2021 MLB MVP Betting Odds: Bryce Harper Overtakes Fernando Tatis Jr. as Betting Favorite

2021 MLB MVP Betting Odds: Bryce Harper Overtakes Fernando Tatis Jr. as Betting Favorite article feature image
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Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Harper.

We’re tracking the latest odds movements each month for NL and AL MVP.

Here are the MVP odds for players in both the American League and National League.

American League MVP Odds

Odds via DraftKings 

Player Odds
Shohei Ohtani -2500
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. +750

September 20 Update

Should still be over, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has cut the deficit in half. Last week, Vlad Jr. was +1400 to win MVP but is now +750. Ohtani’s number has dropped from -5000 to -2500, which still makes him a massive favorite to win the award.

September 14 Update

This one is, uh, still over.

September 1 Update

This one is over, folks.

Barring a last-minute miracle, Shohei Ohtani looks like the American League MVP. Toronto’s Vlad Guerrero Jr. is the only one closer than +7000.

August 2 Update

Shohei Ohtani has shortened his odds to win the American League MVP by a massive margin over the past month. The All-Star Game starting pitcher and leadoff man slashed a ridiculous .282/.396/.671 with nine homers and 19 RBI while also pitching for a 1.35 ERA over the month of July. His 6.8 bWAR leads MLB.

Ohtani’s odds to win the award are now an astonishing -667 after having been just -130 at the beginning of the month.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s +110 odds as the second-best favorite to win MVP have dropped to +220 despite a good month at the plate.

This is Ohtani’s race now, and there’s no indication — even barring injury — that he won’t win his first MVP.

July 1 Update

Shohei Ohtani has become a firm favorite to win the AL MVP due to his exploits on both sides of the plate. He leads MLB with 28 homers and has the AL’s highest slugging percentage. He also had a 2.58 ERA with 82 strikeouts coming into play on Wednesday. His odds shortened from +120 to -130 in the last month.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also saw his odds calcify, shortening from +300 to +110. He is hitting .344/.446/.685 with 26 homers and a 4.3 WAR.

No previous top 10 favorite saw his odds drop significantly, but Byron Buxton fell from fifth-best favorite on June 1 (+2000) to tied for seventh (+5000). Tim Anderson, too, dropped from tied for 10th (+3300) to tied for 17th (+7000).

June 1 Update

Just as expected, an Angels star leads the American League odds, but it’s not Mike Trout, solely due to injury. Shohei Ohtani jumped his teammate as he continues to excel at both the plate and the mound.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also saw a huge ascension up the board as he’s finally started to hit home runs after struggling to do so in 2020.

Houston’s Alex Bregman had the biggest fall in May, moving down from +1500 odds to +4000. The change in odds, however, has less to do with his continued strong play, and more to do with the rise of players on other teams.

May 1 Update

Nothing has changed at the top because of Mike Trout’s sensational April, although a teammate of his has become a legitimate candidate.

Whatever Shohei Ohtani does on the mound will only enhance his MVP chances, given how hot he has been at the plate to start the season.

Ohtani, who went from +2000 to +850 after one month of play, entered May with eight home runs, which were tied for second in the majors behind J.D. Martinez’s nine. Ohtani’s .972 OPS would be the highest of his career, as would his scolding .652 slugging percentage.

On the mound, Ohtani has made three starts and allowed five earned runs (seven total) over 13 2/3 innings. His 3.95 FIP indicates that his 3.29 ERA may rise, but Ohtani appears to have his stuff back. The key to improving his candidacy on the mound will be to lower his 8.6 walks per nine innings, which shouldn’t be too difficult.

The other major story is Byron Buxton, who went from off the board to start the season up to +1600.

Buxton has been very good over the past two seasons, registering an .833 OPS in 126 games between 2019-20. The problem was that it was just 126 games.

Buxton only played 18 games in April, but his .897 slugging percentage led the majors entering May. He also has three stolen bases and 16 total extra base-hits (eight home runs, eight doubles). Buxton’s case will come down to his health and whether the Twins can get out of the American League Central cellar.

Preseason Odds

It should come as no surprise that Mike Trout is once again favored. Even after a year in which he finished a mere fifth in the award voting, we’re still talking about a player who has won the award five times, finished second four times and finished in the top-five in every full season of his career.

Trout is still only 29, and the only questions regarding his MVP candidacy are health and the fact that he plays for a perennial loser, which still disqualifies him in the eyes of a faction of voters.

Behind Trout, last year’s winner, José Abreu, checks in at 25-1, tied for the fifth-lowest odds in the league. Among those in front of him are José Ramirez, last year’s runner-up, and Alex Bregman, who finished second in the last full season in 2019.

A handful of youngsters primed for a breakout rank among potentially intriguing plays, including Toronto slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (25-1), a trio of White Sox (Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert 25-1), and star building blocks on both sides of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry (Gleyber Torres 25-1, Rafael Devers 30-1).

Got your eyes even further toward the future? Global No. 1 prospect Wander Franco checks in at 60-1, although it’s unclear if or when the Rays will promote the 19-year-old. His future teammate Randy Arozarena, fresh off one of the most incredible postseason runs in history, still technically qualifies as a prospect, and he’s going at 50-1. Meanwhile, last year’s rookie of the year Kyle Lewis is 50-1, and the Angels’ Jo Adell, who had a miserable freshman campaign, is sitting at 100-1.

