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 9):
Aaron Judge (-1150)
Last week: Aaron Judge had a mind-numbing week. The New York Yankees’ slugger posted 1.190 slugging and .607 on-base percentages, with seven of his ten hits going for extra bags, including four dingers. Still, his betting price declined slightly to -1000, despite a hugely productive week and increased market share. Judge represents 19.3% of the handle, with some large money wagers coming in from sharp bettors, as reflected in his 15.9% ticket count.
This week: The Yankees have only five games over the next week, all of which come against AL East opponents. More importantly, they are hitter-friendly venues that should facilitate ongoing production from Judge. New York hosts the Tampa Bay Rays for three games over the weekend before traveling to Fenway for a two-game set against the Boston Red Sox. Given his current form, it’s unlikely the betting price will drop lower than its current value.
Shohei Ohtani (+550)
Last week: Shohei Ohtani’s window to catch Judge shrinks with each passing week. Nevertheless, the reigning MVP continues to put together some of his best performances of the season. Although his on-base percentage took a hit, nearly every one of Ohtani’s hits left the park this week. Three of his four hits were home runs, and the other was a double, resulting in four runs batted in and four scored.
This week: Sadly, Ohtani has left himself short on runway for catching Judge as the best player in the American League. Although he still leads the ticket and handle counts at BetMGM, there’s almost nothing Ohtani could do to match Judge’s accomplishments. With dates against the playoff-bound Houston Astros and AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians on tap, we could see some regression from Ohtani over the coming week.
Jose Ramirez (+10000)
Last week: Three singles in 19 at-bats isn’t the type of performance that will keep Jose Ramirez in the MVP conversation. The Cleveland Guardians third baseman struggled mightily throughout the week, recording six strikeouts against an ineffective .158 slugging percentage. Granted, Ramirez has 108 runs batted in and a .876 on-base plus slugging percentage on the season, but he remains an afterthought in the AL MVP race, as evidenced by his 4.3% handle.
This week: Ineffectiveness isn’t limited to Ramirez, as the Guardians have dropped seven of their last ten contests, cutting their division lead to 1.5 games. With a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins coming up, the complexion of the AL Central could change. There’s nothing Ramirez could do over the season’s final few weeks which would warrant inclusion as a legitimate contender. Still, I’m sure Ramirez is happy to trade personal triumph for team success.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+25000)
Last week: Whatever glimmer of hope Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had for obtaining the MVP award has been stomped out by a forgettable week at the plate. Vladdy Jr. recorded just three singles this week for a laughable .107 slugging percentage. His on-base percentage has been his saving grace all season, but the .167 mark Vladdy put up over the past seven days ranks 12th among all Blue Jays hitters.
This week: Guerrero’s market share has gradually declined throughout the season, bottoming out at 10.0% ticket count and 9.0% handle. Considering his recent performances, that will slide further as more money comes in on Judge and Ohtani to end the year. The Jays may enjoy success against the Texas Rangers over the weekend, but they’ll face a stiffer challenge from the Rays next week. Considering his current form, pitchers won’t spend too much time worrying about facing Vladdy.
Yordan Alvarez (+25000)
Last week: Houston Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez can’t pump the breaks on his second-half slide. Alvarez ended the past week with a disappointing .498 on-base plus slugging percentage, falling further from his MLB-leading perch at the halfway point of the season.
This week: The Astros take on some inferior opponents over the coming week, hosting the Angels for a weekend set before traveling to take on the Detroit Tigers. Irrespective of outcomes, Alvarez needs to get his bat going in time for the postseason, or Houston could face an earlier-than-expected exit.
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