Brandon Lowe Is the New AL MVP Favorite; Trout’s Odds Keep Sinking

Brandon Lowe rounding the bases

Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe is now the +500 favorite to be named American League MVP. Photo by @draysbay (Twitter).

  • Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe is now the +500 favorite to be named American League MVP
  • Previous frontrunner Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels has slumped to third at +633
  • Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (+600) has moved into second spot in this betting market

Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe is the new leader in the betting odds for American League MVP. However, it could be argued that he’s only on top because the bar has been lowered.

Mike Trout was the previous frontrunner but the Los Angeles Angels center fielder saw his average betting line balloon from +325 to +633 over the past week.

What’s interesting in this development is that Lowe’s average odds also got longer. Lowe saw his line go from +450 to +500 in the AL MVP odds.

To show how wide open this race is, at DraftKings, oddsmakers are touting third baseman Anthony Rendon, Trout’s Angels teammate, as the +600 favorite.

Lowe and Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber are co-second betting choices at +650.

2020 AL MVP Odds

Player (Team) Odds at DraftKings
Anthony Rendon (Angels) +600
Shane Bieber (Indians) +650
Brandon Lowe (Rays) +650
Kyle Lewis (Mariners) +750
Mike Trout (Angels) +750
Jose Abreu (White Sox) +850
Nelson Cruz (Twins) +1000
Tim Anderson (White Sox) +1200
Jose Ramirez (Indians) +1200
Luis Robert (White Sox) +1500
Luke Voit (Yankees) +1500

Odds as of Sept. 2nd.

The real mover and shaker over the past seven days was Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu. He improved boldly, going from +950 to second-favorite at +600.

A Mighty Lowe

You won’t find Lowe’s name atop the leaderboard in any of the AL’s major offensive categories. However, you will locate him near the leadership in almost every significant department.

Currently, he’s 10th in WAR (1.5) among position players and fourth in offensive WAR (1.5). Lowe is tied for eighth in slugging percentage (.592) and ninth in OPS (.893).

Lowe is also tied for fourth in runs scored (26), tied for eighth in total bases (74), tied for third in triples (two), tied for eighth in home runs (10), and seventh in RBI (27). As well, he’s tied for sixth in runs created (28), tied for fourth in extra-base hits (19) and 10th in offensive winning percentage (.721).

He also shares 10th spot in at-bats per home run (12.5). And when Lowe hits the ball, he hits it hard. According to MLB Statcast, his barrel rate of 21% is third-best among all qualified hitters this season.

Lowe’s discipline at the plate shows tremendous improvement. He struck out on 38.1% of all at-bats in 2019. This year, he’s cut that rate to 28.8%.

2020 Cy Young Odds Tracker

Trout Swimming Upstream

While he shares the AL lead with 32 RBI, Trout’s numbers are down in almost every other category from a year ago. He has a .359 OBP, .602 SLG, and .960 OPS.

Last season, those totals were .438/.605/1.083. All of them were AL-leading digits. He’s batting .268, down from .291 in 2019.

It’s Anybody’s Ballgame

If there’s one thing to be gleaned from the AL MVP odds, it’s that this is a wide-open race. Strange things tend to happen in shortened seasons.

During the strike-shortened 1981 campaign, Milwaukee Brewers closer Rollie Fingers was AL MVP. He was the first reliever to ever win the award.

In other words, think outside the box. Reach down the list for a value bet.

The player who made the biggest move in the odds was Abreu. He leads the AL in hits (46) and total bases (92) and is tied atop the RBI list (32).

Abreu is second in home runs (12) and extra-base hits (22) and eighth in batting average (.313).

On top of that, the ChiSox are relevant for the first time in nearly a decade. Getting Abreu at +850 is a solid price.

Pick: Jose Abreu (Chicago White Sox) +850

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Robert Duff