Arguably boasting baseball’s two best players, the Los Angeles Angels have two great reasons for why the American League MVP odds think the most prized AL award will go to someone in an Angels uniform in 2022. Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are electric superstars and have charged out to awesome starts both at the plate and on the mound. But, with Aaron Judge currently leading the MLB home run race with 14 long balls, Ohtani and Trout might have some serious competition.
Let’s break down the MLB MVP race by first looking at all the top American League candidates:
Shohei Ohtani (+225)
Shohei Ohtani easily took home the AL MVP in the 2021 season thanks to his stellar pitching campaign and incredible hitting year. While his numbers might not be as impressive so far in 2022, his consistency in both aspects of his incredibly well-rounded game is what makes him such a good bet based on the American League MVP odds. He probably isn’t a good enough pitcher or hitter to beat out all other contenders in isolation but when you combine what he’s able to do in all parts of the game it’s hard not to expect him to win again.
Mike Trout (+425)
What Ohtani’s teammate, Mike Trout, lacks in pitching prowess, he more than makes up for with sheer dominance at the plate. As long as Trout stays healthy — that’s a huge if — he’s on pace for another stunning offensive season in nearly every facet. Also, with the Los Angeles Angels finally looking like a good team, Trout has even more run production opportunities and opposing pitchers haven’t been able to pitch around him as often. That’s a promising sign for how good he’ll be at the plate all season.
Aaron Judge (+450)
Even though Aaron Judge is a little bit behind Ohtani and Trout in terms of the American League MVP odds, he should be in the conversation right with them. Judge has been ridiculous so far this season, hitting a home run around every 2.5 games as the New York Yankees have raced out to a sizable AL East lead. Judge is the engine for everything that New York does and his 204 OPS+ is a testament to how much power he has shown compared to a relatively offensively depressed league. He has to stay on the field, though, because injuries have limited his year-to-year production.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+625)
He might not be on the track to repeat his 48-homer 2021 season but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is having a decent April and May and is a worthy player to round out the MLB MVP favorites list in the American League. His Toronto Blue Jays are slumping a bit at the moment and Vladdy hasn’t been able to single-handedly right the ship but he’ll get hot at some point and go on one of his patented tears. These downturns are part of the territory when you become a superstar like Vladdy has because pitchers are able to key in on your weaknesses. The good news for him is that he’s good — and smart — enough to make the right adjustments.
José Ramírez (+1400)
The perpetually underrated José Ramírez rounds out our rundown of AL MVP candidates. As usual, he’s raking for the Cleveland Guardians despite not getting a fraction of the national attention he truly deserves. Ramírez is among the league leaders in RBIs and has a .943 OPS with more walks than strikeouts. His issue is that Cleveland might not be good enough for him to garner the necessary votes. In terms of pure production, though, he should be right in the mix. Plus, the AL Central might be there for the taking. If the Guardians can make a serious playoff push, it would be huge for his MVP case.