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  • Look back at each player’s odds of winning the 2018 AL and NL MVP awards
  • View past winners and examine each top contender individually or by division
  • Receive a visualization of how the odds have changed throughout the season

Major League Baseball has been honoring its best players since 1911 with its American League and National League Most Valuable Player awards. Back then, the award was given to the “top batsman” in each league and the prize was a “luxury automobile” pimped out with three oil lamps and a horn. These days, winners use the award as a contract negotiating tool to coax millions of dollars in salary and endorsements.

The 2018 AL MVP Award went to Boston outfielder Mookie Betts, who led the Red Sox to the team’s fourth World Series title since 2004 and a franchise best 108 wins in the regular season. NL honors went to Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christina Yelich, who led the league in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS during his first season in Cream City.

We tracked the MVP odds of all top contenders throughout the 2018 season and have included their average odds across a number of top online sportsbooks in the graphs and tables below. You’ll also find the odds for other top contenders and can view how their fortunes fluctuated throughout the year.

American League MVP Odds

2018 AL MVP Finalists Odds

Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, and Jose Ramirez were named the finalists for the 2018 AL Most Valuable Player Award. The winner was announced on November 15th at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

2018 AL MVP Finalists Odds at BetOnline

Player BetOnline Odds (11/07/18)
Mookie Betts (Red Sox) -1250
Mike Trout (Angels) +450
Jose Ramirez (Indians) +800

Mookie Betts finished second in MVP voting in 2016, but he became an obvious choice in 2018 after he led the American League in runs, batting average, and slugging percentage while also playing Gold Glove defense in right field.

AL MVP Contenders by Division

Once again, the AL East boasts some of the best talent in all of baseball. Big-time mashers like Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Josh Donaldson all call the AL East home, and new import JD Martinez is sure to garner MVP consideration if he can come close to replicating his power numbers from a year ago.

AL MVP Preseason Odds

Altuve’s odds of repeating as AL MVP are nearly as short as he is. The current frontrunner is Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who won the award in 2014 and 2016 and has finished first in WAR in four of the last five seasons.

AL MVP Odds for Previous Winners

The four players featured in this graph have accounted for the last six AL MVP awards. Miguel Cabrera’s odds to win again are the longest given his advanced age and the sorry state of the Tigers’ roster. Detroit shipped out most of its established stars in 2017, leaving Miggy with little protection in the line-up.

National League MVP Odds

2018 NL MVP Finalists Odds

Javier Baez, Christian Yelich, and Nolan Arenado were named the finalists for the 2018 NL Most Valuable Player Award. The winner was announced on November 15th at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

2018 NL MVP Finalists Odds at BetOnline

Player BetOnline Odds (11/07/18)
Christian Yelich (Brewers) -1250
Javier Baez (Cubs) +600
Nolan Arenado (Rockies) +600

Christian Yelich had quite a year in his first season with the Brewers. The 26-year-old made his first All-Star team and led the National League in batting average, total bases, slugging percentage, OPS, and OPS+.

NL MVP Contenders by Division

The NL East is home to Bryce Harper, but the biggest concentration of talent is in the NL West, where Rockies teammates Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon will face plenty of competition from Dodgers teammates Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Clayton Kershaw. And don’t forget about Paul Goldschmidt. The Diamondbacks first baseman hit .297 with 36 home runs and 120 RBI in 2017 and has finished in the top three in MVP voting three times.

NL MVP Preseason Odds

Get used to hearing Bryce Harper’s name a lot this summer. The 25-year-old outfielder is eligible for free agency following this season and is expected to become baseball’s first $500 million man. He earned MVP honors in 2015 and another similar campaign will almost certainly garner him the most lucrative contract in Major League history.

NL MVP Odds for Previous Winners

Kershaw is one of only four players to win the NL MVP and NL Cy Young awards in the same season. The others are Don Newcombe (1956), Sandy Koufax (1963), and Bob Gibson (1968).

MLB MVP Winners by Position

AL MVP Winners by Position

Position Number of MVP Winners
Outfield 31
First Base 14
Pitcher 12
Shortstop 9
Catcher 8
Third Base 8
Second Base 5
Designated Hitter 1

It should come as no surprise, but outfielders have won the most American League MVP awards since 1931. Not only can three outfielders play at all times, but outfielders can also sneak in a little rest by DHing.

NL MVP Winners by Position

Position Number of MVP Winners
Outfield 32
First Base 15
Pitcher 10
Third Base 10
Catcher 8
Shortstop 7
Second Base 6

Just like in the American League, second baseman have won the fewest MVP awards. The only players to buck the trend are Frankie Firsch (1931), Jackie Robinson (1949), Joe Morgan (1975, 1976), Ryne Sandberg (1984), and Jeff Kent (2000).

MLB MVP Winners by Team

AL MVP Winners by Team

Team Number of MVP Winners
New York Yankees 20
Detroit Tigers 11
Oakland A’s 11
Boston Red Sox 10
Texas Rangers 6
Baltimore Orioles 5
Minnesota Twins 5
Los Angeles Angels 4
Chicago White Sox 4
Milwaukee Brewers 3
Cleveland Indians 2
Seattle Mariners 2
Toronto Blue Jays 2
Kansas City Royals 1
Houston Astros 1

New York has produced the most American League MVP winners since 1931. Yankees greats Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle both won it three times, and recently retired Yankee Alex Rodriguez won it twice during his time in Gotham.

NL MVP Winners by Team

Team Number of MVP Winners
St. Louis Cardinals 17
San Francisco Giants 13
Cincinnati Reds 12
Los Angeles Dodgers 11
Chicago Cubs 9
Philadelphia Phillies 7
Pittsburgh Pirates 7
Atlanta Braves 6
Colorado Rockies 1
San Diego Padres 1
Houston Astros 1
Miami Marlins 1
Milwaukee Brewers 1
Washington Nationals 1

St. Louis had a stranglehold on the National League MVP award during the 1930’s and 40’s thanks to legendary players like Dizzy Dean, Joe Medwick, Stan Musial, and Mort Cooper. The last Cardinal to win the award was Albert Pujols, who won the honor in 2008 and 2009.

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Ryan Murphy began his love affair with sports journalism at the age of nine when he wrote his first article about his little league baseball team. He has since authored his own column for Fox Sports, and now serves as SBD’s resident NBA and MLB expert.