With Vlad Guerrero Jr. likely an MVP odds favorite every year for the next decade, Canadians have a rooting interest in the MVP award and good reason to dive into the MLB MVP betting markets.
Here’s how to bet baseball’s MVP in Canada, including the latest MVP odds direct from online sportsbooks, how MVP voting works and how to track the favourites for each season.
Latest MLB MVP odds
Below find the current odds for the next American and National League MVP winners below. Click on any of the odds to jump directly to the sportsbook and start the betting process.
Blue Jays, Canadian MLB MVP candidates
What are the prospects for a Canadian ballplayer or odds on one of the Blue Jays to win the MVP award? See the feed above for current odds on the following players and others as posted at Canadian online sportsbooks.
- Freddie Freeman: Freeman was born in California, but has dual citizenship since his mother is from Peterborough, Ontario, and his father is from Windsor, Ontario. He won the 2020 NL MVP and was in the mix for NL MVP favourites during the 2021 season.
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: The son of Hall of Famer and 2004 AL MVP Vladimir Guerrero, Guerrero Jr. may be the Toronto Blue Jays’ best shot at an AL MVP. After a runner-up finish to Ohtani in 2021, Vladdy sits in the top tier of favourites.
- George Springer: The Jays signed 2017 World Series MVP George Springer in hopes he’ll give them another MVP candidate. He’s maybe a step behind the true favourites to start the season, but check the odds board above to see where he sits now.
MLB MVP betting trends
1. Position players >> pitchers
If there’s one thing you can bet on confidently when it comes to the AL and NL MVP races, it’s that it’s probably going to go to a position player, not a pitcher.
Pure pitchers (not including the two-way Ohtani) have won 22 MVP awards since it became a Baseball Writers’ Association of America award in 1931. However, that’s 23 out of 161 awards, meaning pitchers have won less than 14% of the time. The fact is, there’s already an award for each league’s best pitcher, the Cy Young Award, which means a pitcher likely needs to have a Hall-of-Fame worthy season to get MVP consideration.
Justin Verlander did it in 2011, leading the AL in wins (24), strikeouts (250) and ERA (2.40). Clayton Kershaw did it in 2014, leading the NL with 21 wins and a 1.77 ERA. These are the only two pitchers to win MVP awards over the past decade, and both had historically great seasons.
2. Bet against the DH
You can bet against a designated hitter winning AL MVP with even more confidence. No one has ever won an AL MVP award playing primarily DH. Don Baylor won the 1979 AL MVP playing 65 games as a DH, but he started 97 games in the outfield, as well. Paul Molitor (1993), Frank Thomas (2000), David Ortiz (2005) and Victor Martinez (2014) each finished second in AL MVP voting as a DH, but still, no DH has ever won.
3. 1B is No. 1 all-time
Which position the MVP will come from is a little harder to pinpoint. First base has the most winners overall, but far from a majority. In 2020, a first baseman won in both leagues (José Abreu in the AL, Freddie Freeman in the NL). Here are the number of MVP wins by position:
- First base: 36
- Right field: 28
- Left field: 24
- Centre field: 20
- Third base: 19
- Catcher: 18
- Second base: 16
- Shortstop: 16
AL and NL MVPs over the past 10 years
Here are the AL and NL MVP winners over the past decade:
|2021||Shohei Ohtani||LA Angels||RHP/DH|
|2020||José Abreu||Chicago White Sox||1B|
|2019||Mike Trout||LA Angels||OF|
|2018||Mookie Betts||Boston Red Sox||OF|
|2017||José Altuve||Houston Astros||2B|
|2016||Mike Trout||LA Angels||OF|
|2015||Josh Donaldson||Toronto Blue Jays||3B|
|2014||Mike Trout||LA Angels||OF|
|2013||Miguel Cabrera||Detroit Tigers||3B|
|2012||Miguel Cabrera||Detroit Tigers||3B|
|2021||Bryce Harper||Philadelphia Phillies||OF|
|2020||Freddie Freeman||Atlanta Braves||1B|
|2019||Cody Bellinger||LA Dodgers||OF|
|2018||Christian Yelich||Milwaukee Brewers||OF|
|2017||Giancarlo Stanton||Miami Marlins||OF|
|2016||Kris Bryant||Chicago Cubs||3B/OF|
|2015||Bryce Harper||Washington Nationals||OF|
|2014||Clayton Kersahw||LA Dodgers||LHP|
|2013||Andrew McCutchen||Pittsburgh Pirates||OF|
|2012||Buster Posey||San Francisco Giants||C|
Canadian MVP winners
Here’s a look at the Canadians who have won either AL or NL MVP honours:
- Freddie Freeman 2020 (NL): Dual citizen with Canadian parents won the NL MVP for Atlanta in the shortened 2020 season.
