MLB MVP: Reviewing the MLB MVP Races as Teams Prepare for the Second Half of the Season

Michael Savio pic
By:
Michael Savio
07/05/2023
News

Highlights

  • Shohei Ohtani is -1600 to win the AL MVP
  • Ronald Acuna Jr is -350 to win the NL MVP
  • Luis Arraez has a .388 batting average

The MLB All-Star game is coming up next week and it marks the end of the first half of the season. The league has had no shortage of stars, but baseball betting sites have two players set as the heavy favorites to be named this year’s MVP. We are breaking down the top five favorites in each league, sharing their odds from FanDuel Sportsbook along with insights into the best MVP bets to make as we prepare for the season’s second half.

AL MVP Race

  • Shohei Ohtani -1600
  • Corey Seager +3500
  • Wander Franco +6600
  • Bo Bichette +6600
  • Marcus Semien +6600

As the odds indicate, US sportsbooks have crowned Ohtani as the 2023 AL MVP. It is hardly surprising given his impressive play both at the plate and on the mound. Ohtani currently leads the league in home runs, slugging percentage, and OPS while also going 7-3 with a 3.02 ERA on the mound. Nobody can match that production, making him an easy pick to be this season’s MVP.

While Ohtani is the heavy favorite, Corey Seager is worth looking at with odds of +3500. The Rangers shortstop had a .368 batting average in June and was getting on base in nearly half of his at-bats (.442 on-base percentage). We know Seager can play at an MVP level, and if it wasn’t for Ohtani, he would be the heavy favorite. If Ohtani gets injured or struggles in the second half of the season, Seager could end up capturing this year’s MVP.

If you are looking for an even longer shot, Bo Bichette is the best choice. The Blue Jays star has the rare combination of being able to hit for both power and average. While he cooled off a bit to close out June, we know he has to talent to put up some eye-popping offensive numbers. If Ohtani goes down, Bichette can match the production from any other name on this list, making him the best longshot for the AL MVP.

NL MVP Race

  • Ronald Acuna -350
  • Freddie Freeman +1200
  • Mookie Betts +1600
  • Juan Soto +3300
  • Luis Arraez +3300

While he isn’t as big of a favorite as Ohtani, Ronald Acuna Jr is still a heavy favorite to win the NL MVP. The Braves outfielder became the first player in MLB history to hit 20 home runs, 50 RBIs, and steal 40 bases before the All-Star break. He has been fantastic all season, and he benefits from hitting atop one of the best lineups in baseball. Acuna’s ability to contribute across multiple categories will make him hard to beat out for this year’s MVP, but his youth could lead to a regression in the second half of the season.

Acuna is followed by a pair of former MVPs from the Dodgers, Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts. Freeman has the league’s sixth best batting average and ninth best slugging percentage, but his power numbers are down. That is why we think Betts is the more likely MVP candidate of the pair. The Dodgers star ranks in the top ten of the league in home runs, RBIs, and OPS. Betts posted an impressive .309 batting average and 1.037 OPS in June, which has helped boost all his numbers. If he can keep his average up and continue to hit for power, Betts can put up the stats needed to overtake Acuna.

Luis Arraez at +3300 is a great longshot bet to win this year’s NL MVP. He leads the league in batting average and should have a good chance to finish over the .400 mark this season. That would be a historic performance, which will automatically get him MVP votes. On top of that, the Marlins have been outperforming expectations this season and could make the playoffs. If they do and Arraez finishing with an average over .400, he could be a lock for the NL MVP.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.