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Preseason favorites to win AL and NL MVP

  • Preseason favorites for AL and NL MVP
    1/ Sean M. Haffey // Getty

    Preseason favorites for AL and NL MVP

    Major League Baseball sits alone as the only Big 4 professional American sport to crown two most valuable players: one in the National League, and one in the American League. Last season, a .346 average, 1.078 OPS, and 10.9 WAR were more than enough for Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox, who received all but two first-place votes to take home the AL hardware. Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers received all but one first-place vote with a .326 average and an MLB-leading 187 hits.

    The 2018 voters clearly voiced which players they felt provided the most value in their respective leagues. In baseball, though, value can be a fickle and difficult thing to patently define. A starting pitcher takes the mound only once every five days (on average), but his contributions in those appearances can be absolutely crucial to a game’s outcome. There is a separate award for pitching (the Cy Young Award) and sometimes—like Clayton Kershaw in 2014 and Justin Verlander in 2011—a starting pitcher can win both the MVP and the Cy Young.

    And then enters the concept of the designated hitter, which is only featured in an AL lineup. How valuable is someone who doesn’t contribute on defense? A “primary” DH has never won MVP in either league, despite a compelling case for J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox last season.

    Largely ambiguous criteria leave MVP voters with inherent biases making decisions that are largely subjective. What will 2019 have in store? Might we have a repeat winner for the first time since Miguel Cabrera in 2012–13, or will someone new emerge like a Betts or Yelich who were both first-time winners? Are Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Bryce Harper of the Phillies, both recipients of unprecedented offseason contracts, the favorites in their respective leagues?

    To determine which players in each league have the best odds of earning the highly coveted MVP award, Stacker looked at odds by Bovada and stats from Baseball Reference, with data last updated March 14, 2019. Players are ranked in order from lowest to highest by betting odds, with ties broken by 2018 batting averages. Read on to see how your pick fares.
     

    You may also like: Preseason favorites to win AL and NL Cy Young

  • AL #25: Randal Grichuk
    2/ Julio Aguilar // Getty

    AL #25: Randal Grichuk

    - MVP odds: +6600
    - Team: Toronto Blue Jays

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 424
    --- Batting average: 0.245
    --- On base percentage: 0.301
    --- Runs: 60
    --- Home runs: 25
    --- RBIs: 61
    --- Stolen bases: 3

  • AL #24: Joey Gallo
    3/ Denis Poroy // Getty

    AL #24: Joey Gallo

    - MVP odds: +6000
    - Team: Texas Rangers

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 500
    --- Batting average: 0.206
    --- On base percentage: 0.312
    --- Runs: 82
    --- Home runs: 40
    --- RBIs: 92
    --- Stolen bases: 3

  • AL #23: Nelson Cruz
    4/ Elsa // Getty

    AL #23: Nelson Cruz

    - MVP odds: +6000
    - Team: Minnesota Twins

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 519
    --- Batting average: 0.256
    --- On base percentage: 0.342
    --- Runs: 70
    --- RBIs: 97
    --- Stolen bases: 1

  • AL #22: Gleyber Torres
    5/ Elsa // Getty

    AL #22: Gleyber Torres

    - MVP odds: +6000
    - Team: New York Yankees

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 431
    --- Batting average: 0.271
    --- On base percentage: 0.340
    --- Runs: 54
    --- Home runs: 24
    --- RBIs: 77
    --- Stolen bases: 6

  • AL #21: Xander Bogaerts
    6/ Kevork Djansezian // Getty

    AL #21: Xander Bogaerts

    - MVP odds: +5500
    - Team: Boston Red Sox

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 513
    --- Batting average: 0.288
    --- On base percentage: 0.360
    --- Runs: 72
    --- Home runs: 23
    --- RBIs: 103
    --- Stolen bases: 8

  • AL #20: Gary Sanchez
    7/ Elsa // Getty

    AL #20: Gary Sanchez

    - MVP odds: +5000
    - Team: New York Yankees

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 323
    --- Batting average: 0.186
    --- On base percentage: 0.291
    --- Runs: 51
    --- Home runs: 18
    --- RBIs: 53
    --- Stolen bases: 1

