The AL is loaded with talent, as evidenced by the lengthy MVP futures board at BetMGM. Dual-threat Shohei Ohtani is the reigning most valuable player, and it’s going to take a special season from one of the other contenders to knock him off his perch. Still, there are a number of candidates who continue to put up generational numbers, coming for Ohtani’s crown.
We’re running through the top candidates to take home the award.
Here are the leaders in 2022 AL MVP odds (as of September 16):
Aaron Judge (-5000)
Last week: It’s time to call it. Aaron Judge is the 2022 American League Most Valuable Player. The four-time All-Star concluded another exceptional week, swatting two more dingers, with four runs batted in and six runs scored. That has elevated Judge’s totals to an MLB-best 1.101 on-base plus slugging percentage, 57 home runs, 123 RBIs, and 117 runs.
This week: The New York Yankees are heading into an interleague stretch, with series against the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates coming up. Neither team has pitched well recently, with both teams posting earned run averages above 4.00 over the last couple of weeks. That should help Judge in his quest to surpass Roger Maris’s team record of 61 home runs.
Shohei Ohtani (+1500)
Last week: The only player with an outside shot of catching Judge as the best player in the AL is defending MVP Shohei Ohtani. The Japanese slugger was moderately successful at the plate this week, compiling a .833 on-base plus slugging percentage, with three of his four hits going for extra bases. Ohtani’s having a career year in pitching, compiling a career-best earned run average while allowing the fewest walks and hits per inning pitched.
This week: Sadly, there’s not much Ohtani could do at this point to persuade voters to back him as the best player in the league, particularly with a four-game set against the Seattle Mariners on tap. The dual-threat remains a generational talent, but his time with the Halos will be punctuated with another missed opportunity, with LA missing the playoffs for the eighth straight season. BetMGM was exposed on Ohtani, but they appear to have avoided the liability.
Mike Trout (+50000)
Last week: Early in the season, Mike Trout appeared to be on track for his fourth MVP award. However, limited effectiveness throughout the dog days, compounded by nagging back injuries, prevented Trout from making a sincere charge at the distinction. The eight-time Silver Slugger has turned things around in the latter part of the season, as evidenced by his .800 slugging percentage this week.
This week: His ongoing back injuries could prevent Trout from recapturing the glory of his early years, but that doesn’t diminish his effectiveness at the plate. Even in a down year, Trout put together a .994 on-base plus slugging percentage, surpassing Ohtani in home runs, despite playing in 36 fewer contests. The Angels are locked in divisional matchups all week, including a set against the Mariners, which should temper expectations for the week.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+50000)
Last week: Up-and-comer Vladimir Guerrero Jr. remains one of the few names left on BetMGM’s futures board. The Toronto Blue Jays slugger has had nine hits over the past seven days, with four going for a double or more. Still, that’s left him short of his career average in slugging percentage, which has dipped to .483 off last season’s career-high of .601.
This week: The focus for the Blue Jays is maintaining their playoff position over the last few weeks of the season. That continues with a crucial series against the Baltimore Orioles this weekend, who are just 5.0 games back of the Jays. Throughout his career, Vladdy Jr. has tormented the Orioles, posting a .997 on-base plus slugging percentage with 20 home runs and 51 runs batted in across 58 outings.
Rafael Devers (+50000)
Last week: It wasn’t meant to be this year, but Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers is an under-the-radar candidate to capture an MVP award before the end of his career. This week, Devers went 5-for-17, including two extra-base hits, six runs batted in, and one stolen base. The former World Series champion was among the league leaders in hits and extra-base knocks before his production slowed and he fell out of the MVP running.
This week: It would take a small miracle for the Red Sox to make the postseason, but with series against the Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds on deck, Devers may help Boston make a late push. However, his position on the futures board is analogous to the team’s position in the standings, as the focus will soon shift towards next year.
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