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AL MVP Betting Odds: Mike Trout in a tier of his own but value exists elsewhere

The 2019 MLB season begins as most have in recent years with a familiar face atop the odds list to be named the American League MVP in mid-November.

While Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout is widely regarded as the best player in baseball and a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, history has shown it’s not a bad idea to dive a little deeper and look for better value.

Odds provided by Bet365.

Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels (+200)

All eyes will be on Trout even more than usual this year after signing a record-breaking 12-year, $432-million contract extension.

The seven-time All-Star has been named MVP twice in his stellar eight-year carer, but he has also finished as the runner-up on four occasions, including in 2018. Voters have shown they have a penchant to give the honor to someone not named Trout whenever given a somewhat reasonable opportunity to differentiate from what should be the norm.

The 27-year-old’s likely to be hindered again by his team’s lack of success, as they have just the third-best odds to win the AL West (+1000) ahead of the Seattle Mariners (+3500) and Texas Rangers (+6000).

Jose Ramirez, INF, Cleveland Indians (+2000)

The Indians underwent significant roster turnover this offseason, most notably losing 1B Edwin Encarnacion and OF Michael Brantley to trade and free agency, respectively. Ramirez, the team’s leader in WAR, home runs, and stolen bases in 2018, will have even more of a spotlight after finishing third in MVP voting each of the past two seasons.

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Ramirez and Boston Red Sox OF Mookie Betts were the only two players to top 30 homers and 30 steals last season. If Trout’s well-rounded stat line lacks a top number at year’s end, Ramirez could draw extra attention as the Indians are poised to cruise to yet another AL Central title.

Gleyber Torres, 2B, New York Yankees (+4000)

Torres was selected as an All-Star and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2018 after making his Major League debut on April 22. The Yankee enters his sophomore year with a crowded infield following the offseason additions of SS Troy Tulowitzki and 2B DJ LeMahieu, but Torres had an impressive spring, slashing .282/.364/.590 over 44 plate appearances and will have first dibs on playing time.

As Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton divide voters while battling it out for the home run crown, Torres could rise to the top with a more balanced stat line.

Follow Esten on Twitter @EstenMcLaren


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