  • AL #19: Matt Olson
    8/ Masterpress // Getty

    AL #19: Matt Olson

    - MVP odds: +5000
    - Team: Oakland Athletics

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 580
    --- Batting average: 0.247
    --- On base percentage: 0.335
    --- Runs: 85
    --- Home runs: 29
    --- RBIs: 84
    --- Stolen bases: 2

  • AL #18: Nomar Mazara
    9/ Ezra Shaw // Getty

    AL #18: Nomar Mazara

    - MVP odds: +5000
    - Team: Texas Rangers

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 489
    --- Batting average: 0.258
    --- On base percentage: 0.317
    --- Runs: 61
    --- Home runs: 20
    --- RBIs: 77
    --- Stolen bases: 1

  • AL #17: Jose Abreu
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    AL #17: Jose Abreu

    - MVP odds: +5000
    - Team: Chicago White Sox

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 499
    --- Batting average: 0.265
    --- On base percentage: 0.325
    --- Runs: 68
    --- Home runs: 22
    --- RBIs: 78
    --- Stolen bases: 2

  • AL #16: Eddie Rosario
    11/ Dylan Buell // Getty

    AL #16: Eddie Rosario

    - MVP odds: +5000
    - Team: Minnesota Twins

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 559
    --- Batting average: 0.288
    --- On base percentage: 0.323
    --- Runs: 87
    --- Home runs: 24
    --- RBIs: 77
    --- Stolen bases: 8

  • AL #15: Nick Castellanos
    12/ Hannah Foslien // Getty

    AL #15: Nick Castellanos

    - MVP odds: +5000
    - Team: Detroit Tigers

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 620
    --- Batting average: 0.298
    --- On base percentage: 0.354
    --- Runs: 88
    --- Home runs: 23
    --- RBIs: 89
    --- Stolen bases: 2

  • AL #14: George Springer
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    AL #14: George Springer

    - MVP odds: +4500
    - Team: Houston Astros

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 544
    --- Batting average: 0.265
    --- On base percentage: 0.346
    --- Runs: 102
    --- Home runs: 22
    --- RBIs: 71
    --- Stolen bases: 6

  • AL #13: Andrew Benintendi
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    AL #13: Andrew Benintendi

    - MVP odds: +4500
    - Team: Boston Red Sox

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 579
    --- Batting average: 0.290
    --- On base percentage: 0.366
    --- Runs: 103
    --- Home runs: 16
    --- RBIs: 87
    --- Stolen bases: 21

  • AL #12: Khris Davis
    15/ KAZUHIRO NOGI // Getty

    AL #12: Khris Davis

    - MVP odds: +4000
    - Team: Oakland Athletics

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 576
    --- Batting average: 0.247
    --- On base percentage: 0.326
    --- Runs: 98
    --- Home runs: 48
    --- RBIs: 123
    --- Stolen bases: 0

  • AL #11: Matt Chapman
    16/ Masterpress // Getty

    AL #11: Matt Chapman

    - MVP odds: +4000
    - Team: Oakland Athletics

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 547
    --- Batting average: 0.278
    --- On base percentage: 0.356
    --- Runs: 100
    --- Home runs: 24
    --- RBIs: 68
    --- Stolen bases: 1

  • AL #10: J.D. Martinez
    17/ Jeff Gross // Getty

    AL #10: J.D. Martinez

    - MVP odds: +3000
    - Team: Boston Red Sox

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 569
    --- Batting average: 0.330
    --- On base percentage: 0.402
    --- Runs: 111
    --- Home runs: 43
    --- RBIs: 130
    --- Stolen bases: 6

  • AL #9: Giancarlo Stanton
    18/ Mike Stobe // Getty

    AL #9: Giancarlo Stanton

    - MVP odds: +2500
    - Team: New York Yankees

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 617
    --- Batting average: 0.266
    --- On base percentage: 0.343
    --- Runs: 102
    --- Home runs: 38
    --- RBIs: 100
    --- Stolen bases: 5

