2024 MLB MVP Odds and Predictions

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MLB MVP odds change constantly. Because the baseball season is more marathon than sprint, players who may look like good bets to win MVP in April could be completely out of the race by the time July rolls around. Needless to say, an awful lot can change over the course of a 6-month regular season.

The 2024 campaign is about 3 months old, yet odds-on MVP frontrunners have already emerged in both the American and National League. Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani are the current favorites in the MLB Odds, though there’s still more than enough time left in the season for the odds to shift further. Are the current favorites smart wagers to take home the hardware? Or are there dark horses worth considering at plus-money MLB MVP odds?

AL MLB MVP Odds

As mentioned, the Yankees’ Aaron Judge is favored to take home AL MVP honors for the second time in the last 3 years. However, the race is far from over. Judge was also favored around this time a season ago before suffering a foot injury that would ultimately keep him sidelined for nearly 2 months. In the end, the injury cost Judge dearly in the race, as Ohtani would go on to win the award in unanimous fashion.

Fortunately for Judge, he no longer has to contend with Ohtani now that the latter plies his craft in the National League. Here’s how the race is shaping up on the American League side, per the latest MLB MVP odds from BetOnline.

AL MVP OddsAL MVP Odds
Aaron Judge (-150)Gunnar Henderson (+350)
Bobby Witt Jr. (+600)Juan Soto (+650)
Jose Ramirez (+2800)Steven Kwan (+6000)
Adley Rutschman (+8000)Kyle Tucker (+8000)
Corey Seager (+8000)Yordan Alvarez (+8000)
Rafael Devers (+8000)Alex Bregman (+10000)

Aaron Judge (-150)

It’s easy to forget now that Aaron Judge actually got off to a fairly rough start this season. His April was so underwhelming that Yankees fans even booed him on his bobblehead day following a hitless game.

Judge posted a mediocre slash line of .220/.361/.450 in April with 6 homers and 17 RBI. That’s not a terrible month for most mortals, but Judge is held to a higher standard as the Yankees’ captain.

Since then, however, he’s been on a seemingly never-ending tear at the plate. In May and June combined, the former home run champ is slashing a combined .367/.480/.870 with 22 home runs, 48 runs batted in, and 50 runs scored. He won AL Player of the Month in May for his exploits that month, and I’d be shocked if he didn’t take home the same prize for June once the month concludes.

Judge’s AL MVP odds are boosted by the fact that the Yankees have been among the league’s best teams this season. The Bronx Bombers enter action on June 25th a couple of games ahead of Baltimore for first place in the AL East. Their 52-28 record is the second-best mark in baseball, trailing only the 52-26 Philadelphia Phillies. And, they’re one of the 2024 World Series odds-on favorites.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much meat left on the bone with Judge’s current -150 odds.

Gunnar Henderson (+350)

The upstart Orioles have an embarrassing amount of riches when it comes to young talent. The true blue-chipper of the bunch at this point is Gunnar Henderson, who’s enjoying a massive breakout in his 3rd MLB campaign. Henderson took home AL Rookie of the Year honors last year after posting a .255/.325/.489 slash line with 28 homers, 82 batted in, and 10 stolen bases.

Henderson’s numbers across the board are vastly better this term, however. The 22-year-old has improved his numbers to .278/.377/.596. He’s also already slugged 24 homers and driven in 53, while he’s already surpassed last season’s stolen base total with 13 bags to his name. Henderson’s .973 OPS ranks seventh in the majors and third among American League sluggers.

Oh, and the Orioles are also the real deal. Baltimore is just 2 games adrift of the mighty Yankees in the AL East, which is no small feat for one of baseball’s youngest rosters. Henderson has been the driving force in an Orioles offense that leads all of baseball in home runs (125) and runs scored (405) while ranking third in OPS (.766).

In addition to his impressive exploits at the plate, Henderson’s MVP case is boosted by his plus defensive metrics at a key shortstop position. Only Anthony Volpe (11), Bobby Witt Jr. (10), Francisco Lindor (9), and Willy Adames (8) have recorded more outs-above-average (OOA) than Henderson’s 7 among shortstops this year. Judge, to compare, has zero OAA operating as the Yankees’ primary center fielder. Henderson also leads all of baseball in wins above replacement (WAR) with 5.4. Judge (5.2) is second.

Whether voters seriously take defensive prowess into account with regard to MVP is worth questioning, but Henderson looks like a viable threat to Judge’s status as AL MVP frontrunner. At +350, Henderson stands out as a terrific value bet.

