We are inching closer to the halfway point of the MLB season. As division races are heating up, so are MVP races. Right now, there are plenty of candidates in each league who are in the MVP discussion, with more entering the fold as the season goes on. Today we’re looking at the American League MVP candidates with the highest odds of capturing the award.
*All stats through June 15th
Mike Trout +125
Chances are, Mike Trout is always going to be among the favorites to win the MVP award. He has already won twice (2014, 2016), has finished top five in voting in all seven of his prior seasons, and is among the active leaders in career WAR.
This season, Trout leads the AL in OBP, walks, and of course WAR. His traditional stats are solid too, hitting .286 with 18 home runs and 44 RBIs. The biggest question lingering for Trout’s MVP case lies in the Angels, who are two games below .500. But regardless of team performance, he’s a safe bet to be among the finalists.
Jorge Polanco +500
Polanco was someone who wasn’t even in future All-Star discussion at the start of the season, let alone MVP discussion. But Polanco has put together a terrific season for the first place Twins, leading the league with a .335 batting average and 88 hits.
At only 25, Polanco has set the table for a Twins team who has the league’s best offense and is running away with the AL Central. There is some talk about teammate Eddie Rosario getting some MVP love as well, which could take away from some of Polanco’s support. But leading the league in hitting will always keep you in the conversation.
Alex Bregman +1000
The Astros are loaded, well on their way to another division title. At the heart of their success is Bregman, who finished fifth in last year’s MVP voting. This year, with Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa each missing time, Bregman has inserted himself into the MVP race yet again.
The 25-year old Bregman is currently third in home runs with 19 and fifth in RBIs with 47. He’s also top-10 in runs, OBP, SLG, OPS, and walks, with above-average defense at the hot corner and shortstop. He’ll have to fight off teammates George Springer and Michael Brantley, but Bregman seems to be headed toward another top-five finish.
Austin Meadows +1000
A mid-season acquisition last year in the Chris Archer deal, Meadows is delivering on his high potential as a prospect and putting together a spectacular season. At just 24 years old, Meadows trails only Polanco with a .322 batting average.
But that’s not all. Meadows is also seventh in OBP, fourth in slugging, and fourth in OPS. He’s also getting it done on the base paths with eight steals, setting himself up for a 20-20 season at the least. That type of season along with the fact the Rays are 42-27 puts Meadows in as one of the MVP favorites.
Joey Gallo +1000
Gallo has taken a huge leap forward this season, going from an inconsistent, boom-or-bust slugger to a legitimate All-Star and MVP candidate. And even though Gallo has been injured the last few weeks, his numbers are still MVP-worthy.
With a league-leading .653 slugging and 1.074 OPS, Gallo trails only Trout in OBP. He has 17 home runs, four home runs less than the league leader Edwin Encarnacion in about 70 fewer at-bats. Plus, the Rangers have been a pleasant surprise at 37-32, owning the second Wild Card spot. Gallo can see his odds increase if he continues to produce after he returns from the IL.
Expect other players to see their odds increase as the season goes on, like George Springer, Gary Sanchez, and J.D. Martinez. It’s going to be a wild three months up ahead to sort this close MVP race out.