With his stellar play through 63 games this season, Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers has undoubtedly put himself in the American League MVP conversation.
But will everything the 25-year-old has provided at the plate, where he is hitting .332 with 16 home runs, 40 runs batted in, a .991 OPS+ and improved defense at the hot corner, vault him into one of the early favorites to win the award? Not so fast.
Despite Devers’ torrid hitting as of late — he hit a home run in a fourth consecutive game in the Red Sox’s 10-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday — and top-notch production, he has the fifth-best odds currently at +1400 to be crowned AL MVP, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
While bettors could jump on those odds now and receive a bigger payout if Devers can come away with award, he just might have too many players to jump over to make it possible. Aaron Judge is the favorite at the moment with the New York Yankees slugger having belted 25 home runs already and batting .313, while two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels has the ability to dominate on the mound and in the batter’s box to win the AL MVP for a second year in a row.
Here are the the top five players on the betting sheet:
Aaron Judge -105
Shohei Ohtani +500
Mike Trout +650
Jose Ramirez +950
Rafael Devers +1400
Even Red Sox manager Alex Cora seemed skeptical of Devers’ chances to be named AL MVP by season’s end given the way the league’s other stars are playing.
“He’s one of the best hitters in the big leagues, but there’s a lot of guys having great seasons, (Aaron) Judge, (Jose) Ramirez,” Cora said on Wednesday, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “He shows up every day, were happy that he’s hitting second for us on a daily basis and playing third base. The way he acted in spring training we had a feeling it was going to be something like this, and (it’s) coming true.”
While it’s likely Devers misses out on the award, it is a massive positive that he’s included in this conversation at this point in his career.