by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
Oddsmakers apparently view American League MVP futures as a two-horse race between Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As Major League Baseball comes out of the all-star break, Ohtani is the -275 favorite in AL MVP odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Guerrero is the +200 second-favourite.
Beyond the two young sluggers, everyone else is currently a longshot. The rest of the board at sports betting sites also includes Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (+4000), Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramírez (+4000), New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (+5000), Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette (+5000), Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton (+5000), Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (+5000), Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez (+5000), Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman (+5000), and Houston Astros DH Yordan Álvarez (+5000) (how sports betting works).
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Ohtani, as a two-way slugging and pitching standout with the Los Angeles Angels, has become the biggest story in MLB. He leads the AL in wins above replacement (WAR), home runs and slugging percentage while also pitching credibly. Ohtani has also helped the Angels stay competitive despite a long-term injury to two-time MVP Mike Trout.
For his part, Guerrero, the Blue Jays’ 22-year-old first baseman, is leading the league in 11 offensive categories, including on-base percentage, RBI and runs created. Guerrero, who is five home runs behind Ohtani, also has a prospect of making a run at the traditional Triple Crown (first in home runs, RBI and batting average), which could give momentum to his MVP campaign.
The focus on the two favorites adds value to any other player on the board, assuming someone has a legitimate chance of joining the race. That might also require Guerrero and/or Ohtani to battle injuries or regression in the second half.
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With Boston tied for the league’s best record, Bogaerts might be a value play. Bogaerts, Devers and Martinez’s offensive production has been essentially equal this season, but Bogaerts has the most fielding responsibilities.
The Houston Astros also have a share of the AL’s best record. But the 2019 sign-stealing scandal was not that long ago, and since the award is voted on by the media, it is hard to see any Astro such as Álvarez, José Altuve (+7000), Carlos Correa (+7000) or Alex Bregman (+8000) emerging as a popular alternative to Ohtani or Guerrero.
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