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AL MVP race: How first week of season impacted odds

Teddy Ricketson discusses how the first week of the 2023 regular season impacted the AL MVP odds.

Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels bats during the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on April 03, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

We are four days into the MLB season, and yet we are seeing shifts in the game. With the new pitch clock rules, a 2-0 game was completed in two hours at five minutes. When it comes to specific gameplay, we are seeing more home runs, more strikeouts and more stolen bases. Overall, it made for an eventful opening week of the season.

AL MVP Race: Week 1 takeaways

Ahead of the regular season starting, Shohei Ohtani had +190 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook. He opened the season with another Los Angeles Angels letdown as he struck out 10 while giving up only two hits in six innings, but didn’t factor into the decision as the Angeles blew their lead in the 8th inning. Still, his odds of winning the MVP Award increased, albeit slightly, to +180.

Aaron Judge had the third-best odds installed at +500. He started the 2023 campaign just as he ended his MVP 2022 season with a long ball. Judged ended the first weekend going 6 for 13 at the plate with two home runs and four RBI. He did strike out five times, but if he can get that rate down and maintain his deep flies, he could be looking at consecutive awards. Judge moved up to the second-best odds at +600 and is followed by Mike Trout +800.

The biggest riser was Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman who is now tied at +1400 with Jose Ramirez to win the AL MVP Award. The catcher went an impressive five for five at the plate on Opening Day with a home run and four RBI. He came back to Earth in the rest of the weekend series combining for one for 10 over the final two games. Still, Rutschman gave us a sneak peek of what he can do.

AL MVP Standings as of 4/4

Shohei Ohtani +180 Aaron Judge +600 Mike Trout +800
Julio Rodriguez +800 Yordan Alvarez +1000 Vlad Guerrero Jr. +1100
Jose Ramirez +1400 Adley Rutschman +1400 Wander Franco +2500
Rafael Devers +2500 Corey Seager +2500 Byron Buxton +2500