The home stretch of the 2023 MLB season is underway, with the final game taking place in just over a month. As we near the start of the playoffs, the discussion for MVP candidates is starting to heat up.
Despite there being clear favourites in both leagues, you never know who could come along and steal the show with a month left to play. That being said, there are only a few suspected contenders that could give the top dogs a run for their money.
The American League (AL) and National League (NL) MVPs will be announced after the conclusion of the world series but voting will take place in early October and with the month fast approaching, now is the time to place your bets!
So, today we're going to break down the best odds for each of the top MVP contenders and give our analysis for their chances of taking home the award.
Best National League MVP Odds
|Ronald Acuna Jr.
Ronald Acuna Jr. (-350)
Ronald Acuna Jr. is the strong favorite to win the 2023 NL MVP honors with odds of -350 in the BetMGM sportsbook.
Acuna is having a year for the ages, recording 28 home runs and 55 stolen bases so far this season. This places him in some rare company, as only four players in MLB history have made it to the 40-40 club, and no player has done so with more than 46 stolen bases. If he can reach that 40-40 mark, the MVP title should be a closed deal.
Acuña is Acuña because he is this fast and this dynamic while also being one of the best hitters in the sport. As remarkable as his fearlessness on the basepaths has been, it's the degree to which his elite production at the plate has returned that makes him the National League MVP front-runner.
Jordan Shusterman (FOX Sports MLB Analyst)
Mookie Betts (+550)
Mookie Betts is the favourite to steal the award from Acuna with NL MVP odds of +550 at FanDuel.
Mookie wasn't in the conversation for most of the season but he found an entirely different gear in August. He now leads all MLB position players in the 'wins above replacement' rating (6.4), batting .408 with seven homers and six doubles in 18 games. Not to mention 34 home runs and a 165 weighted runs created, his second-highest wRC+ since his 2018 MVP season.
There's no doubt that if the Dodgers batter can keep hitting like this his odds should continue to shorten. Not to mention, if Acuna's 40-40 season is fading, Betts could certainly steal enough votes to take home MVP.
Freddie Freeman (+600)
Freddie Freeman is also giving chase for the award and is a key underdog in the race with odds of +600 at DraftKings.
The Los Angeles Dodgers' first baseman put himself well within the conversation after an impressive run in July, recording a .359 batting average, seven home runs, and 20 RBIs. This saw his odds go from +800 to +400 at its peak. If he can find that level of play through the final month of the regular season, he could continue to shake up the sportsbooks.
You talk about having a great month, Freeman certainly had one in July. I said on 'Flippin' Bats' the other day that I believe Ronald Acuña Jr. is the clear MVP front-runner. But I also added that I think Freeman is at least making it a conversation.
Ben Verlander (FOX Sports MLB Analyst)
Matt Olson (+3500)
Matt Olson is the only other person giving Acuna a run for his money, but still has very long odds at +3500 at FanDuel.
While he wasn't a contender for much of the season, the veteran first baseman has forced himself into the MVP conversation with a string of top-tier performances. As a result, Olsen now leads all of baseball in home runs and RBIs, he has the second-best OPS, and he's on pace to record roughly 60 home runs by the end of the season.
Olsen has hit 11 home runs in his last 19 games, and is on the cusp of breaking Andruw Jones' single-season franchise record of 51, just 9 homers shy with plenty of time left to play. If Olsen breaks into the 50s anytime soon, his odds should certainly shorten.
While he hasn't demonstrated the same consistency as fellow Atlanta Braves teammate Acuna, he is finding form that's worthy of a top spot in the MVP race if he keeps it up. If you're backing Olson to steal the show in September, take advantage of the long odds now as they could be down to triple digits by the vote.
Best American League MVP Odds
Shohei Ohtani (-10000)
To no surprise, Shohei Ohtani is the heavy favorite to win the 2023 AL MVP at -10000 in the BetMGM sportsbook.
Ohtani has simply been nothing short of exceptional this season, both as a batter and a pitcher, reaching heights not seen since Babe Ruth in his prime. In fact, he's been so outstanding that betting sites like FanDuel and DraftKings removed the line for him winning at various points in the year.
He currently stands at 10-5 as a starter with a 3.17 ERA and 165 strikeouts for the Angels. But his batting is what truly separates him from the pack. Ohtani boasts 140 hits, 43 home runs, 89 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases. His dual-threat abilities in pitching and batting probably won't be seen again in our lifetime.
The price may be fluctuating, but on August 4th, Ohtani's odds were at -30000 in some sportsbooks, so if you have put your money on the Los Angeles Angels two-way threat, hopefully you got it at a good price. It looks almost certain that the unanimous 2021 AL MVP will return to win the award once more, but there is one thing that could be a spanner in the works...
It was reported today that Ohtani has suffered an elbow tear and will not pitch again this year. I'm sure most would agree that he already put together an MVP-worthy season, but if any of the top 10 contenders do something out of this world in the next few weeks, who knows what will happen to the odds. You could see better prices for Ohtani in the sportsbooks any day now.
On the other hand, you could bet the entire field against him at +2500 in the bet365 sportsbook, instead of picking a specific underdog to steal the show.
Kyle Tucker (+10000)
Kyle Tucker is a distant second in the AL MVP odds at +10000 in the BetRivers sportsbook.
Tucker is set to join the 25-homer, 25-steal club this season, which would mark the second straight year in which he's crossed both thresholds. If he can manage this, he'll become just the 18th player this century to become a 25-25 player twice.
He has about six weeks to gather more stats before MVP voting, and although he's unlikely to beat Ohtani to the title, Tucker could secure second place, a feat no Houston player has accomplished since 2018. It's tough to have such an impressive season yet still see odds of +10000 for your chances at MVP, but it seems nearly impossible for Ohtani to lose this race now, even with his elbow injury.
Corey Seager (+10000)
Corey Seager joins Tucker at odds of +10000 to win the AL MVP with FanDuel.
Currently in his second season with the Texas Rangers, Corey Seager is generating a lot of buzz. He's delivering an exceptional performance at the plate this year, even though he was sidelined for a month due to a strained hamstring. Despite the setback, the Rangers shortstop remains a strong candidate for the American League MVP award.
Seager has 23 home runs, 74 RBIs, and 63 runs to his name this season, while batting .346 . Looking back into history, that's almost an identical record to what former Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton did in his 2010 AL MVP season.
It's tough to admit that this record probably won't earn an MVP title, but there are still 6 weeks left so who knows what will happen.
Marcus Semien (+15000)
Fourth in the odds is Marcus Semien at very long odds of +15000 in the bet365 sportsbook.
Semien has climbed his way back up in the MVP rankings after a midseason lull saw his odds get longer and longer. Now, he's returned to form, not only showcasing sharp defense as the second baseman for the Rangers, but he's also rekindling the hitting prowess he displayed earlier this year.
In August, the team boasts a 12-2 record when Semien is playing, owing to his impressive 1.119 OPS, which includes 4 home runs, 12 RBIs, and 10 walks. These numbers closely mirror his performance from the first two months of the season, where he accumulated 44 RBIs.
Seimen could continue to move up in the odds if he maintains form, but stealing the award from Ohtani is almost certainly out of reach.
Who are your favourite bets for the 2023 AL and NL MVPs? Will anyone be able to beat out Ohtani and Acuna for the top spots?