Well, after an offseason that we as baseball fans and bettors are eager to forget, MLB is back in session as respective clubs head to Florida and Arizona for Spring Training. From all the offering, stonewalling and counter-offering, we will actually get a full-162 game regular season—pop the champagne early (hey, we all need things to celebrate these days) …
On Tuesday (March 15th) night, to complement that good news, WynnBET officially released National League and American League MVP futures odds for the 2022 MLB season.
Naturally, one of the most prevalent conversations heading into baseball season surrounds the MVP debate. Of course, unlike football or basketball, MLB gives out two (one for each league) tantamount MVP awards. To add another wrinkle (like the game of baseball needs more wrinkles), no other sport plays a schedule like MLB—betting on MVP winners here is truly a marathon of a market meant for the wise, patient and fortuitous folk. Let’s see what our oddsmakers are saying, and what player prices really stand out heading into the year.
There are multiple potential MVP candidates not listed due to still being free agents. We’ve had to add and remove a few guys from lists as a result, which is pretty uncommon most years.
-Sr. Lead Trader Matt Lindeman
A wonderful point to keep in mind, Matt. That is particularly prevalent in the N.L., where players like Freddie Freeman (2020 N.L. winner), Kris Bryant (2016 N.L. winner), Nick Castellanos and Trevor Story may stay or go.
All odds as of Wednesday, March 16th.
Juan Soto +275
Ronald Acuna Jr +700
Bryce Harper +750
Mookie Betts +900
Trea Turner +1000
Jacob deGrom +1500
Matt Olson +2000
Nolan Arenado +2500
Austin Riley +2500
Francisco Lindor +2500
Tyler O’Neil +2500
Pete Alonso +3000
Christian Yelich +3000
Fernando Tatis Jr +4000
Manny Machado +4000
Ozzie Albies +4000
Max Scherzer +4000
Max Muncy +4000
Cody Bellinger +4000
Starling Marte +5000
Corbin Burnes +5000
JT Realmuto +5000
Willy Adames +5000
Brandon Crawford +5000
Paul Goldschmidt +6000
…15 more selections in this market at WynnBET
The MVP race for the Senior Circuit of baseball has already gotten off to an interesting start—before a single spring exhibition has been played, reports have come out pertaining to a broken left wrist (glove hand) for Fernando Tatis Jr. suffered initially in a motorcycle accident last December. The surrounding details seem a bit clouded at the moment, but for Tatis Jr., a player who has finished in the top-four of N.L. MVP balloting each of the last two years, it will be an uphill battle. It is unclear at this time if he’ll undergo surgery, but I would not expect to see Tatis Jr. whizzing around until at least late-June. Of course, he’s still only 23 years old and should heal nicely. You can still get him at WynnBET to win MVP for +4000 this season.
2021 Winner: PHI OF Bryce Harper
Last season, the slugging left-handed hitter slashed his way to an offensive line of .309/.429/.615 en route to his second N.L. MVP award. Harper blasted 35 home runs with 84 RBI as his Philadelphia Phillies missed out on the postseason, ultimately squandering the division to the eventual World Series champs (Atlanta). In the field, Harper was dangerous to run on—he collected 10 outfield assists (good for second most in the N.L.). Alongside that, he had his most sure-handed season to date, committing only one error in 2021.
Given Harper’s age (28) and increased surrounding talent, he absolutely has a shot to win back-to-back MVP awards. However, a player has not accomplished that feat in either league since Miguel Cabrera did in 2012 and 2013. At +750, Harper is yielding the third-shortest odds in the market. Given his explosive skill-set and resonance with baseball culture, he is a solid choice, but perhaps not my choice.
2022 Prediction: LAD SS Trea Turner +1000
Those who know me know I am not keen on the Dodgers, but I always give respect where respect is due. With Trea Turner, it is vehemently undeniable; The kid can flat out ball. Last season, the speedy middle infielder moved from Washington to Los Angeles and was a natural fit with the other Hollywood Swingers. Being that Corey Seager is now in the American League, Turner will be back to playing shortstop everyday.
Turner is one of MLB’s most dynamic players. In 2021, he claimed the N.L. batting title behind a .338 BA. Additionally, Turner swiped 32 bases, which also led the majors. Coupling that sort of hitting success with speed as pure as Turner’s typically equates to many runs scored (which is what it’s all about, after all). Shocker: his 107 runs scored in 2021 land him behind only Freddie Freeman and Juan Soto. Given that the Dodgers will likely be largely successful again, I don’t mind a play on Trea Turner for +1000! One staggering fact: A SS has not won this award since Jimmy Rollins did in 2007.