Bobby Witt Jr. (+600)

If Henderson isn’t the game’s best young shortstop, it’s because Bobby Witt Jr. is. Witt doesn’t garner as much national praise playing for the Royals, but Kansas City has been a quiet success story early in 2024. The Royals’ 43-37 record doesn’t jump off the page, but they’re only a half-game behind Boston for the last AL Wild Card spot with July on the horizon.

If Witt is going to make a serious charge for AL MVP, the Royals are likely going to have to win the AL Central. That will be a tall order with the Guardians 9 games ahead of them in the standings, but we’ve seen bigger deficits made up over the years. Anything is possible, after all.

Witt’s numbers speak for themselves. If you don’t factor in team success, you can argue his AL MVP odds should be even better than they are. The Texas native is slashing .312/.361/.533 with an OPS pushing .900. He’s slugged 12 homers, driven in 53 runs, scored 60 runs, and stolen 21 bases already. Witt quietly crushed 30 homers along with 49 steals a season ago, so he’s not quite on pace to match those numbers this year.

Witt’s 4.5 fWAR is the fourth-best mark in the sport behind only Henderson, Judge, and Juan Soto. I mentioned his terrific defense at shortstop, as well. Barring a major turnaround from the Royals, however, it’s hard to make a compelling case for Witt to win the award over Judge or Henderson as of now.

Juan Soto (+650)

To say Juan Soto and the Yankees look like a match made in heaven would be an understatement. New York made one of the splashiest moves of the winter by snagging Soto via trade from the Padres, and he’s been everything the team could’ve hoped for ever since.

Through 77 games in pinstripes, Soto is hitting .305/.431/.563 with an OPS a shade south of 1.000. As mentioned, his fWAR is the third-highest in the majors, and he’s hit 18 homers to go along with 56 RBI. Soto has made some plays with his arm in the outfield, but his overall defense is one of the few weaknesses in his game.

The Yankees are going to challenge for the pennant this fall, but it’s hard to see how Soto has a better case than Judge at this point. Both are likely to start the All-Star Game in the American League’s outfield, but Judge has been superior to Soto in just about every statistical metric thus far. As a result, I’m much more comfortable taking Judge at -150 than I would be with Soto at +650 to win AL MVP.

Who Will Win AL MLB MVP?

Judge is a deserving favorite, but the -150 odds don’t give you much bang for your buck. With so much of the season left to play, I’m more inclined to take a flier on a value option. I’m highly skeptical of the Royals’ chances of challenging the Guardians for the AL Central title, though, and Soto simply isn’t all that likely to outduel his teammate for the AL’s top individual honor.

So, the logical play here is to take a stab at Gunnar Henderson at +350. The Orioles are neck-and-neck with Judge’s Yankees in the division and atop the American League. You can easily argue Henderson’s overall numbers are superior to Judge’s in the first place, and Henderson is going to see his odds improve if Baltimore ultimately overtakes New York in the standings.

AL MVP Bet: Gunnar Henderson (+350)

NL MVP Odds

Things look awfully similar on the National League side of things. The Dodgers don’t have as much competition in their own division as the Yankees do, you can argue that Shohei Ohtani is a more secure MVP favorite than Judge is over in the AL. That said, Ohtani’s own résumé may not be quite as impressive as it was in either of his 2 AL MVP-winning campaigns.

Below are the latest NL MVP odds according to BetOnline:

NL MVP OddsNL MVP Odds
Shohei Ohtani (-105)Bryce Harper (+200)
Fernando Tatis Jr. (+950)Marcell Ozuna (+1200)
Freddie Freeman (+1300)William Contreras (+1500)
Elly De La Cruz (+2000)Ketel Marte (+3000)
Alec Bohm (+3000)Mookie Betts (+3500)
Christian Yelich (+5000)Francisco Lindor (+6500)
CJ Abrams (+8000)Max Muncy (+8000)
Matt Olson (+8000)Luis Arraez (+8000)

Shohei Ohtani (-105)

Ohtani is only a -105 favorite on the NL side. He’s been as advertised for the Dodgers since putting pen to paper on that record-breaking 10-year, $700 million deal over the winter, but he is awfully limited. Ohtani hasn’t played a single game in the field, as expected, while he’s been unable to pitch after undergoing Tommy John surgery late last season while with the Angels.

Designated hitters simply don’t win MVP. Ohtani pitched in both of his previous MVP seasons. In fact, since the AL installed the DH back in 1973, we haven’t seen a single DH-only player win the award. Ohtani, if he goes on to win it this season, would become the first, as he’s unlikely to pitch for the Dodgers before 2025.

