sportsbooks has naturally changed quite a bit since the start of the season. We’ve had the usual array of both surprising and disappointing individual performances, just as with any other season.
On this page, we look at the betting favorites and best longshot bets to win both the AL and NL MVP awards this season. Be sure to check the disclaimers at your sportsbook of choice. FanDuel Sportsbook states all teams must play 30-plus games for bets to stand..
MLB MVP odds
Favorites and longshots
Jose Abreu -125: Abreu has the White Sox headed to the postseason and he is leading MLB in RBI with 57. The first baseman also leads in bWAR.
Jose Ramirez +400: Ramirez clinched a playoff berth for the Indians with a walk-off homer in the final week of the season. His stats likely aren’t there to swipe the award from Abreu, however. Ramirez is third in MLB in homers and sixth in RBI but he has just a .292 batting average.
Shane Bieber +500: It takes an incredible season for a pitcher to win MVP, and while Bieber has been other-worldly he has pitched in just 11 games. That’s just not enough of a sample-size. That, and he has MVP competition on his own team in Ramirez.
DJ LeMahieu +850: LeMahieu leads MLB in batting average with a shiny .355 mark, but he has just 24 RBI on the year. That’s less than half the number of runs Abreu drove in.
Favorites and longshots
Freddie Freeman -300: Freeman leads MLB in runs and doubles and is batting .338 on the year, which is fourth best in MLB. His 51 RBI ranks third and he led the Braves to the NL East title.
Mookie Betts +400: Betts has been sensational in his first year with the Dodgers as he’s slashing .293/.363./.567 and is widely regarded as the best right fielder in baseball. Freeman has 11 more RBI than Betts, however, which is a lot considering this small sample size of a season.
Manny Machado +650: Machado has blasted 16 home runs this year, good for second in the National League behind Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna. Machado’s bat helped power the Padres back into the postseason.
Where can I bet on the MLB MVP Award?
All legal sportsbooks in the US offer a wide-array of MLB futures bets, including DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and PointsBet. These can be found under the primary MLB/Baseball tab at all online books and then under the drop-down menu for MLB Futures and Player Futures or Awards.
Once the MVP award odds have been selected, a list of all available betting options will display the players your book of choice deems to have a chance at winning the MVP in their respective league. At the beginning of the season, all available options will be offered at plus-money (usually ranging from Trout’s +125 to Oakland Athletics OF Stephen Piscotty’s +30000 odds last year).
The available options will be updated and potentially changed throughout the season. Surprising risers will be added to the available options once they’ve emerged as a viable candidate and injured or struggling players may even be dropped from the selections altogether.
How the MVP award is decided
The MVP of both leagues is voted on each year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of American. The group is made up of baseball writers for daily newspapers, magazines and qualifying websites. Two writers from each MLB city are put forth by their local chapter chairman and must be approved by the national secretary-treasurer.
Writers are only allowed to vote for the league in which their city’s team plays. MVP ballots include 10 spots and must be submitted prior to the start of the postseason. Votes are counted via a point system based on which spot players are listed on a ballot. A first-place vote is worth 14 points, while second through 10th spots on the ballot are worth 9 through 1 points in the corresponding descending order.
There are several factors that may sway each writer’s choices. Generally, the award goes to the player with the top statistical accomplishments. Others base their votes, at least toward the bottom of their ballot, on the true meaning of “most valuable” as in which players did the most to improve or help his team’s performance.
Unfortunately, local biases can’t be fully eliminated based on the current voting system, and occasionally writers may give extra credit to a less-deserving player from the team they cover daily.
MVP betting history: recent winners
|Year||AL Winner||Odds||NL Winner||Odds|
|2019||Mike Trout (LAA)||+125||Cody Bellinger (LAD)||+3000|
|2018||Mookie Betts (BOS)||+2500||Christian Yelich (MIL)||+15000|
|2017||Jose Altuve (HOU)||+1200||Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)||+4500|
|2016||Mike Trout (LAA)||+160||Kris Bryant (CHC)||+1000|
|2015||Josh Donaldson (TOR)||+1600||Bryce Harper (WAS)||+2000|
|2014||Mike Trout (LAA)||+500||Clayton Kershaw (LAD)||+2000|
|2013||Miguel Cabrera (DET)||+700||Andrew McCutchen (PIT)||+1500|
|2012||Miguel Cabrera (DET)||+900||Buster Posey (SFG)||+2500|
|2011||Justin Verlander (DET)||+7500||Ryan Braun (MIL)||+800|
|2010||Josh Hamilton (TEX)||+1000||Joey Votto (CIN)||+5000|