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Shohei Ohtani, Fernando Tatis Jr. lead MLB MVP Rankings early in June

In our initial MVP rankings, we take a look at how is the leading candidates in both the American and National Leagues.

Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres hits a two-run home run in the third inning against the New York Mets at Petco Park on June 3, 2021 in San Diego, California. Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

With the MLB All-Star Game on the horizon next month at Coors Field, it is a good time to take a look at where the MVP races stand both in the American and National Leagues.

Unlike the Rookie of the Year races, which seem to have clear frontrunners in Trevor Rogers and Adolis Garica, the MVP races are up in the air. Depending on the given week, we could see two-way star Shohei Ohtani leading the American League competition. Or it could be Vladimir Guerrero Jr. mashing home runs for the Blue Jays.

The same can be said in the National League, where Fernando Tatis Jr. and Ronald Acuna Jr. are leading the pack. However, players such as Kris Bryant and Jacob deGrom are lurking in the background and could make some serious noise for the award. We are going to look at the top five MVP candidate in both the AL and NL to see who might have an opportunity to win the prestigious award. All MVP odds listed are from DraftKings Sportsbook.

NL MVP

1. Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres - The top spot for the NL MVP could go to Tatis Jr. or Acuna Jr. as both players have been sensational this season. Tatis currently has the second-best odds to win MVP at +300 on DraftKings Sportsbook. However, the reason why I give him the edge over Acuna Jr. is because the Padres have a better record at 35-23 and are only one game out of first place in the NL West. Tatis is tied for first in the majors in HRs with 17 and hitting an excellent .299 at the plate.

2. Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves - Acuna has the best odds to win the award at +225 and has a strong case on why he should the MVP. He’s been the Braves best player by far this season and is the main reason why they are only 3.5 games behind the Mets for first place in the NL East. This season, the dynamic outfielder is slashing .290/.393/.628 with 17 HRs (tied with Tatis Jr.) and 35 RBI.

3. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets - The two-time NL Cy Young award winner could be the first pitcher since Clayton Kershaw in 2014 to win the NL MVP. The season that Kershaw won the MVP, he posted a 21-3 record and 1.77 ERA. deGrom might not be able to match the wins that Kershaw had, but his ERA could be better as he’s sitting at a career-best 0.62. If deGrom can keep ERA under 2.00, let alone around the 1.50 range, it’s going to be hard to deny him the award.

4. Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs - Quietly, Bryant is having a bounce-back season for the Cubs and is a sleeper candidate to win the NL MVP at +1500. The 29-year-old has played multiple positions on the diamond and is slugging .316/.395/.596 with 12 HRs and 36 RBI. The last time Bryant batted close to .300 was in 2017, where he finished seventh in the NL MVP race.

5. Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati Reds - Castellanos has played a major role in helping the Reds becoming one of the top offenses in the majors. The 29-year-old outfielder is one of the most feared hitters in the Reds’ lineup along with Jesse Winkler. Castellanos is slashing .364/.421/.641 with 12 HRs and 31 RBI.

AL MVP

1. Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels - The former AL Rookie of the Year and two-way star is making a strong case to win the AL MVP. Ohtani has been the Angels’ best offensive player and starting pitcher this season. He is currently the odds-on favorite to win the MVP at +130. The 26-year-old is slashing .258/.324/.584 with 15 HRs and 40 RBI at plate. And on the mound, he has a tremendous 2.72 ERA despite having a 1-1 record in seven starts.

2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays - Vladdy Jr. is finally having the breakout season that everybody thought we would see last year as the Blue Jays made it the postseason. This season, he is not only hitting for power, but also for average, which is a great sign for Toronto. Guerrero Jr. is slugging a career-high .335/.440/.665 with 17 HRs and 45 RBI.

3. Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox - It would be criminal to not have someone from the White Sox on this list. Chicago is currently in first place in the AL Central with a record of 34-22 and has the second-best record in the American League. Anderson is having another good season at the plate for the Sox, slashing .296/.333/.436 with 6 HRs and 18 RBI. He’s a long shot to win the AL MVP at +3300.

4. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox - Bogaerts will be one of two Red Sox players on the AL MVP rankings. The 28-year-old is one pace to hit for .300 for the third-straight season. He’s slashing .312/.373/.538 with 10 HRs and 33 RBI in 220 plate appearances. He has received MVP votes each of the last three seasons.

5. Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox - The infield combo of Bogaerts and Devers has been lethal this season for the Red Sox. Devers is slugging a solid .279/.351/.584 with 14 HRs and 43 RBI. The 24-year-old third baseman is a long shot to win the MVP at +4000 odds.

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