AL MVP odds: Can Vlad Jr. overtake Ohtani as the favorite?

When Mike Trout suffered a calf strain in mid-May that will likely keep him out until July, teammate Shohei Ohtani was the easy call to take his role as the AL MVP favorite. But that might not last long.

The two-way Angels star is still the +125 favorite to win his first MVP Award, and the first that would go to an eligible AL pitcher since Justin Verlander (2011). Yet Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+230) is hot on his tail after hitting two home runs over his last six games, tying him for the MLB lead (18) with Ronald Acuna Jr.

It's not just one hot stretch propelling Guerrero, either. He's hit at least .300 in all three calendar months of this season, and his fWAR (3.5) and wOBA (.459) entering Wednesday were both by far the best in the majors. The 22-year-old phenom boasts a walk rate (14.6%) nearly identical to his strikeout rate (15%), and Toronto is 13-7 this year when he records a multi-hit game.

Still, can he compete with the value Ohtani brings as a pitcher and position player? The 26-year-old owns a top-10 fWAR (1.9) as a hitter and he's added 0.9 fWAR as a pitcher, which would be a top-50 mark among qualified starters. The narrative is also on his side after breaking Statcast records as a hitter to complement 100-mph heat from the mound.

This is still Ohtani's award to lose. You can't tell the story of the first two-plus months of the MLB season without mentioning him, and if the Angels can tread water with Trout shelved, Ohtani will be able to put his stamp on the campaign while pushing L.A. to the playoffs.

Ultimately, Ohtani will win or lose this award on the mound. He was knocked around a bit in late May before recording 10 strikeouts during Friday's win over the Mariners. Guerrero isn't showing any signs of slowing, and he could end the season as the most valuable hitter in baseball. But it'll be tough to deny Ohtani the hardware if he can approach that value from two different positions.

Updated AL MVP odds (shorter than 100-1)

Player Odds
Shohei Ohtani +125
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. +230
Byron Buxton +2000
Xander Bogaerts +2000
Aaron Judge +2500
Mike Trout +2500
J.D. Martinez +3000
Jose Ramirez +3000
Jose Abreu +4000
Adolis Garcia +4500
Alex Bregman +4500
Marcus Semien +4500
Gerrit Cole +5000
Rafael Devers +5000
Yordan Alvarez +5000
Bo Bichette +6000
Nelson Cruz +6000
Yoan Moncada +6000
Carlos Correa +7000
Giancarlo Stanton +7000
Jose Altuve +7000
Kyle Tucker +7000
Matt Olson +7000
Mitch Haniger +7000
Ramon Laureano +7000
Tim Anderson +7000
DJ LeMahieu +8000
Jared Walsh +8000
Matt Chapman +8000
Michael Brantley +8000
Anthony Rendon +9000
George Springer +9000
Shane Bieber +9000
Tyler Glasnow +9000
Yermin Mercedes +9000

C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at

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