Mike Trout remains the AL MVP favorite, but other stars are emerging, such as Jose Abreu, Brandon Lowe, and Luke Voit. Photo via @ESPNStatsInfo (Twitter).
- As teams begin reaching the halfway point of their season, the American League MVP odds are coming into view
- Mike Trout remains the favorite, but his odds continue to slide
- For the current odds and betting analysis, check out the article below
When the odds grow increasingly enticing for a three-time (and reigning) MVP, what do you do? Roughly halfway home in the strange and shortened MLB season, Mike Trout remains the favorite to win AL MVP — but his average odds have slid in the past two months, from +128 (July 8) to +217 (Aug. 11) to +300 (Aug. 25) .
Here’s where the AL MVP odds are currently situated at DraftKings.
2020 AL MVP Odds
|Player (Team)||Odds at DraftKings|
|Mike Trout (Angels)||+300|
|Brandon Lowe (Rays)||+450|
|Aaron Judge (Yankees)||+800|
|Jose Abreu (White Sox)||+800|
|Nelson Cruz (Twins)||+1000|
|Luke Voit (Yankees)||+1000|
|Francisco Lindor (Indians)||+1500|
|Anthony Rendon (Angels)||+1500|
Odds as of Aug. 25th.
The small samples created so far this year have led to some video-game numbers for several enticing candidates. Let’s go deeper on a few players that stand out.
Trout Remains Chalk
There isn’t much left to say about Mike Trout, one of the game’s most decorated players. His third MVP award came in 2019, in what was his fifth consecutive season leading the AL in league-adjusted OPS. That’s just bonkers.
He has been less effective this season, with dips in average, OBP, and OPS. But he remains among the top of the heap in home runs (tied for 3rd), RBIs (tied for 4th), and OPS (12th).
Mike Trout makes baseball look 100x easier than it actually is pic.twitter.com/c7JiggfpWL
— Baseball Central™ (@BaseballCentraI) August 18, 2020
Trout has as much potential to catch fire as anybody, so time might be running out to buy his dip. From the standpoint of a guy who has proven he can post MVP numbers, Trout’s value is clear.
With that said, there are several players ahead of him statistically, and his Angels (9-21) have been truly dreadful. The MVP is an individual award, but finishing in the basement of the league is not exactly a selling point.
2020 World Series Odds Tracker
Cruz an Ageless Wonder
The oldest MVP ever is Barry Bonds, who turned 40 during the 2004 season en route to winning his seventh such award.
And, well, look at that: Nelson Cruz turned 40 last month, amid a season where he is very much in the conversation to win this darn thing.
Cruz’s MVP resume hinges on his ability to bludgeon the baseball into the bleachers. His 11 home runs are tied for the AL lead, while his 1.128 OPS stands alone at the top.
The catcher’s reaction to Nelson Cruz’s second HR pic.twitter.com/f3Lt82oGcM
— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) August 18, 2020
It’s reasonable by now to assume that the shortened season assists a player like Cruz, who is among the game’s most elder statesmen and appears to have benefitted from the extra time off. But it stands to reason that he’d still be more susceptible to injury. Last year, Cruz had multiple injured list stints due to a wrist strain.
Cruz is also largely a one-trick pony with his power. His .340 batting average probably begs to differ, but as an everyday designated hitter there are limitations to what he can do.
What Can Abreu Do?
Jose Abreu’s best shot at an MVP award actually came back in 2014, when he finished fourth while also earning Rookie of the Year honors. Could now be his chance?
Abreu is tied with Cruz for the AL lead in homers, while also leading in RBIs and total bases. What’s particularly attractive about his situation is the protection his White Sox lineup provides.
THREE homers tonight for José Abreu. 😤 pic.twitter.com/zWKByrlPhQ
— MLB (@MLB) August 23, 2020
With other intimidating hitters like Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, and Yoan Moncada, pitchers cannot simply work around Abreu. And with the way he’s swinging the bat so far, there should be plenty more production to come.
At the same time, Abreu’s value is difficult to ignore. A more volatile pick than Trout, but plenty of value and situational upside involved.
Pick: Jose Abreu (White Sox) +800
Jordan Horrobin is a sports journalist whose MLB, NHL, NFL and NCAA work has appeared in outlets such as The Athletic, MLB.com, the Detroit Free Press and more. He is currently based in Toronto, also working as a contributor for Forbes.com and a freelance editor for Sportsnet.