  • AL #8: Jose Altuve
    19/ Bob Levey // Getty

    AL #8: Jose Altuve

    - MVP odds: +2500
    - Team: Houston Astros

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 534
    --- Batting average: 0.316
    --- On base percentage: 0.386
    --- Runs: 84
    --- Home runs: 13
    --- RBIs: 61
    --- Stolen bases: 17

  • AL #7: Francisco Lindor
    20/ Bob Levey // Getty

    AL #7: Francisco Lindor

    - MVP odds: +2000
    - Team: Cleveland Indians

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 661
    --- Batting average: 0.277
    --- On base percentage: 0.352
    --- Runs: 129
    --- Home runs: 38
    --- RBIs: 92
    --- Stolen bases: 25

  • AL #6: Carlos Correa
    21/ Elsa // Getty

    AL #6: Carlos Correa

    - MVP odds: +1800
    - Team: Houston Astros

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 402
    --- Batting average: 0.239
    --- On base percentage: 0.323
    --- Runs: 60
    --- Home runs: 15
    --- RBIs: 65
    --- Stolen bases: 3

  • AL #5: Jose Ramirez
    22/ Tim Warner // Getty

    AL #5: Jose Ramirez

    - MVP odds: +1500
    - Team: Cleveland Indians

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 578
    --- Batting average: 0.270
    --- On base percentage: 0.387
    --- Runs: 110
    --- Home runs: 39
    --- RBIs: 105
    --- Stolen bases: 34

  • AL #4: Alex Bregman
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    AL #4: Alex Bregman

    - MVP odds: +1400
    - Team: Houston Astros

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 594
    --- Batting average: 0.286
    --- On base percentage: 0.394
    --- Runs: 105
    --- Home runs: 31
    --- RBIs: 103
    --- Stolen bases: 10

  • AL #3: Aaron Judge
    24/ Tim Bradbury // Getty

    AL #3: Aaron Judge

    - MVP odds: +700
    - Team: New York Yankees

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 413
    --- Batting average: 0.278
    --- On base percentage: 0.392
    --- Runs: 77
    --- Home runs: 27
    --- RBIs: 67
    --- Stolen bases: 6

  • AL #2: Mookie Betts
    25/ Harry How // Getty

    AL #2: Mookie Betts

    - MVP odds: +550
    - Team: Boston Red Sox

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 520
    --- Batting average: 0.346
    --- On base percentage: 0.438
    --- Runs: 129
    --- Home runs: 32
    --- RBIs: 80
    --- Stolen bases: 30

  • AL #1: Mike Trout
    26/ Ezra Shaw // Getty

    AL #1: Mike Trout

    - MVP odds: +150
    - Team: Los Angeles Angels

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 471
    --- Batting average: 0.312
    --- On base percentage: 0.460
    --- Runs: 101
    --- Home runs: 39
    --- RBIs: 79
    --- Stolen bases: 24

  • NL #25: Yasiel Puig
    27/ Rob Tringali // Getty

    NL #25: Yasiel Puig

    - MVP odds: +4000
    - Team: Cincinnati Reds

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 405
    --- Batting average: 0.267
    --- On base percentage: 0.327
    --- Runs: 60
    --- Home runs: 23
    --- RBIs: 63
    --- Stolen bases: 15

  • NL #24: Jesus Aguilar
    28/ Stacy Revere // Getty

    NL #24: Jesus Aguilar

    - MVP odds: +4000
    - Team: Milwaukee Brewers

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 492
    --- Batting average: 0.274
    --- On base percentage: 0.352
    --- Runs: 80
    --- Home runs: 35
    --- RBIs: 108
    --- Stolen bases: 0

  • NL #23: J.T. Realmuto
    29/ Mark Brown // Getty

    NL #23: J.T. Realmuto

    - MVP odds: +4000
    - Team: Philadelphia Phillies

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 477
    --- Batting average: 0.277
    --- On base percentage: 0.340
    --- Runs: 74
    --- Home runs: 21
    --- RBIs: 74
    --- Stolen bases: 3

