The 2021 Major League Baseball campaign began on Thursday, April 1, with a full 162-game regular season well underway. The return to a full schedule should help player production return to normal levels; as such, stat lines will no longer be impacted as heavily by exaggerated hot or cold stretches at the plate. With that in mind, we look at the MLB betting odds to win the American League and National League MVP awards.
The 60-game 2020 MLB season saw Chicago White Sox 1B Jose Abreu named AL MVP and Atlanta Braves 1B Freddie Freeman take home the NL honors. Both were long shots to win the award; Abreu had 2020 pre-season odds of +6000 at William Hill and Freeman was +2500 at BetMGM prior to the start of the shortened campaign.
The page below looks at the 2021 MLB MVP odds from the top US sportsbooks, and highlights a few of the favorites and long shots from both leagues. We also look at how and where to bet on the MVP awards and list the recent winners and their preseason odds.
MLB MVP odds
Click on the odds you like below to place your bet.
AL MVP futures report (July 27)
Shohei Ohtani, Angels (): Ohtani finished the first half on a tear, slashing .327/.411/.980 with nine home runs over the last 13 games before the All-Star break. His 33 home runs lead all of baseball, while his 70 RBI ranks third. Factor in a 4-1 record, 3.49 ERA and 30.7 percent strikeout rate, and the fact Ohtani has vaulted into a comfortable first place on the leaderboard is no surprise.
Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Blue Jays (): Guerrero really didn’t do anything to cost himself his previous top perch in this market. Rather, Ohtani just continued to raise his game to yet another level. Vlad remains right in the thick of things, however. He slashed .341/.417/.659 over an 11-game stretch from June 26 – July 9, one in which he also drove in 11 runs to push his MLB-leading total to 73. He also boasts the best all-around combination of numbers in the AL market, as he owns a .332 average, 1.088 OPS and 28 homers.
Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (): Bogaerts gives new meaning to the phrase “distant third,” even though his .321/.385/.545 slash line has zero holes in it. The Red Sox shortstop just can’t keep up with Ohtani and Guerrero in the power department, even though he’s hit a solid 15 home runs. Bogaerts would arguably be top 2 in another year with his current numbers, but the exploits of those above him are a bit too gaudy in comparison.
Marcus Semien, Blue Jays (): Semien is climbing the leaderboard, as he’s already belted 22 homers, which puts him well within striking distance of the career-high 33 he slugged in 2019. The veteran shortstop rightfully garnered All-Star honors and also could be a Gold Glove candidate, but he’d likely need to keep sprucing up his current .277/.345/.528 slash line to continue tunneling up the ranks.
Matt Olson, Athletics (): Olson is another recent riser in the MVP race, and went into the All-Star break with a 10-game on-base streak in tow. The slugging first baseman also garnered his first career ASG honors, and his .282/.371/.567 slash, 23 home runs and 59 RBI are all very impressive. Olson should continue to see his share of good pitches to hit in a talented Oakland lineup and has the power to keep thriving despite his pitcher-friendly home park, so he could be an underdog to monitor in the second half.
Mike Trout, Angels (): The idle Trout has slipped a more in terms of his odds, as the clock continues to work against him while he attempts to recover from a calf injury.
NL MVP futures report (July 27)
Fernando Tatis, Padres (): Tatis saw his main competition outside of deGrom, the Braves’ Ronald Acuna, suffer a season-ending ACL tear earlier this month. Tatis headed into the All-Star break with an NL-leading 28 homers and a solid .286 average and elite 1.020 OPS, so the foundation is there for a late-season run. Tatis’ glove skills also certainly add to his overall profile. Tatis actually became the NL MVP favorite over deGrom at FanDuel Sportsbook on July 23 with the Mets pitcher on the shelf.
Jacob deGrom, Mets (): NL MVP bettors are closely monitoring the situation with deGrom’s forearm as the right-hander has been placed on the IL. deGrom actually looked human in the last three outings before the All-Star break, giving up multiple earned runs in each but still recording a trio of quality starts and an otherworldly 29:1 K:BB during that span. He also still sports a 1.08 ERA and 0.54 WHIP, and if he goes on another dominant multi-start run akin to earlier in the season during the second half, it could be enough to lock him in as a Cy Young and MVP winner.
Nick Castellanos, Reds (): Castellanos continued to thrive heading into the All-Star break, and he reached the season’s unofficial midway point with a .331/.384/.585 line, 18 homers and 59 RBI. The veteran outfielder figures to keep enjoying similar success in the second half while playing a hitter-friendly home park and surrounded by some other strong offensive talents, but like Turner, his team can’t quite match the cache of Tatis’ Padres at the moment.
Freddie Freeman, Braves (): Freeman has the all-around talent to be a serious contender for the MVP in any given season, and after significantly struggling the first month-plus of the current campaign, he’s bounced back to slash .316/.409/.524 with 11 home runs and 31 RBI over his last 56 games. Freeman’s .274/.381/.489 season line is solid enough, and if he continues improving on it at the same clip as he did the last two months prior to the All-Star break, he could certainly shorten his odds. However, with the Braves in the midst of a down year, Freeman’s candidacy could certainly still be hampered.
Max Muncy, Dodgers (): Muncy has the benefit of playing on a team that will be in the thick of things all the way through and is enjoying a resurgent year after hitting just .192 last season. He has a solid .270 average and standout .973 OPS at the break, while his 19 homers and 52 RBI across 78 games are certainly impressive as well. However, Muncy may not be able to keep up with others such as Tatis and Turner when it comes to batting average, but at least he doesn’t figure to get cheated on pitch selection given the talent around him in the lineup.
Best Cy Young betting sites
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. Select “MVP odds” under the drop-down menu or tab 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 +220 to Toronto Blue Jays OF Teoscar Hernandez’s +10000 pre-season odds at FanDuel).
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; 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 their team’s performance.
Unfortunately, local biases can’t be fully eliminated based on the current voting system. 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|
|2020||Jose Abreu (CHW)||+6000||Freddie Freeman (ATL)||+2500|
|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|