- Betts’ hot bat played a key role in Boston’s record-setting campaign
- Yelich overcame an early-season injury to spur the Brewers to the NL Central title
- Trout, Ramirez, Baez, and Arenado are unlikely to keep pace in MVP voting
The frontrunners look poised to claim MVP honors in both the American and National Leagues, with Christian Yelich emerging as a massive -1250 favorite to claim NL MVP honors while Mookie Betts sports the same odds of raising the hardware over in the AL. Let’s take a closer look at the 2018 MLB MVP odds in both leagues.
AL MVP Average Odds
Betts’ critical role in the Boston Red Sox’ most successful season in franchise history has all but locked up the AL MVP award for the diminutive outfielder.
The 26-year-old compiled an MLB-leading .346 batting average to go along with 32 home runs and 80 RBI, and was also rewarded for his stellar work patrolling center field for the Red Sox with a third straight Golden Glove award.
This is the second time Mookie Betts has recorded at least 40 doubles, 5 triples, and 30 HR in a season. The only other Red Sox player ever to do that in two seasons is Ted Williams (1939 & 1947).
— Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) September 21, 2018
A lengthy +2300 bet prior to the start of the campaign, Betts quickly rocketed to the top of the odds after establishing an early lead in the AL batting race that he would not relinquish. A second-place finisher in MVP voting two years ago, Betts is also one of two players to join baseball’s exclusive 30-30 club by stealing 30 bases to go along with his 32 dingers.
Trout, Ramirez Lag on AL MVP Odds
Mike Trout remains Betts’ closest competition on the AL MVP odds, trailing at +450, while Jose Ramirez rounds out the odds board, pegged at +800.
A +125 preseason favorite to claim a third career MVP award, Trout turned in yet another spectacular season.
A +125 preseason favorite to claim a third career MVP award, Trout turned in yet another spectacular season. The 27-year-old emerged as on of the few bright spots on a middling Los Angeles Angels squad, hitting .312 to go along with 39 home runs. Trout also led the AL with 122 bases on balls, fueling his career-high 1.088 OPS, and could present a surprising challenge to Betts in MVP voting.
@MikeTrout has had 6 full seasons in MLB. He has never finished outside the Top 4 in American League MVP voting which is absolutely ABSURD. Best player in baseball & it’s not close. @Angels pic.twitter.com/TxiiCzW8zL
— ➕Matt De Blasi➕ (@MattDeBlasi) November 6, 2018
Ramirez joined Betts as the newest members of the 30-30 club, connecting on 39 home runs while stealing 34 bases. The 26-year-old also set career highs with 105 RBI and 106 BBs, but faded down the stretch, batting a meagre .174 with just 11 RBI during the month of September, a slide that has likely snuffed out his chances of raising the hardware this season.
NL MVP Average Odds
It is a late-season surge that is likely to put Yelich over the top in the raise for MVP honors in the National League. The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder overcame a rough start that saw him miss 12 games to injury and go .214 at the dish with just two home runs and six RBI.
.@ChristianYelich has reached base safely in 29 consecutive games, which marks the longest current streak in the National League. Yelich is batting .305 (36-for-118) with 11 HR and 28 RBI during the streak. Alex Bregman (Hou) has the only longer active streak (40g). #Brewers
— Mike Vassallo (@MikeVassallo13) September 15, 2018
While the 26-year-old showed steady improvement upon his return from the disabled list, his hot bat played a key role in the Brewers’ drive to the top of the NL Central standings during the final month of the season. Yelich connected on 21 home runs during the final two months of the schedule, and hit a sizzling .352 with 33 RBI in the month of September to separate himself from the rest of the pack on the NL MVP odds.
Breakthrough Season Lifts Baez into NL MVP Contention
Javier Baez failed to make the NL MVP odds board prior to the start of the season, but looks towards next week’s announcement of this season’s winner sitting second to Yelich, deadlocked with Nolan Arenado at +600.
Having a breakthrough great season, Javier Baez picked up a double in a crucial 3-0 win for the @Cubs tonight vs PIT & with it, tied for 1st on this list of superb young Cubbies pic.twitter.com/MY3rXksirM
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) September 28, 2018
Baez enjoyed a breakthrough in his third full season with the Chicago Cubs. After batting a respectable .273 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI last season, the 25-year-old exploded for 34 homers and an NL-leading 111 RBI while adding 21 stolen bases.
Baez exploded for 34 homers and an NL-leading 111 RBI while adding 21 stolen bases.
Arenado opened the season as a short +500 bet after hitting 37 home runs and topping 130 RBI for a third straight year last season. However, the Colorado Rockies third baseman’s bat cooled off late in the season, marked by a 14-game stretch without a home run and just five RBI in the second half of September.