AL MVP Betting Insights: Ohtani Head and Shoulders Above the Pack


Jul 10, 2023

The race for the American League’s Most Valuable Player award is heating up. As we move deeper into the MLB season, here’s a snapshot of how the betting market is shaping up.


  • Highest Ticket%: Shohei Ohtani 18.0%
  • Highest Handle%: Shohei Ohtani 42.5%
  • Biggest Liability: Adley Rutschman
  • Odds leader: Shohei Ohtani -750

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels has maintained his dominant position in the AL MVP betting race. From his opening odds of +200, Ohtani’s odds have seen an incredible downward shift to -1600 last week, stabilizing at -750. The two-way star’s astonishing performance at the plate and on the mound this season has made him a clear favorite among bettors. He’s also leading in both ticket percentage, with 18.0% of all tickets bet and handle percentage, securing a whopping 42.5% of all money wagered on the AL MVP market.

While Ohtani remains the outright favorite, Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles has also caught the eye of some bettors. Despite being a long shot at the beginning of the season with odds of +3500, Rutschman has seen his odds fluctuate considerably, currently sitting at +8000. Rutschman’s long odds are through no fault of his own, as he is having a fantastic season. It’s just Ohtani’s video game-like numbers are putting the best of seasons in the rearview mirror. With the second-highest ticket and handle percentages of 8.3% and 8.7%, respectively, Rutschman is a clear underdog, albeit a popular one.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays started with odds of +1500, and after a spike to +10000, his current odds have shortened considerably to +6600. Guerrero’s ticket percentage is 7.3%, and his handle percentage is 4.6%.

Notably, Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays and Bo Bichette of the Toronto Blue Jays both started with odds of 3500 and 4000, respectively. Their odds have been cut to 3300, indicating increased belief in their MVP potential. Franco’s ticket percentage is 5.8%, while Bichette holds 3.9%. In terms of handle percentage, Franco has 5.3% of the total wagers, while Bichette holds 2.5%.

Other contenders that generated interest at the start of the year include Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Guardians, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox, Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros, and Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners. However, their odds are currently quite long, ranging from +8000 to a massive +20000, which indicates a lesser degree of confidence from bettors at this stage in the season.

Corey Seager is the only man with an outside shot of taking down Ohtani. Amid a career year, the Rangers slugger would almost assuredly need Ohtani to miss some time to get back in the race. Seager sits second on the oddsboard at +1600 but doesn’t have much backing with a ticket percentage of 3.4% and 1.4% handle.

As we head into the business end of the season, keeping a close eye on how these odds and percentages shift is essential. Each player’s performance, injury status, and team standing can significantly impact their MVP chances. 

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Thumbnail photo via Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

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