The 2017 MLB regular season will be here before you know it. That means it’s time to take a serious look at the future odds.
The odds to win the World Series is the most talked about future bet leading up to the new season. However, it’s not the only one worth paying attention to.
One of my favorites is the regular season win totals. Oddsmakers set a number of wins for each team and you can bet on them to go over or under that mark.
You can also bet on who will take home the Most Valuable Player in each league or who will take home the Cy Young award.
Today I’m going to focus on the MVP betting odds for both the American League and National League.
Current Odds to win 2017 National League MVP Award
Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs won the award last year. Bryant became the first Cubs player to take the title of Most Valuable Player since Sammy Sosa back in 1998. Keep in mind this came just once season after winning the NL Rookie of the Year in 2015. Bryant received 29 of the possible 30 first place votes. Runner-up Daniel Murphy of the Nationals received the only other 1st place vote.
Typically when a player is in just his second season, you would expect a big payout on something like this. That wasn’t exactly the case. Bryant was listed at +900 coming into this season. Note that in 2015, Bryce Harper opened at 20 to 1 in the preseason. Looks like oddsmakers learned their lesson on not giving enough respect to the emerging young stars.
|Kris Bryant (CHC)||+200|
|Bryce Harper (WSH)||+300|
|Corey Seager (LAD)||+700|
|Nolan Arenado (COL)||+1000|
|Anthony Rizzo (CHC)||+1200|
|Any Pitcher (NL)||+1200|
|Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)||+1400|
|Joey Votto (CIN)||+1600|
|Buster Posey (SF)||+1600|
|Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)||+2000|
|Justin Turner (LAD)||+2500|
|Freddie Freeman (ATL)||+2500|
|Trea Turner (WSH)||+2500|
|Daniel Murphy (WSH)||+2500|
|Andrew McCutchen (PIT)||+2500|
|Kyle Schwarber (CHC)||+3300|
|Christian Yelich (MIA)||+4000|
|Anthony Rendon (WSH)||+4000|
|Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)||+4000|
|Matt Carpenter (STL)||+6600|
|Yasiel Puig (LAD)||+6600|
|Starling Marte (PIT)||+6600|
Not a big surprise to see Bryant listed as the overwhelming favorite at +200. The thing is, it’s extremely hard defend your title in back-to-back seasons. Especially when there’s so much young talent to compete with. The last player to win in consecutive seasons was Albert Pujols back in 2008 and 2009.
If you want to invest in a favorite, I think Harper at +300 is your best bet. He’s having a monster spring and should put up monster numbers if he can stay healthy. Corey Seager (+700) and Nolan Arenado (+1000) are a couple of other players who also figure to put up big numbers. Seager is definitely a strong candidate. The problem with Arenado is that he plays on a bad team and voters don’t always give these players the respect they deserve.
Updated American League MVP Betting Odds & Favorites to Win
Most expected Mike Trout to defend his MVP title in 2015. Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t let that happen. Donaldson hit .297 with 42 homers and 123 RBI on his way to winning the award.
Trout didn’t wait long to take back the hardware, winning the award last year. He’s now finished 1st or 2nd in each of his first 5 seasons in the big leagues. While there’s few that argue that Trout is the best player. Many skeptics criticize him winning on a bad team. The Los Angeles Angeles won just 74 games in 2016. At this point, don’t expect voters to change their opinion on him. Much like Kershaw in the NL when it comes to the Cy Young, you can pretty much lock in Trout to be in the running.
|Mike Trout (LAA)||+125|
|Josh Donaldson (TOR)||+650|
|Manny Machado (BAL)||+650|
|Mookie Betts (BOS)||+750|
|Carlos Correa (HOU)||+1000|
|Jose Altuve (HOU)||+1200|
|Francisco Lindor (CLE)||+1600|
|Miguel Cabrera (DET)||+1600|
|Gary Sanchez (NYY)||+2500|
|Robinson Cano (SEA)||+2500|
|Any Pitcher (AL)||+2500|
|Kyle Seager (SEA)||+4000|
|George Springer (HOU)||+4000|
|Adrian Beltre (TEX)||+4000|
|Edwin Encarnacion (CLE)||+5000|
|Nelson Cruz (SEA)||+5000|
|Xander Bogaerts (BOS)||+6600|
|Evan Longoria (TB)||+6600|
|Brian Dozier (MIN)||+6600|
|Chris Davis (BAL)||+6600|
|Jose Bautista (TOR)||+6600|
The problem with Trout is that even if you bet him to win, the payout isn’t great. Last year he opened at +150 and this season he’s even lower at +125. The next best odds belong to Donaldson and Manny Machado at +650. Not to far behind those two is Mookie Betts at +750, Carlos Correa at +1000 and Jose Altuve at +1200.
I will say that I don’t hate the idea of gambling on one of the other top candidates. If I had to pick two, I would go with Machado and Betts, though all have a legit chance. As far as a sleeper is concerned, Robinson Cano (+2500) and Edwin Encarnacion (+5000) are a couple of options.