2016 MLB MVP Odds

Back in early March, the prominent offshore sportsbook BetOnline posted odds for the 2016 MLB Most Valuable Player Award, which is given annually to one outstanding player in the American League (AL) and one in the National League (NL). Although there are no concrete criteria for the term “most valuable,” the award has historically been bestowed upon an élite offensive player from a playoff team. Several weeks later, Bovada posted their own MVP odds.

Last season Toronto’s Josh Donaldson (+1600) and Washington’s Bryce Harper (+1600) were the winners in their respective leagues. Mike Trout, who finished second in AL MVP voting, had opened the season as clear front-runner (+100). Andrew McCutchen, who finished fifth in NL MVP voting, had opened the season as a slight favorite (+400) over Giancarlo Stanton (+450).

The table below displays the past six MVP winners in each league along with their preseason odds.

Year AL Winner Odds NL Winner Odds
2015 Josh Donaldson +1600 Bryce Harper +1600
2014 Mike Trout +500 Clayton Kershaw +2000
2013 Miguel Cabrera +700 Andrew McCutchen +1500
2012 Miguel Cabrera +900 Buster Posey +2500
2011 Justin Verlander +7500 Ryan Braun +800
2010 Josh Hamilton +10000 Joey Votto +5000

This season Bryce Harper (+200) opened as the favorite to be the first back-to-back National League MVP since Albert Pujols (2008-2009). In the American League, Mike Trout (+150 at BetOnline, +225 at Bovada) was listed as the preseason favorite while Josh Donaldson had the second best odds (+450 at BetOnline, +400 at Bovada) of repeating as AL MVP.

On May 15th, the Las Vegas-based Westgate Superbook posted updated MVP odds. Bryce Harper and Nolan Arenado (+275) were listed as the favorites in the National League while Manny Machado (+200) is the front-runner in the American League. Since that time they have posted updated odds every two weeks.

When Bovada posted updated their MVP odds two weeks later, Clayton Kershaw (+300) was listed as the favorite in the National League. This was especially interesting since the 3-time Cy Young winner hadn’t previously been listed as an option. In the American League, several members of the Boston Red Sox saw their odds climb including Xander Bogaerts (+900), David Ortiz (+1200) and Jackie Bradley Jr (+1200). The fact that Mookie Betts was omitted seems like an oversight.

Although Bovada hasn’t updated their MVP odds in the past weeks, the Westgate Superbook updated their MVP odds on June 13th with Mookie Betts (+700) trailing only Manny Machado (+300) and Robinson Cano (+350). In the National League, Nolan Arenado (+275) is the favorite despite the Rockies losing record. Two weeks later both players were still listed as the front-runners with Jose Altuve (+2000 to +400) and Clayton Kershaw (+600 to +300) now nipping on their heels.

On August 15, Daniel Murphy (+100) and Jose Altuve (+125) emerged as the favorites in their respective leagues. These two players have a lot in common as they’re both second baseman who lead their league in hitting. When the odds were updated one week later, Altuve was still listed as the AL MVP favorite but Kris Bryant (+100) leapfrogged Murphy (+110) as the NL MVP favorite.

In the most recent update from the Westgate Superbook, Kris Bryant saw his odds of winning the NL MVP improve from +100 to -225, however, there was a major shakeup in the AL. Mookie Betts odds moved from +140 to -125, making him the new front-runner. That development likely shocked anybody who values advanced statistics, since Betts’ on-base percentage (.361) ranks well behind both Donaldson (.407) and Altuve (.414).

The tables below compares the preseason MVP odds at BetOnline and Bovada with the latest odds from both offshore and Las Vegas sportsbooks. These odds will be updated throughout the season as new information becomes available.