- Joey Votto 2010 (NL): Toronto-born slugger hit .324 with 113 RBI and 37 home runs for Cincinnati in 2010, leading the Major Leagues in on-base percentage and the National League in slugging percentage on the way to becoming Canada’s third MVP winner.
- Justin Morneau 2006 (AL): New Westminster, British Columbia, star hit .321 with 34 home runs and 130 RBI for Minnesota in 2006 to win the AL MVP in a close vote over Derek Jeter.
- Larry Walker 1997 (NL): Maple Ridge, British Columbia, legend hit .366 with 49 home runs, 130 RBI and 33 stolen bases for Colorado in 1997, becoming the first Canadian-born player to win an MLB MVP award.
How MLB MVP bets work
Betting on the next MVPs means you are placing futures bets. Futures involve betting on long-term outcomes. In the case of the AL and NL MVP markets, you can bet at nearly any time, from the offseason through the regular season, and your bet will settle when the Baseball Writers’ Association of America hands out the awards at the end of the season.
Remember, voting takes place before the MLB postseason, but baseball doesn’t announce the winners until after the World Series.
Odds on individual players come out in the offseason. These may change ahead of the season based on roster moves, injuries and other factors. However, the big changes come during the season, based mostly on performance. You lock in the odds on your bet at the time you place it, however.
Regardless of how much these odds might change, you’ll get paid at the current odds at the time you placed your bet — if the player you bet on wins. Of course, this means the earlier you can get a bet down on a true MVP candidate, the better the odds will be, as the prices go up significantly on favourites as they separate themselves from the pack.
Other MLB futures odds
MLB betting also presents a number of other futures markets you can wager on, such as the following:
- Division winners
- Pennant winners
- Team win totals
- Wild card berths
- To make the postseason
- To win the World Series
- AL/NL Cy Young
- AL/NL Rookie of the Year
- Toronto Blue Jays odds
- Seattle Mariners odds
MLB MVP FAQ
Who votes for MLB’s MVP awards?
Members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America vote on the MVPs for both leagues. Two writers from each city with a team in the league get a vote each year, meaning 30 voters for the AL award and 30 for the NL. Each voter casts a ballot ranking 10 players using a weighted scoring system of points: 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. The players from each league with the highest point total win the MVP awards.
Which player and which team has won the most MVP awards?
To the surprise of absolutely no one, New York Yankees players have won the most MVP awards in baseball with 22. In the NL, it’s the St. Louis Cardinals with the most MVPs at 20. After that, there’s a sharp drop-off, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants tied at 14 each.
The player with the most MVP awards is Barry Bonds. He won a record seven NL MVP awards, but has yet to be voted into the Hall of Fame due to suspicions he used performance-enhancing drugs.
What are the most controversial MLB MVP picks of recent years?
Voters have been right more than wrong recently. In fact, you have to go back to 2006 to find any real controversy surrounding an MVP award. Canadian Justin Morneau won the AL MVP that year, despite arguments he wasn’t even the most valuable player on the Minnesota Twins. Derek Jeter finished second in the voting with a higher batting average and on-base percentage than Morneau. David Ortiz finished third in the voting and had more home runs and RBIs.
Who has had the best or worst MVP years?
Barry Bonds had some pretty dominating MVP years, but perhaps none better than 2001 when he won the NL MVP after posting 73 home runs and 137 RBI for the San Francisco Giants. Dennis Eckersley didn’t have a bad year in 1992 when he won the AL Cy Young and MVP. He posted 51 saves and a 1.91 ERA. However, he pitched just 80 innings that year. Surely there was a player who played a little more who was more valuable to his team, like Minnesota’s Kirby Puckett, who batted .329 over 160 games that year and posted 110 RBIs for the Twins.
Is it ever good to bet on a repeat MVP winner?
Just 31 players have won multiple MVPs in MLB history. That makes repeat winners a bit of a longshot. However, previous winners very often have the shortest odds in the MVP futures markets early on in the season, making most a bad bet.
How does analytics affect MVP voting and MVP winners?
Most voters lean heavily on a few key stats to back up their MVP votes. The more analytics replace traditional stats in baseball, the more voters are going to use these numbers to determine whom they vote for. In fact, we’re already seeing baseball writers place a huge emphasis on WAR (wins above replacement) when they make arguments for and against MVP winners.
When is the best time to bet on MVP futures?
As with any futures market, the earlier you can get a bet down, the better the odds may be. In fact, by the time the favourites for the MVP awards separate themselves from the pack, the prices are so high they may not be worth betting on anymore. The risk of voters getting it wrong may not be worth the reward if you wait too long to bet.