Pitchers and catchers haven't reported for spring training yet, but it's never too early to speculate on which players will dominate the 2023 MLB season.
The latest: Shohei Ohtani's two-way dominance puts him in the driver's seat to win his second MVP, Jose Ramirez keeps closing in on this award and Adley Rutschman's incredible 2022 debut suggests he'll be in the mix.
Here are the latest AL MVP odds.
AL MVP odds
Check out the latest odds to win the AL MVP. Click linked odds to add selection to betslip.
|Player||Odds (Mar. 20)||Odds (Mar. 9)|
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||+1,400||+1,400|
Odds as of 12:36 p.m. on 03/20/2023.
Best AL MVP odds
The favourite: Ohtani (+225)
Although Aaron Judge was able to unseat Ohtani in 2022 with a historic offensive performance, all things being equal, the Japanese superstar is the most impactful player in baseball.
The word "unicorn" gets overused when talking about athletes but it applies to a guy whose Baseball Savant hitting percentiles look like this...
... while his pitching percentiles look like this:
If you were desperate to nitpick Ohtani's game you could take aim at his whiff-happy approach at the plate, but he's the most complete baseball player we're going to see.
That doesn't mean he's a lock for this award, though. He's still vulnerable to the injury bug — perhaps more so than others due to the strain of his two-way workload — and someone else could always achieve something remarkable that the voters feel need to be recognized.
We're betting against another 62-home-run season happening in 2023, which means Ohtani is a solid bet — especially since the solitary MVP on his mantle means we're not in voter-fatigue territory yet.
Other AL MVP choices
Best value: Ramirez (+1,600)
Since his breakout 2017 season, Ramirez's 34.2 fWAR sits beneath only Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts and Mike Trout — and he's only 2.0 behind Judge for the top spot.
He's placed in the top six in MVP voting five times in that span, making the podium on three occasions. If Ramirez produces a typical season, he'll be in the conversation for this award. If he takes it up a notch, he could steal it from the favourites.
The third baseman also has a couple of narratives working in his favour. For one, he's the engine behind a Cleveland Guardians team that projects to be fighting for its playoff life all year.
Ramirez also has the opposite of voter fatigue working on his side. The MVP electorate may err on the side of giving him this award if it's a toss-up because he's been deserving in the past but has never been rewarded.
Player to watch: Rutschman (+3,500)
A catcher hasn't won an MVP award in either league since Joe Mauer brought home the hardware in 2009, but Rutschman could be the guy to buck that trend.
The 2019 first overall pick demonstrated an extremely well-rounded game in his rookie year, showing patience and power at the dish and a strong arm and good framing behind it. He even graded out as a plus base runner despite his middling top speed.
Rutschman ranked 10th among AL position players in fWAR last year despite the fact he came to the plate as many as 200 times fewer than many above him on the leaderboard.
If he's healthy for a full season, he could put up some eye-popping numbers. He'd also get a narrative boost if he was able to elevate the underdog Baltimore Orioles into relevance.
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