Shohei Ohtani is now the clear betting favorite for American League MVP.
The two-way Los Angeles Angels star's odds are down to +125 at BetMGM following a calf injury to teammate Mike Trout. The Angels announced Tuesday that Trout had been placed on the IL and could miss six to eight weeks.
Trout had been the big favorite before his injury. The three-time AL MVP was at +180 to win his fourth award. Now that seems unlikely, especially if Trout is going to miss two months. His odds are now at +1200.
Ohtani moved from +500 to +125 after Trout’s injury. And bettors really, really like him to win the MVP. Over 48 percent of the wagers placed for AL MVP have been on Ohtani and he accounts for nearly 36 percent of the money placed at BetMGM.
There’s a big reason why bettors like Ohtani’s chances. He leads the American League with 14 home runs and has a 2.10 ERA over 25.2 innings in five starts. Ohtani has struck out 40 batters across those five starts and has given up just 11 hits — though he’s walked 20 batters.
Ohtani and Trout account for over 75% of BetMGM handle
While Ohtani has received the most bets for MVP, bettors have put more money on Trout. Nearly 42% of the handle at BetMGM is on Trout, though that’s a percentage that’s likely to decline as Trout misses time with his injury.
No other player has been a preferred choice for bettors so far this season. The Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has the third-most MVP bets, but he’s at just 6.3% and only 3.1% of the handle. More money has been placed on Boston’s J.D. Martinez (3.2%).
Simply put, an AL MVP win for Ohtani — or an incredible MVP comeback for Trout — would be a big loss for BetMGM. And if you're bullish on a non-Angel to win MVP, now is your chance to make a bet that could turn out to be pretty profitable.
Updated betting odds
Trout's big odds decline only drops him to third. Guerrero Jr. is now second to Ohtani, and Aaron Judge is the No. 4 favorite. Here are the top candidates at BetMGM as of Wednesday morning.
Shohei Ohtani, +125
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., +1000
Mike Trout, +1200
Aaron Judge, +1400
J.D. Martinez, +1800
Giancarlo Stanton, +2000
Byron Buxton, +2000
Alex Bregman, +2500
Jose Ramirez, +2500
Jose Abreu, +3000
Xander Bogaerts, +3000
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