MLB

AL MVP Odds: Juan Soto, Aaron Judge Among Favorites Ahead of Opening Day

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
AL MVP Odds: Juan Soto, Aaron Judge Among Favorites Ahead of Opening Day

It's almost time for Opening Day as the 2024 MLB season kicks off this week, and the top players are ready to show out.

The American League MVP is going to be up for grabs this season after Shohei Ohtani left for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the offseason. It creates excitement in a market that feels like it could have 10 or so names in the conversation this year. There are still some clear favorites, but the chase to be the AL MVP should be one of the best stories of 2024.

Let's dive into the AL MVP odds via the MLB odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Note: Projections via FanGraphs

AL MVP Odds

Player
AL MVP Odds
Juan Soto+500
Aaron Judge+700
Corey Seager+1000
Julio Rodriguez+1000
Yordan Alvarez+1000
Kyle Tucker+1500
Bobby Witt Jr.+1800
View Full Table

Juan Soto (+500)

It may be a surprise, but Juan Soto will enter the season as the favorite to win the AL MVP after an impressive Spring Training.

The New York Yankees outfielder is prepped and ready for a big first year with his new team. Soto will have the use of the short porch in right field at Yankees Stadium to only bolster his numbers, making this his best possible year yet.

Acquiring the 25-year-old was a move that was necessary for the Yankees, as pairing Soto with Aaron Judge should make for one of the best duos in any lineup. The protection of each should make this a huge season for Soto. After all, he quietly finished sixth in the NL MVP race a season ago, showing that he's still a top-level player after a few up-and-down years.

In his final season with the San Diego Padres, Soto finished with 35 home runs, a .395 wOBA, 155 wRC+, and .245 ISO. Mirroring these numbers will keep him in the conversation, but his Spring Training has shown he may be closer to his 2021 campaign, which saw him finish second in MVP voting.

Soto had 48 plate appearances in Spring Training, smashing 4 home runs while putting up a .349 ISO, .452 wOBA, .396 OBP, and 177 wRC+. It's just the spring, so we take these stats with a grain of salt, but it's apparent that he's found his swing early. That points to a strong start and is a good reason for him to have the best odds.

FanGraphs' Depth Charts projections (FGDC) are projecting Soto to post 36 home runs, 111 runs, 105 RBIs, .256 ISO, .406 wOBA, 165 wRC+, and a 6.3 fWAR. If he can finish with a line like that, he's on his way to his first potential MVP campaign.

Aaron Judge (+700)

The 2022 AL MVP... isn't the favorite for this year's award? Frankly, the only thing holding back Aaron Judge will be his health -- as we've seen time and time again in his career.

Judge missed 56 games last season due to a toe injury. He also missed tons of time in 2018, 2019, and 2020. The last time he played a complete season, he walked away with the AL MVP after hitting an AL-record 62 home runs. The world knows that this is someone highly capable of winning the MVP as long as he's healthy, which he showcased last year even with the injury.

In 106 games, Judge still managed to hit 37 home runs, drive in 75 runs, and finish with a .420 wOBA. Despite missing all those games, his home runs ranked 10th last season, and the wOBA would've been good for 3rd. It's impressive what a run he's had these last two seasons, so again -- he just has to stay healthy. At +700 odds, backing Judge can be a great bet to place ahead of the season.

FGDC is projecting Judge for 46 homers, 116 RBIs, a .298 ISO, and a .397 wOBA. Notably, they also project him to play 152 games. Staying healthy is all Judge needs to be in the conversation.

Corey Seager (+1000)

If Shohei Ohtani wasn't a dominant two-way player, then Corey Seager may very well have been the AL MVP last season.

The Texas Rangers couldn't have imagined what Seager would become with them when they signed him in the 2022 offseason. He has shown that he's one of the best players in the league since joining Texas, which was on full display last season in their journey to a World Series title.

Seager was second in the AL MVP voting in 2023. His season line included career-highs in wOBA (.419), home runs (33), ISO (.296), slugging (.623), RBIs (96), and fWAR (6.1). It was the best season of his career in just 119 games, and at this stage, it has to be asked what else he can do in the prime of his career.

FGDC is expecting Seager to take a bit of a step back, however. The shortstop is projected to finish with 27 home runs, 83 RBIs, a .231 ISO, a .376 wOBA, and a 139 wRC+. There's a real chance that 2023 was the best it's going to get, so waiting on Seager may be the best decision even at +1000 odds.

Julio Rodriguez (+1000)

Julio Rodriguez is just going to get better and better. This could be the year that he pieces it together even more to become the MVP.

After having such a rough start to his sophomore season in 2023, he surged in the second half and ultimately finished fourth in the AL MVP voting. His season featured 32 dingers, a .347 wOBA, 103 RBIs, 37 stolen bases, and a 5.9 fWAR. Those are all incredible numbers for someone who is just entering his age-23 season -- which is why his odds are so high. There are still levels to how good Rodriguez can be, and he can reach those levels as soon as the upcoming season.

Rodriguez will be coming into the season with his bat looking like it's in midseason form after a scorching hot Spring Training. He's had only 36 plate appearances, but he's smashed a home run to go along with an insane .414 batting average, .502 wOBA, and 210 wRC+ Again, it's a small sample size and just spring, but numbers like that should hopefully mean that he can avoid the tough start that he was dealing with last year.

Projection-wise, FGDC expects big things from J-Rod, including 33 long balls, 99 RBIs, 33 stolen bases, a .356 wOBA, a .278 batting average, and a .222 ISO. The Seattle Mariners are going to make some noise this season, and it's going to be Rodriguez that leads the way.

Yordan Alvarez (+1000)

Yordan Alvarez might be the best pure hitter in baseball. So, can he take home the MVP award for the first time in his career?

Alvarez has mashed baseballs year after year. He's hit over 30 home runs for three straight seasons. In 2022, he was in the conversation to win the AL MVP after hitting 37 home runs and driving in 97 RBIs while posting a 1.019 OPS, .306 ISO, .427 wOBA, and 6.7 fWAR.

He followed that up last year with 31 home runs, 97 RBIs, and a .415 wOBA. Certainly, it was a level below where he was prior as shown by the 13th-place finish in the MVP voting. And the fact with Alvarez is that he needs huge offensive numbers to be in the conversation for the AL MVP because his defensive metrics take away from him in a major way. It's why he's a designated hitter for many of his games, hurting his chances at the end of the day.

With +1000 odds, he's going to need the best offensive season of his career to compete with the likes of Judge, Soto, Seager, and Rodriguez. FGDC is projecting 38 home runs, 111 RBIs, .293 ISO, .412 wOBA, and a 5.6 fWAR. A season like this is one that will get him in the conversation. If he can live up to projections, his odds are worth considering.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.