Ohtani still has a 4.2 fWAR, which is remarkable considering that’s a statistic that takes defense into account. That Ohtani ranks among the league leaders despite offering absolutely zero defensive value is a testament to how dominant he’s been with a bat in his hands. Through 77 games in Dodger blue, Ohtani is slashing .318/.395/.626 with a 1.022 OPS. He’s smashed 23 homers, driven in 58 runs, scored 61 more, and stolen 16 bases in 18 tries.

Ohtani has been arguably the game’s most dangerous hitter since 2021, yet he’s on pace to set new career-highs in every statistical category if he stays healthy for the rest of this year. The Dodgers came into the year with sky-high expectations as World Series favorites. LA is 49-31 and 8.5 games ahead of the second-place Padres in the NL West Division, so they’re likely to cruise to yet another division title.

Injuries to Mookie Betts and Max Muncy have slowed down what was otherwise a dynamic offense early in the season, but Ohtani’s NL MVP odds are appealing assuming the Dodgers don’t slip up along the way.

Bryce Harper (+200)

2-time NL MVP Bryce Harper looks like Ohtani’s primary competition for MVP at this point. The Phillies’ 52-26 record is the best mark in all of baseball, as is their plus-121 run differential. Philadelphia has admittedly benefited from a fairly easy schedule, but few could’ve expected them to hold an 8-game lead over the previously-mighty Braves coming into the season.

“Best player on the best team” is generally a lazy case to make for a player to win MVP, but it applies to Harper at the moment. He’s not generating lots of headlines for whatever reason, but Harper is once again posting steadily elite numbers across the board. He’s hitting .303/.401/.577 with 19 homers, 56 runs batted in, and 51 runs scored across 73 games. Harper’s 3.8 fWAR is is actually higher than the 3.5 mark he posted in 126 games all of last season.

Harper’s been particularly hot in June. He’s leading the entire National League in batting average (.385), extra-base hits (14), and OPS (1.185). Like Judge, he’s very likely to win Player of the Month in his league for the second straight month.

Harper’s numbers aren’t all that different from Ohtani’s, and Harper has played decent defense at first base, to boot. The odds don’t make a whole lot of sense, either. Harper’s +200 odds imply a 33.3% chance of winning the award. Ohtani at -105, meanwhile, has a 51.2% chance, per the odds.

Fernando Tatis Jr. (+950)

As of now, the race for NL MVP is a 2-man heat. The NL MVP odds drop off considerably after that, with no other player better than San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. at a distant +950.

Tatis is quietly having a bounce-back 2024, but he just went on the injured list with a triceps contusion. The injury is expected to keep Tatis sidelined through the All-Star break in mid-July, which could put a dent in his already-shaky MVP case.

Tatis has accounted for 2.5 fWAR this season, which puts him well south of his fellow NL contenders. His slash line (.279/.354/.468) has improved in recent weeks, while he’s hit 5 of his 14 homers on the season in June. The Padres are going to have a tough time making a playoff push in a crowded NL Wild Card field, and the injury won’t help.

Marcell Ozuna (+1200)

The Braves lost reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuna Jr. to a season-ending ACL injury, but Marcell Ozuna has done an impressive job of picking up the slack. It’s hard to believe at this point, but Ozuna was likely within a couple of rough weeks at the plate from being designated for assignment by the Braves early last season.

Since then, however, he’s been one of the most consistent hitters in all of baseball. He’s hardly the face of an Atlanta team with ample star power elsewhere, but it’s hard to argue with the back of the baseball card. Ozuna is smashing .314/.391/.594 this season with a gaudy .985 OPS. He’s third among all players in the league in batting average, fourth in homers, third in RBI, and fourth in slugging percentage.

Atlanta was the cream of the crop in the NL last season, but that hasn’t been the case so far in ’24. The Braves are still likely to make the postseason out of the NL East, but they’ll be hard-pressed to catch the Phillies in the division. Ozuna, like Ohtani, is also a full-time DH, which limits his overall value.

Who Will Win NL MVP?

The NL MVP odds say it’s Ohtani’s race to lose. I don’t think Harper is far off the pace, however, and the Phillies have the edge over the Dodgers in the league standings as of this writing. Reinforcements are on the way for Los Angeles, which could tip the scales in their favor before the season comes to a close.

As is the case on the AL side, however, I like the idea of taking a shot on the plus-money value option. Ohtani is the league’s most popular player and a worthy MVP frontrunner, but voters could certainly reward Harper instead if the Phillies finish the season as the No. 1 seed in the National League.

Once you factor in Harper’s defense and the fact that Ohtani won’t be pitching this season, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the odds shift toward the Phillies’ star by season’s end. Take the value on Harper’s +200 NL MVP odds while you still can.

NL MVP Bet: Bryce Harper (+200)
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