  • NL #22: Marcell Ozuna
    30/ Dilip Vishwanat // Getty

    NL #22: Marcell Ozuna

    - MVP odds: +4000
    - Team: St. Louis Cardinals

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 582
    --- Batting average: 0.280
    --- On base percentage: 0.325
    --- Runs: 69
    --- Home runs: 23
    --- RBIs: 88
    --- Stolen bases: 3

  • NL #21: Charlie Blackmon
    31/ Dustin Bradford // Getty

    NL #21: Charlie Blackmon

    - MVP odds: +4000
    - Team: Colorado Rockies

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 626
    --- Batting average: 0.291
    --- On base percentage: 0.358
    --- Runs: 119
    --- Home runs: 29
    --- RBIs: 70
    --- Stolen bases: 12

  • NL #20: Robinson Cano
    32/ Michael Reaves // Getty

    NL #20: Robinson Cano

    - MVP odds: +4000
    - Team: New York Mets

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 310
    --- Batting average: 0.303
    --- On base percentage: 0.374
    --- Runs: 44
    --- Home runs: 10
    --- RBIs: 50
    --- Stolen bases: 0

  • NL #19: Joey Votto
    33/ Andy Lyons // Getty

    NL #19: Joey Votto

    - MVP odds: +3000
    - Team: Cincinnati Reds

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 503
    --- Batting average: 0.284
    --- On base percentage: 0.417
    --- Runs: 67
    --- Home runs: 12
    --- RBIs: 67
    --- Stolen bases: 2

  • NL #18: Juan Soto
    34/ Kiyoshi Ota // Getty

    NL #18: Juan Soto

    - MVP odds: +3000
    - Team: Washington Nationals

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 414
    --- Batting average: 0.292
    --- On base percentage: 0.406
    --- Runs: 77
    --- Home runs: 22
    --- RBIs: 70
    --- Stolen bases: 5

  • NL #17: Justin Turner
    35/ Sean M. Haffey // Getty

    NL #17: Justin Turner

    - MVP odds: +3000
    - Team: Los Angeles Dodgers

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 365
    --- Batting average: 0.312
    --- On base percentage: 0.406
    --- Runs: 62
    --- Home runs: 14
    --- RBIs: 52
    --- Stolen bases: 2

  • NL #16: Cody Bellinger
    36/ Kevork Djansezian // Getty

    NL #16: Cody Bellinger

    - MVP odds: +2500
    - Team: Los Angeles Dodgers

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 557
    --- Batting average: 0.260
    --- On base percentage: 0.343
    --- Runs: 84
    --- Home runs: 25
    --- RBIs: 76
    --- Stolen bases: 14

  • NL #15: Corey Seager
    37/ Thearon W. Henderson // Getty

    NL #15: Corey Seager

    - MVP odds: +2500
    - Team: Los Angeles Dodgers

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 101
    --- Batting average: 0.267
    --- On base percentage: 0.348
    --- Runs: 13
    --- Home runs: 2
    --- RBIs: 13
    --- Stolen bases: 0

  • NL #14: Anthony Rizzo
    38/ Jonathan Daniel // Getty

    NL #14: Anthony Rizzo

    - MVP odds: +2500
    - Team: Chicago Cubs

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 566
    --- Batting average: 0.283
    --- On base percentage: 0.376
    --- Runs: 74
    --- Home runs: 25
    --- RBIs: 101
    --- Stolen bases: 6

  • NL #13: Trevor Story
    39/ Justin Edmonds // Getty

    NL #13: Trevor Story

    - MVP odds: +2500
    - Team: Colorado Rockies

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 598
    --- Batting average: 0.291
    --- On base percentage: 0.348
    --- Runs: 88
    --- Home runs: 37
    --- RBIs: 108
    --- Stolen bases: 27

  • NL #12: Anthony Rendon
    40/ Scott Taetsch // Getty

    NL #12: Anthony Rendon

    - MVP odds: +2500
    - Team: Washington Nationals

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 529
    --- Batting average: 0.308
    --- On base percentage: 0.374
    --- Runs: 88
    --- Home runs: 24
    --- RBIs: 92
    --- Stolen bases: 2