NL MVP Odds

Player (Team) Westgate (8/29) Westgate (8/22) Westgate (8/15) Westgate (8/8) Westgate (7/11) Westgate (6/27) Westgate (6/13) Bovada (6/1) Westgate (5/16) Bovada (3/22) BetOnline (3/8)
Kris Bryant (CHC) -225 EVEN +200 +225 +200 +400 +500 +900 +1000 +900 +900
Daniel Murphy (WAS) +140 +110 EVEN +120 +400 +800 +600 +325 +5000 N/A N/A
Nolan Arenado (COL) +1200 +1800 +800 +550 +350 +250 +300 +900 +275 +2000 +2500
Anthony Rizzo (CHC) +1800 +400 +275 +250 +400 +700 +600 +3300 +300 +1400 +1200
Corey Seager (LAD) +8000 +10000 +4000 +8000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +5000 N/A
Yoenis Cespedes (NYM) +30000 +10000 +30000 +30000 +1000 +1200 +700 +900 +500 +2500 +2000
Bryce Harper (WSH) +50000 +50000 +30000 +30000 +1000 +700 +500 +500 +275 +200 +200
Buster Posey (SF) +100000 +50000 +30000 +20000 +10000 +8000 +10000 N/A +20000 +1200 +1200
Carlos Gonzalez (COL) +100000 +50000 +30000 +8000 +10000 +20000 N/A N/A N/A +6600 N/A
Matt Carpenter (STL) +100000 +50000 +50000 +30000 +50000 +10000 +6000 N/A +20000 +6600 +4000
Ben Zobrist (CHC) +100000 +100000 +100000 +50000 +10000 +10000 +10000 +900 N/A N/A N/A
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) +100000 +50000 +30000 +20000 +8000 +8000 +5000 N/A +5000 +750 +500
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) +200000 +100000 +50000 +50000 +2000 +300 +600 +300 N/A N/A N/A
Ryan Braun (MIL) +500000 +500000 +300000 +100000 +30000 +30000 +30000 N/A +10000 +5000 N/A
Andrew McCutchen (PIT) +500000 +500000 +300000 +100000 +30000 +10000 +2500 N/A +3000 +700 +500
Matt Kemp (SD) +500000 +500000 +100000 +100000 +30000 +30000 +20000 N/A +20000 N/A N/A
A.J. Pollock (ARI) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +2000 +4000
Jason Heyward (CHC) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +3300
Trevor Story (COL) N/A N/A N/A N/A +20000 +20000 +20000 N/A +5000 N/A N/A
Gregory Polanco (PIT) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +3300 N/A N/A N/A
Joey Votto (CIN) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +1400 +2000
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) N/A N/A N/A +20000 +8000 +8000 +4000 N/A +1000 +600 +650
Hunter Pence (SF) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +20000 N/A N/A
Anthony Rendon (WSH) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +5000
Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +4000 +5000
Yasiel Puig (LAD) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +3300 +4000
Starling Marte (PIT) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +1400 N/A +5000 +4000
Matt Holiday (STL) N/A N/A N/A +100000 +30000 +20000 +20000 N/A +20000 N/A N/A

