Updated 2021 MLB MVP Picks for American and National League

  • Bovada‘s updated AL MVP odds have Shohei Ohtani (-170) favored over Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+130)
  • Jacob DeGrom (+110) leads the NL MVP race over Fernando Tatis Jr. (+160) and Ronald Acuna Jr. (+450)
  • The Mets starter set an MLB record for the lowest ERA at the end of June at 0.69

Sadly, baseball fans won’t get to see NL MVP frontrunner Jacob deGrom pitch to AL MVP frontrunner Shohei Ohtani at next Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game at Coors Field. After missing a few starts with injuries over the first half of the season, the Mets ace plans to sit out the annual showcase to get some much-needed rest.

Already with two NL Cy Youngs on his resume, deGrom has his club in contention for a World Series title, leading the majors in ERA (0.95), FIP (0.99), and strikeouts per nine innings (14.4), but a pitcher has won the National League MVP only once since 1968.

Before we check out all the NL award contenders, let’s examine the two-man MVP race in the American League. And be sure to refer to our MLB 2021 betting guide for further wagering tips and advice.

2021 American League MVP Odds

Shohei Ohtani-170
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.+130
Jose Ramirez+4000
Xander Bogaerts+4000
Aaron Judge+5000

Ohtani or Vladdy?

Giving us all something we’ve never seen before, two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani (-170) remains the MVP favorite in the American League. The modern-day Babe Ruth leads the majors with 30 home runs and has a 3.60 ERA in 12 starts as a pitcher, with 83 strikeouts.

Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+130) has made up some serious ground in the race since we last checked in May, pacing the majors with a 1.118 OPS and hitting .338/.442/.676 with 27 home runs and 69 RBIs. But, even if the 22-year-old surpasses the Japanese slugger for the home run crown, it’s difficult to imagine Ohtani not winning AL MVP if he stays healthy.

Shohei Ohtanito win AL MVP
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Vladimir Guerrero Jr.to win AL MVP
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2021 National League MVP Odds

Jacob DeGrom+110
Fernando Tatis Jr.+160
Ronald Acuna Jr.+450
Kris Bryant+3000
Nicholas Castellanos+3000

Can deGrom make history?

Jacob deGrom (+110) set an MLB record for the lowest ERA at the end of June at 0.69. And while he did give up three earned runs in his first start in July, his 0.95 ERA still leads all of baseball. The 33-year-old is holding opposing hitters to a .122 batting average and has the lowest WHIP (0.54) by any pitcher in any 14-start span since at least 1901.

His streak of allowing one or no earned runs in 12 straight starts from April 5 to June 21 is also the longest streak among traditional starters since earned runs became official. These numbers all stack up well against past MVP-winning pitchers, including Clayton Kershaw’s 2014 MVP campaign for the Dodgers. However, position players have earned NL MVP honors in 80 of the past 90 seasons so deGrom is still facing an uphill climb.

Fernando Tatis Jr. (+160) is the top positional player on the board. Starting his first All-Star Game this month, the Padres superstar shortstop leads the NL in home runs (26), OPS (1.089), and slugging percentage (.702). When combining his first-half numbers with last year’s COVID-shortened 60-game season, the 22-year-old leads all major leaguers in long balls (43) and runs scored (111), is third in RBIs (101), and fourth in steals (27).

Topping the MLB batting race with a .344 average and leading the Majors with 104 hits and 27 doubles, Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos (+3000) is also an intriguing longshot.

Fernando Tatis Jr.to win NL MVP
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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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