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AL MVP Odds: Yankees Have the Top Two Favorites for the Award

Aaron Judge is favored to win second MVP in three years but new teammate Juan Soto isn’t far behind.

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is the favorite for American League Most Valuable Player heading into the 2024 season.

AL MVP futures present more value with Shohei Ohtani now in the National League. Ohtani has won the award in two of the last three seasons (2021 and ’23), while Judge, the current favorite for the award, won in ’22.

Judge is only one season removed from his MVP season and there are plenty of reasons to think he can bring home a second. Despite playing a career-low 106 games last season, primarily due to a freak toe injury, Judge hit 37 home runs and logged 75 RBIs. That would equate to 56 home runs and 115 RBIs in a 162-game season, and those 56 bombs would have led the MLB once again. He led the league with a 64.2% hard-hit rate, 97.6 mph average exit velocity, and 14.4% barrels per appearance.

New York Yankees outfielders Juan Soto and Aaron Judge

Based on the current AL MVP odds, the pairing of Yankees outfielders Juan Soto anjd Aaron Judge looks like a dynamic duo.

The next-best odds belong to fellow Yankee Juan Soto, who will make his debut with the Bronx Bombers on a one-year deal for 2024. Soto had an underrated 2023. After a slow start, Soto put together a 35-home run season while maintaining his excellent plate discipline. Soto is expected to hit ahead of Judge and log triple-digit runs and RBIs. Many point to the short porch in right field as an advantage for the lefty slugger and consider Yankee Stadium an upgrade, but bear in mind that his 35 home runs would have been only 27 if they were all hit in New York. His 35 home runs would have been 33 if they had all been hit in San Diego’s Petco Park. There is indeed major potential for Soto in New York, but with Judge as competition and knowing how many hitters have struggled under the bright lights and microscope of New York City, I’ll be fading Soto at just 6-to-1 odds.

Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez comes in with the third-best odds at +800. There’s no doubt Alvarez is one of the best pure hitters in the game. His 11.7% barrels per plate appearance was tied for second-best with Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ohtani in 2023, and his expected batting average (xBA) is in the top 3% of the league. Alvarez slashed .293/.407/.583 with 31 home runs and 97 RBIs in just 114 games last season. That 162-game pace equates to 44 home runs and 138 RBIs. Those RBIs would have led all of MLB. However, health is always an issue for Alvarez, who has yet to play more than 135 games in any season. Because of that, bettors should consider a pivot to teammate Kyle Tucker, who has the eighth-best odds at +1700 odds. Tucker hit 29 home runs and logged 112 RBIs -- the most RBIs in the American League -- while also stealing 30 bases in 2023. He also had a career-high walk rate and career-low strikeout rate. Playing on a new one-year deal with the Astros and looking to sign a longer-term deal, the 27-year-old lefty has plenty of motivation.

Seattle Mariners star Julio Rodriguez and Corey Seager of the Texas Rangers round out the top five with +1000 odds. Both are excellent choices at a 10-to-1 payout, and both play for teams expected to be competitive.

After a slow start last season, the 23-year-old Rodriguez ended up with a .275 batting average, 32 home runs, 103 RBIs and 37 stolen bases. His average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage were in the top 5% of MLB.

Seager remains one of the top hitters in the game. The Texas shortstop batted .327 with 33 home runs and 96 RBIs across just 119 regular-season games played last season. His average exit velocity and hard-hit rate were in the top 4% of MLB, and his Statcast xBA was in the top 1%. Seager had sports hernia surgery in the offseason and will miss most of spring training, with questions remaining about his availability for Opening Day.

Longer odds values include Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+2200), Jose Altuve (+4000) and Royce Lewis (+4000).

Updated AL MVP Odds

Aaron Judge +550
Juan Soto +600
Yordan Alvarez +800
Julio Rodriguez +1000
Corey Seager +1000
Adley Rutschman +1300
Gunnar Henderson +1500
Kyle Tucker +1700
Bobby Witt Jr. +2000
Mike Trout +2000
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. +2200
Jose Ramirez +2500
Rafael Devers +2800
Bo Bichette +3000
Carlos Correa +3000
Marcus Semien +4000
Jose Altuve +4000
Yandy Diaz +4000
Royce Lewis +4000
Alex Bregman +5000
Adolis Garcia +5000
Luis Robert Jr. +6000
Evan Carter +6000
Gleyber Torres +7000
Eloy Jimenez +7000
Josh Jung +8000
Jeremy Pena +8000
Riley Greene +8000
Byron Buxton +8000
Masataka Yoshida +8000
Randy Arozarena +10000

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