Trout Is the Odds-On AL MVP Favorite at Every Sportsbook … Except One

Mike Trout standing with teammate Brian Goodwin
Mike Trout (right) has considerably longer AL MVP odds at a certain sportsbook compared to the rest. Photo by KA Sports Photos (Twitter).
  • Mike Trout is even-money or shorter to win AL MVP at every sportsbook save one
  • Can the outfielder become a four-time MVP winner in 2020?
  • Is there value on Trout at +125?

The 2020 MLB season is just three weeks away and, with teams starting to finalize their rosters, sportsbooks have already set out odds for the MVP awards.

To no surprise, Mike Trout is the odds-on AL MVP favorite in  most sportsbooks, yet one sportsbook is currently offering plus-money on the Angels outfielder to be the AL MVP winner.

 

2020 AL MVP Favorites

Player Odds Odds Odds Odds
Mike Trout -105 -110 +100 +125
Aaron Judge +1000 +900 +1005 +1200
Alex Bregman +1200 +1400 +1661 +1600
Gleyber Torres +1400 +1300 +1005 +1200
Shohei Ohtani +1400 +1800 +1814 +1800
Francisco Lindor +1800 +1800 +1661 +1600
Matt Chapman +2000 +2000 +2525 +2500
Anthony Rendon +2500 +2500 +3036 +3000
Marcus Semien +3000 +2800 +3036 +3000
Yoan Moncada +3500 +3300 +5000 +1800

All odds as of March 6, 2020.

With Trout being plus-money in one sportsbook, is there value wagering on him to win back-to-back awards (and the fourth in his already storied career?

How Many Players Have Won Back-to-Back MVPs?

There is no question Mike Trout is the best player in baseball, as evidenced by his stats. The outfielder has played eight full seasons and has averaged a 9.0 WAR along with a career batting average of .305 with an on-base percentage of .419 including having a .460 OBP in 2018.

Although the stats prove he is already one of the best ever, history shows it is hard to win back-to-back MVPs. Since 1931 when the Baseball Writers’ Association of America started handing out MVP awards, only 31 players have won the award more than once. Out of those 31, only 13 have won back-to-back, something Trout has yet to accomplish.

The last time someone won in back-to-back years was Miguel Cabrera in 2012 and 2013.

Yet, Trout is different. Although he hasn’t won in back-to-back years (yet), he has either won or been the runner-up in seven of the eight full seasons he has played. The only season he didn’t come first, he finished fourth.  He’s also the first player in history to garner seven top-two showings in his league’s MVP voting in a span of eight seasons.

Mike Trout is the model of consistency and will always be an MVP candidate  as long as he’s healthy.

Is There Value On Mike Trout?

Trout is the favorite at every sportsbook, and by some margin, but to get him at +125 (45.5% implied probability) in one sportsbook presents value.

To begin every season, Trout is a popular bet to win the AL MVP award, and although he has only won it three times, which is lower than the 45.5% probability, I still think the value is on Trout.

Something Trout has proven throughout his career is he can stay healthy, mostly. The 28-year-old has played an average of just under 145 games per season in the eight full years he has played.

Not only is staying healthy critical for winning MVPs but so too is being on a playoff-caliber team. Only two times in the past 10 years has a player won the AL MVP without making the playoffs. The Los Angeles Angels aren’t a World Series favorite, but they are a team many expect to be in contention with Anthony Rendon added to the lineup and Joe Maddon on the bench.

But, even if they fall short, don’t fret too much. Both times the MVP came from a non-playoff team in the last decade, it was Trout who won the award.

Pick: Mike Trout (+125)

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