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Breaking down who is getting the love among AL MVP candidates in late February

Early numbers for AL MVP have been released and you may be surprised who is topping the list along with other names to consider.

MLB: ALCS-Houston Astros at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Spring Training is in full force and the buzz (no pun intended, Astros’ fans) around baseball is starting to rise. Even though we have a full season of baseball to go before we find out who will take home MVP honors, it’s still worth noting who people are betting on early and where the money and bets are landing at DraftKings Sportsbook. We’ve included a table below and will pull out some of the interesting info we gather from it.

Gleyber Torres leads in both the handle and bets

I was surprised to see Torres leading in both categories when this information became available. Once the surprise wore off, it made sense seeing as this was someone who slashed .278/.337/.535 with 38 home runs and 90 RBI through 144 games. So I got curious and headed on over to DraftKings Sportsbook to see what his odds currently sat.


Wow. Now it makes a lot more sense.

If you’re new to betting, with those odds, a $100 bet would return you $4100 if Torres were to win AL MVP. If Torres can stay healthy, I think he does have a legitimate chance to take this down. Some of the players that have the same odds as he does, Jose Altuve, Marcus Semien, Rafael Devers, I simply don’t see them doing enough to win this award. Add in that New Jersey is DraftKings’ biggest market, and this makes even more sense.

Lots can happen between now and the end of the season. Giancarlo Stanton (+3300) is already labeled questionable for Opening Day, putting a potential damper on his MVP chances. The value you’re getting on Torres, who took a major step forward in 2019, could pay off immensely if he can continue that one again this season.

Early numbers indicate bettors looking to stay safe

Looking at the bets column, Aaron Judge and Mike Trout round out the top three. No surprise here as Trout (+150) is the current favorite by a wide margin while Judge (+1000) is the second player listed, but is also tied with Francisco Lindor (+1000) — who doesn’t crack the top 10 in either category.

Trout is the reigning MVP after slashing .291/.438/.645 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI through 134 games. Regardless if you like WAR (wins above replacement) or not, Trout also topped the league at 8.6. Alex Bregman was second at 8.4 and Christian Yelich and NL MVP Cody Bellinger tied for third at 7.8. To see Trout getting the love again makes perfect sense, especially when you consider Anthony Rendon will now be in the Angels lineup, giving Trout a whole new level of protection. If you wanted a safe bet for MVP, Trout is your guy — as the odds indicate.

While Judge has the second-best odds, his health is a concern. I totally get it — when healthy, Judge will post some massive power numbers. This is also a player who’s missed 110 games over the last two seasons. Judge currently sits second in both handle and bets, which for me, is a bit surprising. When healthy, Judge is good for 30+ home runs but we’ve yet to see that since 2017 when he hit 52. Judge finished second in the MVP race that season, losing out to Jose Altuve. I have no issue putting a small amount on Judge but I’m surprised the money is following him as heavily as it is.

Surprising names listed in Top 10

A couple of names that surprised me were Austin Meadows (+10000) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr (+6600). Meadows slashing .291/.364/.558 while cracking 33 home runs and knocking in 89. The Rays should be competitive once again in the American League East and some improvements in their lineup make them an interesting team to watch in 2020. At the odds you’re getting, I can understand the appeal of Meadows but as the odds suggest, this is quite the long shot.

Guerrero really slowed down in the latter half of the season. He has come out and said he was “gassed” and it prompted him to undergo a number of offseason routines to improve that. Overall, it’s safe to say his MLB debut was a disappointment but we all know the potential he has. Through 123 games, he slashed .272/.339/.433 with 15 home runs and 69 RBI.

AL MVP betting splits, Feb 28

Rank By Handle By Bets
Rank By Handle By Bets
1 Gleyber Torres Gleyber Torres
2 Aaron Judge Aaron Judge
3 Shohei Ohtani Mike Trout
4 Austin Meadows Giancarlo Stanton
5 Giancarlo Stanton Vladimir Guerrero Jr
6 Vladimir Guerrero Jr Rafael Devers
7 Mike Trout Yoan Moncada
8 Yoan Moncada DJ LeMahieu
9 DJ LeMahieu Austin Meadows
10 Gary Sanchez Shohei Ohtani

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