- BetOnline has Mike Trout as an even-money favorite to win 2020 AL MVP
- Four Yankees are listed among the top-ten contenders to win the award
- Jose Ramirez is a massive longshot (+5000) despite finishing top-three in AL MVP voting in 2017 and 2018
Mike Trout (+100) not so surprisingly opened as the heavy chalk to win the 2020 American League MVP and, aside from the fact that he’s the unquestioned best player in baseball over the past decade, there are external factors working in his favor this season.
Before going over why Trout is well positioned to win his fourth AL MVP of his 10-year career, let’s look at the latest odds at BetOnline.
2020 AMERICAN LEAGUE MVP ODDS
|Mike Trout (Angels)||+100|
|Aaron Judge (Yankees)||+1200|
|Gleyber Torres (Yankees)||+1200|
|Shohei Ohtani (Angels)||+1400|
|Alex Bregman (Astros)||+1400|
|Francisco Lindor (Indians)||+1600|
|DJ LeMahieu (Yankees)||+2500|
|Matt Chapman (Athletics)||+2500|
|Anthony Rendon (Angels)||+3000|
|Gerrit Cole (Yankees)||+3000|
|Marcus Semien (Athletics)||+3000|
|Rafael Devers (Red Sox)||+3000|
MIKE TROUT VS. THE FIELD
First, it should be prefaced that Trout is plenty capable of winning another MVP with no outside help. After all, the Angels slugger had what he considered his best offensive season last year, hitting a career-high 45 homers, topping MLB in on-base percentage (.438), and leading the AL in slugging percentage (.645).
Still, Trout’s MVP path became a bit easier this week when the guy who would’ve been his primary competition for the award, Mookie Betts, was moved to the National League.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Dodgers and Red Sox have agreed to a deal that would send star OF Mookie Betts and SP David Price to L.A., pending medical reviews.
Since the start of the 2016 season, Betts’ 33.8 WAR in that span is 2nd in MLB to only Mike Trout. pic.twitter.com/9WmE6omvP0
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 5, 2020
The Angels should also be more competitive in 2020 after adding manager Joe Maddon and free-agent third-baseman Anthony Rendon. And while the 28-year-old has certainly proven you don’t need to play on a winning team to capture MVP (making the postseason just once in his career), playing for a winner always helps one’s case.
YANKEES DOMINATE THE BOARD
With Shohei Ohtani (+1400) expected to return to the mound this season, oddsmakers view the two-way Japanese star as a top-five candidate to win the award. Any vote splitting would in theory hurt Trout’s chances, but voters will have a much tougher time assigning credit to the Yankees.
Baseball’s hot stove is speculating that Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (+1600) could be headed to New York.
Gleyber Torres and his rise to Yankee Super-stardom https://t.co/x7NqjEXdh2 pic.twitter.com/VB4Bj4V4Jq
— Bronx Bombers Daily on ESM (@EmpireSportsNYY) February 7, 2020
This would put yet another MVP contender in the Bronx alongside Aaron Judge (+1200) and Gleyber Torres (+1200), who currently share the second-best odds to win the award, not to mention DJ LeMahieu (+2500) and free-agent addition Gerrit Cole (+3000).
Unless someone truly separates themselves from the pack, it’s hard to envision a Yankee topping Trout in votes.
OTHER MVP CONTENDERS
Alex Bregman (+1400) finished runner-up to Trout last season after batting .296/.423/.592 with 41 homers, 112 RBIs and 122 runs in 156 games, but who knows how many of those numbers can be attributed to cameras, trash cans and buzzers.
And even if he duplicates his production this season, could voters decide to punish the 25-year-old third baseman for his role in the Astros’ cheating scandal?
Astros’ Alex Bregman gets engaged to Reagan Howard https://t.co/iMiKi67gq0
— Chronicle Astros (@ChronAstros) January 28, 2020
Way down the list at +5000 is Indians infielder Jose Ramirez, who finished third in MVP voting in both 2017 and 2018. The 26-year-old had a painfully slow start to his 2019 campaign, but hit .327 with 16 home runs and 48 RBIs after the All-Star break.
Considering his young age and past performance, Ramirez is a steal at +5000.