AL MVP Odds Show A Tight Race Between 2 Stars
The American League MVP award figures to be one of the most exciting races in MLB‘s second half.
Last year, Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani took home the award in an unanimous vote, even after Vladimir Guerrero Jr.‘s excellent season.
This year, things appear to be a lot closer, but the Angels’ ace and slugger still seems to be the favorite.
That’s at least according to FOX Bet Live.
Ohtani vs. Judge 🍿
odds via @FOXBet // @MLBONFOX pic.twitter.com/ZZbVAoAdOr
— FOX Bet Live (@FOXBetLive) July 21, 2022
In 382 plate appearances, Ohtani has a .258/.348/.486 line with 19 home runs, 51 runs, 56 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.
What separates him from the rest is that he also has a 2.38 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 87 innings as a pitcher.
In other words, he has been slightly worse this year as a hitter, but much better as a hurler, compared to last year.
Ohtani Is The Leading Candidate As Long As He Keeps Excelling At Hitting And Pitching
That can only mean one thing: as long as Ohtani is excelling at both activities, he should be considered the favorite to win the award again.
It doesn’t matter if he won it last year: he is the most deserving candidate so far.
However, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is very, very close, with his league-leading 34 round-trippers and excellent rates and totals.
We also shouldn’t sleep on Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros.
He has 27 home runs and a league-leading 1.074 OPS.
Paul Goldschmidt comes second with a 1.004 OPS: the rest of the hitters are under 1.000.
What Alvarez is doing with the stick is nothing short of amazing, and he is very clearly the best hitter of the bunch.
That probably won’t matter as long as Ohtani remains relatively healthy to start as a hitter most days and pitch once a week.