  • NL #11: Rhys Hoskins
    41/ Kiyoshi Ota // Getty

    NL #11: Rhys Hoskins

    - MVP odds: +2000
    - Team: Philadelphia Phillies

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 558
    --- Batting average: 0.246
    --- On base percentage: 0.354
    --- Runs: 89
    --- Home runs: 34
    --- RBIs: 96
    --- Stolen bases: 5

  • NL #10: Eugenio Suarez
    42/ Kiyoshi Ota // Getty

    NL #10: Eugenio Suarez

    - MVP odds: +2000
    - Team: Cincinnati Reds

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 527
    --- Batting average: 0.283
    --- On base percentage: 0.366
    --- Runs: 79
    --- Home runs: 34
    --- RBIs: 104
    --- Stolen bases: 1

  • NL #9: Javier Baez
    43/ Andrew Weber // Getty

    NL #9: Javier Baez

    - MVP odds: +2000
    - Team: Chicago Cubs

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 606
    --- Batting average: 0.290
    --- On base percentage: 0.326
    --- Runs: 101
    --- Home runs: 34
    --- RBIs: 111
    --- Stolen bases: 21

  • NL #8: Ronald Acuna Jr.
    44/ Michael Reaves // Getty

    NL #8: Ronald Acuna Jr.

    - MVP odds: +2000
    - Team: Atlanta Braves

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 433
    --- Batting average: 0.293
    --- On base percentage: 0.366
    --- Runs: 78
    --- Home runs: 26
    --- RBIs: 64
    --- Stolen bases: 16

  • NL #7: Freddie Freeman
    45/ Daniel Shirey // Getty

    NL #7: Freddie Freeman

    - MVP odds: +2000
    - Team: Atlanta Braves

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 618
    --- Batting average: 0.309
    --- On base percentage: 0.388
    --- Runs: 94
    --- Home runs: 23
    --- RBIs: 98
    --- Stolen bases: 10

  • NL #6: Manny Machado
    46/ Ralph Freso // Getty

    NL #6: Manny Machado

    - MVP odds: +1600
    - Team: San Diego Padres

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 632
    --- Batting average: 0.297
    --- On base percentage: 0.367
    --- Runs: 84
    --- Home runs: 37
    --- RBIs: 107
    --- Stolen bases: 14

  • NL #5: Christian Yelich
    47/ Stacy Revere // Getty

    NL #5: Christian Yelich

    - MVP odds: +1600
    - Team: Milwaukee Brewers

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 574
    --- Batting average: 0.326
    --- On base percentage: 0.402
    --- Runs: 118
    --- Home runs: 36
    --- RBIs: 110
    --- Stolen bases: 22

  • NL #4: Paul Goldschmidt
    48/ Rob Carr // Getty

    NL #4: Paul Goldschmidt

    - MVP odds: +1200
    - Team: St. Louis Cardinals

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 593
    --- Batting average: 0.290
    --- On base percentage: 0.389
    --- Runs: 95
    --- Home runs: 33
    --- RBIs: 83
    --- Stolen bases: 7

  • NL #3: Kris Bryant
    49/ Christian Petersen // Getty

    NL #3: Kris Bryant

    - MVP odds: +1000
    - Team: Chicago Cubs

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 389
    --- Batting average: 0.272
    --- On base percentage: 0.374
    --- Runs: 59
    --- Home runs: 13
    --- RBIs: 52
    --- Stolen bases: 2

  • NL #2: Nolan Arenado
    50/ Jennifer Stewart // Getty

    NL #2: Nolan Arenado

    - MVP odds: +800
    - Team: Colorado Rockies

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 590
    --- Batting average: 0.297
    --- On base percentage: 0.374
    --- Runs: 104
    --- Home runs: 38
    --- RBIs: 110
    --- Stolen bases: 2

  • NL #1: Bryce Harper
    51/ Mike Ehrmann // Getty

    NL #1: Bryce Harper

    - MVP odds: +600
    - Team: Philadelphia Phillies

    - 2018 season stats:
    --- At bats: 550
    --- Batting average: 0.249
    --- On base percentage: 0.393
    --- Runs: 103
    --- Home runs: 34
    --- RBIs: 100
    --- Stolen bases: 13

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