- Joined ESPN in 2014
- Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008
Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout is the consensus betting favorite to win the MVP award entering the 2021 season, but dual-threat teammate Shohei Ohtani is attracting the most action at some sportsbooks, including one giant bet that could pay nearly $1 million.
At Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, Trout is the favorite at 2-1, followed by the Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman (11-1), New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge (12-1) and Cleveland Indians’ Jose Ramirez (14-1).
Ohtani, at 20-1, has attracted more money wagered than any other player to win the AL MVP at William Hill, including a $30,000 bet placed March 19 in Nevada at 30-1 odds that would pay $930,000.
At DraftKings, more than eight times as much money has been bet on Ohtani as has been bet on Trout to win the MVP award.
Ohtani, a starting pitcher and outfielder for the Angels, was hampered by injuries last season and finished with a .190 batting average and seven home runs in 175 plate appearances. He made his last spring training start on the mound Monday, giving up seven runs before being removed in the third inning with a blister on his right middle finger.
Trout, who will turn 30 later this season, hit .281 with 17 home runs and 46 RBI during 2020’s abbreviated campaign and finished fifth in AL MVP voting.
In the National League, two Dodgers top the MVP odds. Outfielder Mookie Betts is the favorite at 8-1, followed closely by first baseman Cody Bellinger at 17-2. Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto is also at 17-2 at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.
They are followed by San Diego Padres third baseman Fernando Tatis Jr. (9-1), Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna (10-1) and Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (12-1), last year’s MVP.
The New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom is the favorite to win the NL Cy Young at +400; Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is the favorite for the AL honor at +350.
Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes is the favorite for NL Rookie of the Year, while Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena is the favorite in the AL.
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