MLB Player Futures: Vegas Odds to Win the AL MVP

The American League MVP Award is given out each year to the most outstanding player in that league.  Outfielder Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox took home the award last year with an incredible season.  That said, Mike Trout, who many consider the best player of the current generation, is the current odds-on favorite to win in 2019.

Below you will find the latest odds to win the AL MVP along with some advanced metrics for each player last year. We’ve included each players’ Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) as well as their Wins Above Replacement (WAR) from the previous season.  Below the odds you will find more detailed information about these metrics. A player with a DNQ (Did Not Qualify) for their wRC+ last year simply means they did not have enough plate appearances to accurately assess their performance.

The final column represents the implied probability of each player winning the award given the current market odds.

MVP odds courtesy of BetOnline

Updated Odds to Win the 2019 American League MVP Award

Player Team 2018 WRC+ 2018 WAR Odds Change MVP
Mike Trout Angels 191 9.8 +250 New 21.53%
Mookie Betts Red Sox 185 10.4 +600 New 10.77%
Aaron Judge Yankees DNQ 5.1 +800 New 8.37%
Alex Bregman Astros 157 7.6 +900 New 7.54%
Carlos Correa Astros DNQ 1.7 +1600 New 4.43%
Giancarlo Stanton Yankees 127 4.2 +1600 New 4.43%
Jose Ramirez Indians 146 8 +1600 New 4.43%
J.D. Martinez Red Sox 170 5.9 +1800 New 3.97%
Francisco Lindor Indians 130 7.6 +2000 New 3.59%
Jose Altuve Astros 135 4.9 +2000 New 3.59%
Matt Chapman Athletics 137 6.5 +2500 New 2.90%
Khris Davis Athletics 135 2.6 +3300 New 2.22%
Matt Olson Athletics 117 3.4 +3300 New 2.22%
Nomar Mazara Rangers 96 1 +3300 New 2.22%
Gary Sanchez Yankees DNQ 1.7 +4000 New 1.84%
George Springer Astros 119 2.9 +4000 New 1.84%
Jose Abreu White Sox 114 1.2 +4000 New 1.84%
Andrew Benintendi Red Sox 122 4.4 +5000 New 1.48%
Byron Buxton Twins DNQ -0.4 +5000 New 1.48%
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Blue Jays Rookie Rookie +5000 New 1.48%
Xander Bogaerts Red Sox 133 4.9 +5000 New 1.48%
Chris Sale Red Sox Pitcher 6.1 +6600 New 1.12%
Corey Kluber Indians Pitcher 5.4 +6600 New 1.12%
Justin Smoak Blue Jays 121 1.7 +6600 New 1.12%
Justin Upton Angels 124 3.1 +6600 New 1.12%
Whit Merrifield Royals 120 5.2 +6600 New 1.12%
Miguel Cabrera Tigers DNQ 0.7 +10000 New 0.75%

wRC+ Explained

wRC+ is one of the best metrics we have in evaluating the impact a player has on their team. We have provided the formula for this stat below, but the idea behind it is to normalize how many runs a player creates for their team adjusting for external factors like ballpark or era.  A wRC+ of 100 indicates a league average player, meaning a batter with a wRC+ of 150 is 50% better than the league average at doing the most important thing he can for his team – creating runs.

wRC+ Formula

(((wRAA per PA + league runs per PA) + (league runs per PA - ballpark factor x league runs per PA) / league wRC per plate appearance, excluding pitchers)) x 100

WAR Explained

WAR is something of a catch-all statistic that evaluates how many wins a player is worth to their team compared to a replacement player.  WAR basically says, if this player did not play for this team in this season and their backup was at best and average player, how many wins would that team be expected to lose? What is great about WAR is that it also factors in a player’s fielding contributions, not just their hitting statistics.

WAR is a bit more complicated for pitchers since they have less control over how the team around them will perform in the field, but using a metric called Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) helps give a better idea of how to fairly compare pitchers to league averages.

WAR Formula (Position Players)

(Batting Runs + Base Running Runs +Fielding Runs + Positional Adjustment + League Adjustment +Replacement Runs) / (Runs Per Win)

WAR Formula (Pitchers)

[[([(League “FIP” – “FIP”) / Pitcher Specific Runs Per Win] + Replacement Level) * (IP/9)] * Leverage Multiplier for Relievers] + League Correction

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