AL MVP Odds

Player (Team) Westgate (8/29) Westgate (8/22) Westgate (8/15) Westgate (8/8) Westgate (7/11) Westgate (6/27) Westgate (6/13) Bovada (6/1) Westgate (5/16) Bovada (3/22) BetOnline (3/8)
Mookie Betts (BOS) -125 +140 +300 +700 +1000 +1000 +700 N/A +5000 +2800 +900
Jose Altuve (HOU) +160 +125 +125 +160 +400 +400 +2000 +900 +1500 +2500 +2500
Robinson Cano (SEA) +500 +3000 +3000 +2500 +600 +400 +350 +700 +300 +2500 +4000
Josh Donaldson (TOR) +800 +2000 +1200 +700 +800 +2500 +2500 +1200 +1500 +400 +450
Manny Machado (BAL) +2500 +1500 +800 +450 +400 +300 +300 +300 +200 +700 +550
David Ortiz (BOS) +3000 +3000 +2500 +800 +1500 +2000 +1200 +1200 +1500 +10000 N/A
Mark Trumbo (BAL) +4000 +3000 +2500 +2500 +800 +1500 +1500 N/A +4000 N/A N/A
Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) +4000 +1200 +1200 +1800 +2000 +2000 +3000 N/A +4000 +4000 +5000
Mike Trout (LAA) +4000 +3000 +2500 +1200 +1200 +1200 +1000 +300 +800 +225 +150
Miguel Cabrera (DET) +4000 +2500 +1200 +1500 +6000 +6000 +4000 +1000 +6000 +1200 +800
Nelson Cruz (SEA) +10000 +4000 +3000 +6000 +6000 +10000 +8000 +1200 N/A +5000 +5000
Adrian Beltre (TEX) +30000 +30000 +50000 +30000 +20000 +10000 +5000 N/A +5000 +3300 +3300
Xander Bogaerts (BOS) +50000 +30000 +6000 +4000 +1500 +1500 +1500 +900 +4000 N/A N/A
George Springer (HOU) +50000 +20000 +10000 +6000 +3000 +2000 +2000 N/A +4000 N/A N/A
Carlos Correa (HOU) +50000 +20000 +10000 +6000 +3000 +5000 +10000 N/A +6000 +3300 +1600
Eric Hosmer (KC) +100000 +30000 +100000 +50000 +6000 +4000 +2000 +1800 +2500 +6600 N/A
Chris Davis (BAL) +100000 +100000 +100000 +30000 +6000 +8000 +5000 N/A +3000 +2500 +3300
Dustin Pedroia (BOS) +300000 +30000 +200000 +100000 +50000 +20000 +10000 N/A +4000 N/A N/A
Evan Longoria (TB) +300000 +30000 +200000 +100000 +50000 +20000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Todd Frazier (CWS) +300000 +100000 +50000 +50000 +8000 +3000 +2000 N/A +1500 +4000 +4000
Jose Bautista (TOR) +500000 +500000 +500000 +100000 +50000 +30000 +6000 N/A +4000 +2800 +2500
J.D. Martinez (DET) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +3300 +3300
Francisco Lindor (CLE) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +6600 N/A
Jose Abreu (CWS) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +2500 +3300
Justin Upton (DET) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +2000 +3300
Nomar Mazara (TEX) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +1800 N/A N/A N/A
Lorenzo Cain (KC) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +2500 +2500
Prince Fielder (TEX) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +5000 N/A
Alex Rodriguez (NYY) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +5000 N/A
Alex Gordon (KC) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +5000
Troy Tulowitzki (TOR) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +3300 N/A
Adam Jones (BAL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +5000 N/A
Jackie Bradley Jr (BOS) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A +1200 N/A N/A N/A

The section below was published on March 22, 2016

When this article was first published, we pointed out that it was interesting to see that Trout opened with better odds of winning the MVP than Harper — especially when considering that the Angels win total (81) is substantially lower than the Nationals win total (88). If the Angels finish the season with a record of 81-81 or worse, it would be exceedingly unlikely that Trout would win the MVP Award. In fact, since 1931 there have only been seven winners from a non-winning team:

  • 1952 NL — Hank Sauer, Chicago Cubs, 77-77
  • 1958 NL — Ernie Banks, Cubs, 74-80
  • 1987 NL — Andre Dawson, Cubs, 76-85
  • 1989 AL — Robin Yount, Milwaukee Brewers, 81-81
  • 1991 AL — Cal Ripken, Jr., Baltimore Orioles, 67-95
  • 2003 AL — Alex Rodriguez, Texas Rangers, 71-91

However, when Bovada posted MVP odds Harper (+200) was listed with shorter odds than Trout (+225). There’s very little doubt that Trout will once again post an impressive slash line, but his team’s performance could hinder his MVP prospects.

We also pointed out that there were two intriguing long shot candidates in the American League: Jose Bautista (+2500) and Jose Abreu (+3300). For what it’s worth, bettors can find Joey Bats at +2800 at Bovada which highlights the importance of shopping the best line.

It’s also worth noting that there are several discrepancies between the odds at Bovada and BetOnline, which is highlighted best by Boston’s Mookie Betts (+900 vs. +2800) and Houston’s Carlos Correa (+1600 vs +3300). Considering that the Red Sox are the favorite to win the American League, the 23-year old Betts could provide excellent value at +2800.

In the National League, Harper looks like a strong bet to repeat. Most projections have the Nationals earning a playoff berth with Harper leading the league in Wins Above Replacement (WAR). That said, I think that Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (+1400) could be another undervalued bet. Teammate Kris Bryant (+900) may have the higher long-term ceiling, but he’s young and inexperienced. Rizzo is still only 26-years old and has slashed .282/.386/.519 with 63 home runs and 179 RBI over the past two seasons.

Bettors can track the latest odds, betting percentages, injuries and more by visiting our free MLB odds page? Interested in viewing the newly added money percentages? Sign up for Sportsbook Insider today!

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David Solar

David Solar has been the Content Manager at Sports Insights for over four years. He specializes in sports betting analytics and has created several popular data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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