Sleeper pick: NYM 1B Pete Alonso +3000
After enduring a brutal-looking car accident that miraculously left all parties uninjured last Sunday in Florida, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is poised for another big year. Last season, he smashed 37 long balls and fell just shy of 100 RBI as the Metropolitans seemed to heat up and fizzle out several times. After making some huge splashes in recent weeks, NYM could finally be built to make that run. Perhaps that will give Alonso some edge through this arduous race.
I find it astonishing that no player has ever won this award as a member of the New York Mets (Tampa Bay and Arizona are the only other franchises to not showcase an MVP season), but Alonso is not really like any of their previous players. At 6’3”, 245 pounds, he has already blasted over 100 home runs in only 2.5 seasons (setting the rookie HR record in 2019 with 53). Given that I expect the Mets to compete deep into the year, I love Pete Alonso’s MVP price at +3000.
Shohei Ohtani +400
Mike Trout +425
Vladimir Guerrero Jr +475
Aaron Judge +2000
Rafael Devers +2500
Jose Ramirez +2500
Yordan Alvarez +2500
Wander Franco +3000
Bo Bichette +3000
Corey Seager +3000
Brandon Lowe +3000
Luis Robert +3000
Jose Abreu +3000
Jose Altuve +3000
Bryon Buxton +3000
Kyle Tucker +4000
Carlos Correa +5000
Marcus Semien +5000
George Springer +5000
Alex Bregman +5000
Giancarlo Stanton +5000
Gerrit Cole +5000
Xander Bogaerts +6000
Tim Anderson +6000
Salvador Perez +7500…
14 more selections in this market at WynnBET
On the freak accident-front, the American League contenders have thankfully been much more quiet. Of course, the story of Major League Baseball’s regular season last year was the spectacular Shohei Ohtani. The 6’4”, 210lb thoroughbred dominated both at the plate and on the bump last season, outputting an all-time historic effort. Naturally, he enters the 2022 MLB season as favorite in the A.L. MVP market.
2021 Winner: LAA RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani
As just mentioned, Ohtani’s MVP campaign last year is one that will be forever remembered. He compiled a 9-2 pitching record with a 3.18 ERA over 23 games started on the mound. In the batter’s box, Ohtani was even more impressive, clubbing 46 home runs and 100 RBI. Additionally, he added 26 stolen bases for good measure—is there nothing this guy can’t do?
Shohei Ohtani’s 2021 season is something that may never be replicated again, and will eternally live in baseball-lore. After all, we have not seen a similar talent at the MLB level since the days of The Great Bambino (and believe me, much has changed since the 1920s). So, it only makes sense that Ohtani enters at +400 to repeat the act. Above, I alluded to the fact that no one has gone back-to-back here since Miggy Cabrera did in 2012 and 2013. If Ohtani can return with similar dominance on the mound, then I believe his hitting will always be consistent enough to keep him in the race. It is really hard to argue against Ohtani running it back …
2022 Prediction: TOR 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr +475
Through two and a half seasons at the big league level, Vladdy Jr. has shown strong signs of following in his father’s footsteps. Possessing a bit more pop and less speed than his pops, can Guerrero Jr. do what Sr. could not and win an MVP award? The son certainly has all the upside to do so.In 2021, Vlad Jr. confirmed that he was the real deal and not just a kid thriving on his father’s successes—he produced arguably the best offensive stat line of any player last year with a .311 BA, 48 HR and 111 RBI. In most years, that level of hitting would get the MVP nod, easily. Of course, the aforementioned Ohtani made certain that 2021 was not “most years.”
Aside from dropping lumber at the plate, Guerrero Jr. is strong at first base. He’ll DH from time to time, but he still boasts a .993 fielding percentage and will hit the split-stretch when necessary. He was runner-up for the MVP award last year; I’d bet Guerrero is back in 2022 with a vengeance.
Sleeper pick: CHW SS Tim Anderson +6000
I’ve said it for a couple years now and I still believe it true; Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is one of most underrated players in baseball. The 28-year-old former batting champ (led majors in 2019 with .335 BA) returns for his seventh year as Chicago’s Southside spark plug. Despite taking a dive last season (still hitting .309), Anderson consistently makes some of the most spectacular plays you’ll see on a baseball field. In terms of fielding range, TA7 may cover more ground than any other shortstop in the American League (Carlos Correa would be in the running, as well).
Outside of Anderson, the Chi-Sox are a very well-rounded team. Along with the Minnesota Twins, I expect Chicago to be the favorite to win the AL Central—winning the division two-years-in-a-row would do really well to keep Anderson’s name in the MVP conversation. He may not produce devastating power numbers, but he is a do-it-all, old-school style of baseball player. Also, if he can lead the league in runs scored again like he did in 2020, then he is absolutely worth taking a shot with +6000.