Odds to Win 2021 AL and NL MVP: Trout, Acuna on Top

Updated: April 25, 2021

MLB MVP odds are already heating up less than a month into the 2021 season. While the NL MVP favorite and AL MVP favorite haven’t lost any ground recently, a number of young stars have been building early cases throughout April. 

Two star teammates are battling it out in the American League MVP odds race, while the National League MVP odds leader has used a torrid start to the season to jump from +900 opening odds to the +350 he’s currently sitting at. 

There’s a lot of baseball left, but let’s check out the early MLB MVP betting odds and see who the leaders are and who has the best value as we approach May.

Odds to win AL MVP

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare MLB odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

AL MVP favorite

Mike Trout, L.A. Angels (+200)

Superstar Angels outfielder Mike Trout is, unsurprisingly, the early AL MVP favorite at +200 odds. Trout has three MVP awards in the last nine years, four runner-up finishes, and hasn’t placed worst than fifth.

He remains the game’s best player and going into action on April 25 was the MLB leader in WAR, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS, to go along with six homers and a .393 batting average through 17 games. As incredible as Trout has been year after year, this is the best first month of his career.

The center fielder has missed a couple of games after getting hit by a pitch but is expected to avoid a stint on the injured list. As long as he’s healthy, this will remain his award to lose. 

Sharp bet to win AL MVP

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels (+900)

If anyone is going to steal the MVP award away from Trout it might be his teammate, Shohei Ohtani, who is second on the odds board but at a distant +900 (way up from the +2,000 he opened at).

The two-way star has flashed his unique talent through the first month of the season, blasting seven homers, as of April 25, in addition to a .983 OPS. Accompanying his massive power is, of course, his 100 mph arm on the mound. 

Ohtani has made just two starts this season but has displayed elite velocity and a putaway splitter that has helped him generate 14 strikeouts and a 1.04 ERA over 8 2-3 innings. 

He’ll never have a typical starter’s workload, but even 15 starts of league-average pitching to complement his power bat would make him an immediate frontrunner for the AL’s most prized award.

Best value bet to win AL MVP

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+1,500)

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. dropped 40 pounds in the offseason and it appears to be paying dividends. The 22-year-old is hitting .338/.472/.563 through 21 games and his 1.035 OPS is good for the fifth-best mark in the AL. 

The Blue Jays first baseman has carried the offensive load with George Springer beginning the season on the injured list and looks primed to turn into the star bat many expected him to become.

Odds to win NL MVP

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare MLB odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

NL MVP favorite

Ronald Acuna Jr. (+350)

Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is the early NL MVP odds leader at +350. Acuna is putting up Trout numbers to begin the season, hitting a robust .371/.451/.786 with seven homers and three stolen bases through 19 games.

The 23-year-old star flirted with a 40-40 season in 2019, falling three stolen bases short to accompany his 41 homers, and is one of the most dynamic players in the game. Playing for an Atlanta Braves team that is expected to be among the NL’s best should only help his case, provided the numbers are there.

Sharp bet to win NL MVP

Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres (+1,200)

Fernando Tatis Jr. avoided missing much time following an early-season scare to his shoulder and has come back with a vengeance after returning from the IL.

The San Diego Padres’ exhilarating shortstop is up to seven homers through 15 games, five of which came against the division-rival Dodgers during the club’s most recent series. Tatis has his OPS up over .900 and eclipsed that mark in each of his first two seasons. 

He’s a big power threat and a solid defender at a premium position. With huge offensive upside on a strong Padres team, the 22-year-old should be in the MVP mix.

Best value bet to win NL MVP

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets (+1,400)

The New York Mets ace continues to cement himself as the game’s best pitcher and appears to be better than ever. 

Jacob deGrom has dominated in all four starts this season, putting up an MLB-best 0.31 ERA and the No. 1 strikeout rate in the game, to go along with a 0.55 WHIP. He struck out 14-plus in each of his last three starts and there’s no reason to think the Cy Young favorite can’t also have his name in the MVP mix. 

While it’s not common for pitchers to win the award, both Clayton Kershaw (2014) and Justin Velander (2011) have recently pulled off the feat and deGrom could put together an equally as dominant season as those two did. The 32-year-old deGrom placed fifth in MVP voting in 2018, the year he won his first of back-to-back Cy Young awards.

Understanding MLB MVP odds

Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. When Trout ran away with the MVP award in 2019 his odds had a minus (-) sign ahead of the number for a large part of the season. 

That means that a bettor in August had to wager $1000 to win $100 by betting on Trout to win MVP. Although this year’s race hasn’t even begun yet, some books already have Trout with odds as high as -125.

With Acuna’s current odds, a bettor stands to profit $600 for every $100 wagered on him. 

If American odds aren’t your thing, simply use a tool like our odds converter to switch the odds to decimal or fractional format. Most online sportsbooks also give you the option to change the odds format that you see.

How to bet futures odds

Futures betting is different than betting on an individual game because you need to consider the long haul as opposed to a single event. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when betting futures odds.  

Change your strategy at different points in the season

While some futures bets must be placed before the season begins and are then removed off the board (such as team win totals), other wagers will change odds as the season goes on.

If you are wagering money on a futures bet with changing odds keep in mind that there is less variance at the beginning of the season (when more players and teams are still in contention) and more variance as the season goes on (when teams and players at the top separate themselves from those at the bottom). 

In the preseason and beginning of the season, betting on dark horses can prove very profitable. But as the season continues, expect to see odds tighten around the favorites. At that point it becomes wise to focus on the players near the top of the odds board and betting big underdogs is practically like giving your money away.

Look for value with underdogs

While the bigger names tend to be strong favorites, there are also live long shots that can provide tremendous value. Look at younger players on the verge of breaking out, or guys that have already been playing at a high level but could take the next step now that they are in an ideal situation with a new team, coach or system. 

Other players that can give a great payout are established stars coming off under-performing years due to injuries or other factors. If you’re lucky you might be able to catch them in a bounce-back year.  

Follow the narrative

When placing futures bets on individual awards, keep in mind that voters, not a scoreboard are often the deciding factor. Voters can be influenced by a variety of factors, including media coverage and public opinion. Consider what the media narrative is for a particular season and which players they seem to be rooting for and against. 

For example in LeBron James’ first season in Miami he was viewed as a villain or heel by the media and Derrick Rose who ended up winning MVP was the perfect foil for that. When Ron Dayne won the Heisman trophy back in 1999 it was viewed by many as a well-deserved reward for his entire career at Wisconsin.  

Research historical trends

Historical trends, especially recent ones, can give you a good idea of which way voters tend to lean. 

The NBA MVP for example, almost always goes to a player on the best or second-best regular-season team in the league. While the Heisman trophy is almost exclusively given to a quarterback or running back – and over the last couple of decades has been overwhelmingly handed out to QBs. 

Identifying those trends is a good way to separate the true contenders from the pretenders.

Where can I bet on American League and National League MVP odds?

Almost every online sportsbook and casino will provide MLB MVP futures odds. Check out the best sportsbooks available where you live and see what MLB betting odds they currently have available.

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