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MLB: 2021 American League MVP Odds

The regular season has been over for just about a week now, we have had time to digest and look back at the season while enjoying all aspects of postseason baseball. But it’s time to take a look at the performances from the regular season that we deem to be MVP-worthy.

On November 11 we will find out who will be awarded the 2021 American League MVP, but until then, let us take a look at the regular season of the two best players in the American League and see who we think should win the prestigious award.

Before we look at this season and the candidates, let’s take a look at the past decade worth of winners for the American League MVP award.

Previous AL MVP Winners

Year(MVP) PlayerTeam
2020Jose AbreuChicago White Sox
2019Mike TroutLos Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2018Mookie BettsBoston Red Sox
2017Jose AltuveHouston Astros
2016Mike TroutLos Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2015Josh DonaldsonToronto Blue Jays
2014Mike TroutLos Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2013Miguel CabreraDetroit Tigers
2012Miguel CabreraDetroit Tigers
2011Justin VerlanderDetroit Tigers

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at the two players who have the best odds of winning the 2021 American League MVP Award

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (-5000)

Sep 28, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) prepares to bat against the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) prepares to bat against the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani is a clear-cut, run-away favorite to win the American League MVP award this season. Ohtani not only excelled at the plate this season, but did something that no one has done since Babe Ruth, and excelled on the mound as well. It’s hard to compete with a player who can do two things better than almost anyone in the league, so let’s take a look at what he did during the 2021 regular season to stand out and have such favorable odds to win the award.

Shohei Ohtani – The Pitcher

First, let’s take a look at Shohei Ohtani, the pitcher. Ohtani started 23 games for the Angels this season. In those 23 games, Ohtani posted a 9-2 record with a 3.18 ERA. Ohtani pitched in 130.1 innings, allowing only 98 hits all season while striking out 156 batters and walking only 44. Ohtani had an ERA+ of 141, where the league average is 100. On average, Ohtani gave up 6.8 hits, 1.0 home runs, 3.0 walks, and struck out 10.8 batters per nine innings.

Shohei Ohtani – The Hitter

Shohei Ohtani had 639 plate appearances stretched over 155 games. Ohtani, while essentially playing two positions, played in all but seven games all season. in those 155 games, Ohtani posted a slash line of .257/.372/.592 with an OPS+ of 158, again where 100 is league average. On top of those stellar numbers, Ohtani also stole 26 bases and slugged 46 home runs (which is one less than he had the previous three seasons combined).

In Conclusion

Shohei Ohtani did everything this season and did it really well. It’s almost not fair to anyone else, and if he continues to be a two-way player and even marginally succeeds at both, there is no reason why Ohtani shouldn’t be a repeat MVP award winner throughout his career.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays (+1200)

Sep 24, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA;  Toronto Blue Jays first base Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) heads to the dugout at the end of an inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first base Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) heads to the dugout at the end of an inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had an outstanding season, there isn’t a better way to explain that. As the Blue Jays jumped around all season before finally being allowed to come back to play in Toronto, Guerrero and all of his teammates overcame a lot of obstacles playing in so many different home stadiums. Let’s take a look at what Guerrero did this season to put himself into MVP contention.

The first thing that stands out in Guerrero’s stat line this season is the fact that he played in 161 out of 162 games this season. That’s a lot of credit to the young man on his off-season workout programs and conditioning to be able to play in that many games. Guerrero produced a slash line of .311/.401/.601 while slugging 48 home runs. Guerrero also only struck out 110 times all season, which is extremely low in the era of big fly or strikeout.

Guerrero The League Leader

Guerrero had an amazing season, we have already seen that in his numbers. But let’s take time to appreciate how good he actually was this season. Guerrero led the entire American League in the following categories;

  • Runs Scored (123)
  • Home Runs (48)
  • OBP (.401)
  • SLG (.601)
  • OPS (1.002)
  • OPS+ (169)
  • Total Bases (363)

If Shohei Ohtani wasn’t a two-way player and an extremely successful two-way player, then Vlad Guerrero Jr. would be the one that was running away with the MVP award. If for some reason, the baseball writers decided to give the MVP award to Guerrero I don’t think they’d be wrong. He’s had a great season and either he or Ohtani would be completed deserving of being crowned the American League MVP for the 2021 season.

I’m Brian Handzel. I’m a huge baseball fan. On any given night you can catch me watching a game, whether it is MLB, MiLB, College, or local summer leagues. As my wife says, I’m obsessed with the game. I’m even a credentialed media member for the Syracuse Mets, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets. When I’m not watching baseball I’m spending time with my wife and two children, and secretly trying to get them to enjoy the game as well.

2 Comments

  • Blue Jays

    @Nancy Grier, Huh?? Rookie of the year? This was VGJ’s 3rd full season.

    Posted on 18th November 2021 at 9:14 pm
  • Nancy Grier

    Has to be Shohei Ohtani, for sheer ability on both sides of the game. Vlad Jnr is aweseome for sure. He should get Rookie of the year.

    Posted on 21st October 2021 at 9:47 am
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