When projecting the AL MVP winner, you need to consider Wins Above Replacement (WAR). This metric accounts for both offensive and defensive contributions, determining an overall value for a player.
Last season’s winner, Aaron Judge, put up 11.4 WAR (per FanGraphs), so we’ll use that number as a benchmark to help forecast this year’s MVP race. With that in mind, let’s dive in with our 2023 AL MVP predictions and best bets.
AL MVP Odds 2023
AL MVP MLB betting odds are current as of Friday, March 3, courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
- Shohei Ohtani, DH/SP, Los Angeles Angels (+200)
- Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees (+400)
- Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels (+600)
- Julio Rodríguez, OF, Seattle Mariners (+800)
- Yordan Álvarez, OF, Houston Astros (+1200)
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B, Toronto Blue Jays (+1400)
- José Ramírez, 3B, Cleveland Guardians (+1600)
- Corey Seager, SS, Texas Rangers (+2200)
- Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Rays (+2200)
- Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins (+2500)
- Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles (+2500)
- Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox (+2800)
- Kyle Tucker, OF Houston Astros (+2800)
- Carlos Correa, SS, Minnesota Twins (+3500)
- Bo Bichette, SS, Toronto Blue Jays (+4000)
- George Springer, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (+4000)
- Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros (+4500)
- Giancarlo Stanton, OF, New York Yankees (+5000)
- Jeremy Pena, SS, Houston Astros (+5000)
- Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox (+5000)
- Marcus Semien, 2B, Texas Rangers (+5000)
It should be no surprise that the top two candidates for AL MVP are Judge and Shohei Ohtani. However, some very intriguing names in the top 10, such as Julio Rodríguez, provide plenty of betting value.
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AL MVP Best Bet 2023
Shohei Ohtani, SP/DH, Los Angeles Angels (+200)
Only a historic season from Judge kept Ohtani from winning back-to-back MVP Awards. However, many believe the Angels superstar should have won, given his unique value to the team.
In reality, when healthy, Ohtani probably deserves to win this award every season. The 28-year-old is a hybrid unicorn that combines the statistics of Manny Machado and Dylan Cease into one baseball player.
It is unlikely that Ohtani will face a similar challenge in 2023 for the AL MVP, so if he can stay healthy, there is no reason to make anyone else the preseason favorite.
AL MVP Favorites 2023
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees (+400)
Do I expect a repeat performance from Judge in 2023? No.
However, you can’t discuss the AL MVP without bringing up the defending champion.
The Yankees’ captain had the mother of all walk-years when he posted a .311/.425/686 slash line with 62 home runs and 131 RBIs last season. Judge would then parlay that success into a nine-year $360 million contract, the third-largest in baseball history.
Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels (+600)
Despite playing in only 119 games, Mike Trout still smashed 40 home runs in 438 at-bats while batting .283 with a .630 slugging percentage.
Unfortunately, Trout has missed significant time in four out of his last five full seasons. At this point in his career, it seems unlikely the future Hall of Famer will take the field enough to mount a proper MVP campaign.
However, there is no doubting the talent, production, and efficiency of Trout when he is healthy.
AL MVP Contenders 2023
Julio Rodríguez, OF, Seattle Mariners (+800)
After a stunning 2022 that landed him the AL Rookie of the Year Award, Rodríguez will look to build on his already impressive career in his sophomore season.
The 22-year-old slashed .284/.345/.509 with 28 home runs, 75 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases over 511 at-bats last year, helping the Seattle Mariners reach the postseason for the first time since 2001.
Rodríguez is a stellar defender and ranks among the elite in barrel percentage, exit velocity, and hard-hit percentage. If the Mariners’ superstar is able to translate his minor league plate discipline to the major leagues this season, watch out.
José Ramírez, 3B, Cleveland Guardians (+1600)
José Ramírez could be the most underrated player in baseball. However, much of this likely has to do with being hidden in Cleveland.
The Guardians third baseman posted a .280/.355/.514 slash line with 29 home runs and 20 stolen bases despite being hindered by a thumb injury for most of the season. Ramirez is a strong candidate to claim the AL MVP if Ohtani is unable to maintain his greatness.
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AL MVP Sleepers 2023
Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins (+2500)
Dream a little dream.
All baseball fans have wondered what a full season of peak Byron Buxton would look like, but who knows if that will ever happen.
In just 92 games in 2022, the Twins’ star posted a .526 slugging percentage and 28 home runs while being a gold glove-caliber defender in center field.
It may be a long shot, but it isn’t easy to find this kind of talent for +2500.
Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox (+5000)
This wager requires a bit of forecasting and creativity. However, Luis Robert is a fantastic talent that could be on the verge of a breakout season.
After posting a .338/.378/.567 slash line in 275 at-bats in 2021, Robert was limited to just 98 games last year with blurred vision and a left wrist injury.
The White Sox centerfielder has all the tools to be a five-tool superstar and has already showcased his ability to handle himself at the major league level. However, if you are looking for a sleeper for the AL MVP, you can do worse than a standout defender in the 99th percentile in max exit velocity.