National League MVP

Player Odds
Bryce Harper -120
Fernando Tatis Jr. +105
Max Muncy +2000
Juan Soto +3000
Freddie Freeman +3000
Trea Turner +3500
Nicholas Castellanos +10000
Joey Votto +10000

September 20 Update

Fernando Tatis Jr.’s run at the top of the oddsboard is over, at least for now.

Bryce Harper officially passed him as the betting favorite, coming in at -120 on Monday. Tatis is plus-money at +105 a week after sitting -205.

It’s mostly a two-man race with Max Muncy falling back to +2000.

September 14 Update

Bryce Harper’s odds have shot up from +700 to +275 in the matter of weeks, but he has quite the hill to climb in order to fully usurp Tatis Jr.

Tatis Jr.’s odds lengthened from -275 to -205 but he is still the firm favorite to win his first-ever MVP award.

Tatis Jr.’s 6.1 bWAR beats out Harper’s bWAR of 5.0.

September 1 Update

Fernando Tatis Jr. inched closer to the award, pulling slightly away from the field as he moved from -135 to -265 in the last month.

Tatis Jr. has played in 15 fewer games than Max Muncy and 11 fewer than Bryce Harper, but his 5.5 bWAR leads both players. Muncy is right behind at 5.3 with Harper posting a 4.3.

August 2 Update

Jacob deGrom is likely out until September now and despite his lights out 1.08 ERA, he has dropped from being the +125 to win the NL MVP in July to a +1500, fifth-best favorite in August. The 33-year-old has not made a start since before the All-Star break and, if he does come back this season, will likely make fewer then 20 starts. As a result, even his Cy Young odds have dropped precipitously. As of Monday, he’s the sixth-best favorite to win that award at +800.

Fernando Tatis Jr.’s odds have moved from +175 to -135 in the wake of deGrom’s injury. Tatis is hitting slashing .292/.373/.651 with 31 homers, 70 RBI and a bWAR of 5.0. He currently leads the National League in OPS, slugging percentage, home run total and runs.

The biggest mover has been Trea Turner, whose odds shortened from +5000 to +320 over the course of a month. He hit .338/.380/.554 over the month of July with the Nationals before he was traded to the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Turner’s new teammate Max Muncy also made a massive jump. His odds shortened from +5000 all the way to +400 after a month in which he slashed .315/.402/.562.

July 1 Update

Jacob deGrom has become the slight favorite to win the NL MVP (+125) after having been the third-best favorite at +1200 on June 1. He had a 0.67 ERA with 12.5 strikeouts per game over five June starts. DeGrom’s total ERA is an unworldly 0.69 over his first 13 starts.

Fernando Tatis Jr. has seen his odds shorten from +300 to +175, but he remains the second-favorite. He is batting .295/.384/.692 with 25 homers and a 4.3 bWAR as of Wednesday.

Bryce Harper’s odds have gone from +1500 to +4000 and Kris Bryant’s odds have fallen from +1500 to +3300.

June 1 Update

Fernando Tatis Jr. was busy spending the month of May closing the distance between himself and Ronald Acuna Jr., as the Padres star shortened his second-best odds from +800 to +300.

Jesse Winker’s speedy rise up the board continues as he moved from +8500 in May to +4000 in June. His Reds teammate Nick Castellanos joins him as MVP candidates on a bad team.

Juan Soto has quite lived up to those preseason expectations, as his odds have gotten worse every month to where he now sits with +1600 odds.

May 1 Update

Before the season, there was a plethora of elite players at the top of the National League MVP oddsboard. Some of the best five-tool stars reside in the NL, and one took charge in April.

Ronald Acuña Jr. leads the majors with 25 runs scored hitting atop the Braves’ lineup, and he entered May pacing the NL in home runs (tied, eight), OPS (1.148), OPS+ (201) and total bases (62). Assuming the Braves are able to right the ship and start moving closer to the top of the division, he’ll be in great shape to win his first MVP.

Another name to watch at the top of the board is Bryce Harper, who hasn’t been among the MVP talk for a few years. He thrived during 2020’s shortened season, though, and has carried that form over to 2021.

Harper ended the month by getting hit in the face by a pitch and is in concussion protocol, but his 1.063 OPS and 195 OPS+ indicate he will be a contender for his second NL MVP.

Preseason Odds

At 28, Mookie Betts hardly qualifies as an elder statesman, but he’s six years the senior of his co-favorite for the NL award, Juan Soto.

Betts finished second a year ago and already has an award on his ledger, from 2018 with the Red Sox, while the Childish Bambino was fifth in 2020 despite leading the league in all three triple-slash categories at the age of 21.

Last year’s winner, Freddie Freeman, checks in at 13-1, while his teammate Ronald Acuña Jr. is right in front of him at 8-1.

2019 winner Cody Bellinger is 9-1, and emerging superstar Fernando Tatis Jr., who plays for the emerging contender Padres, is +850.

A couple of players who recently changed teams can be found with relatively low odds. New Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado is 12-1, which is the same as new Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor.  A player who didn’t change teams, Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto, is 30-1.

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