Judge, Harper Seeing Most Tickets in Respective MVP Races

There’s a lot of talent headlining both the American League and National League MVP races, but Bryce Harper and Aaron Judge are making the most noise. That shouldn’t be hard to believe with how well-known these star players are, but they’ve backed up the interest by putting up big numbers.

Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies has a 2.4 WAR, a .317 batting average, 15 home runs, 46 RBI, and a 1.ooo OPS. It’s hard to ignore those numbers in the NL MVP race, and the public hasn’t. He leads the charge with 15.4% of tickets. It’s not like this is the first year Harper has been good in a Phillies uniform, either. He’s posted progressively better numbers each season. Harper posted a career-high .615 slugging percentage in 2021, which he’s currently outpacing at .620 this season. You’re seeing much more power in his game once again, and he’s back on similar pacing after mashing 35 last season.

There’s likely some value in Harper’s current odds of +900, which are the fifth-best in the NL behind Paul Goldschmidt, Mookie Bets, Manny Machado, and Pete Alonso. Those are some big names that Harper will have to fend off, but he’s shown throughout his career that he can do so. With the Phillies finally finding some consistency to their game, a lot of that has to do with how well Harper has played of late, and he should be considered a contender for the award as a result. 

Heading to the AL MVP race, Judge has made quite the case for himself, and he’s doing so in a contract year. The power-hitting outfielder for the New York Yankees has already clubbed 25 home runs, which outpaces his career-best season of 52 in 2017. That season saw Judge finish as the runner-up for the award, but he’s currently the odds-on favorite to win it this season at +110.

Judge opened the year at +2000, which had him in a tie for the fourth-best odds behind Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Not only is Judge on a spectacular home run pace, but he also owns a 1.067 OPS, which would be the best number he’s hit in his seven years in the big leagues. You might not love the price for Judge to win the award being just above plus-money, but it’s one that you should likely feel comfortable investing in with how he’s distanced himself from the field. Judge owns the highest ticket percentage in the marketplace with 13.3% of tickets, which should increase if his play continues on this trajectory. Of course, some big names will have hot streaks down the stretch, but Judge appears to be a man on a mission, and that’s not a guy you should likely want to bet against.