That being said, two of those young phenoms, Angels’ center fielder Mike Trout and Nationals’ outfielder Bryce Harper, stand above the rest. This is exemplified by the fact that both have claimed MVP awards before turning 24-years-old and the fact they are both the clear favorites in their respective league’s to capture the award a second time in 2016.
Trout, who seems like he has been in the MVP conversation forever despite being just 24-years-old, is the big +200 favorite to win his second American League MVP according to Sportbook.ag. And why not?
He has been second in MVP voting in each of his full seasons in which he didn’t win the award and boasts a career .304 batting average and a .956 OPS. Pair that with the fact he averages 34 home runs, 95 RBIs, 114 runs scored and a ridiculous 9.4 WAR in his first four full seasons.
Reigning AL MVP, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, is once again Trout’s biggest threat at +550. Donaldson is primed for another big year in Toronto with the support of the deepest lineup in baseball. Donaldson is followed closely by another rising superstar, Houston shortstop Carlos Correa, who is on the board at +600 after hitting 22 homers and 68 RBIs in just 99 games last year.
If you’re looking for some live long shots check out Tigers’ first baseman Miguel Cabrera at +1,000. The two-time MVP is fully healthy and maybe still the best pure hitter in baseball. Blue Jays’ right fielder Jose Bautista also shows value at +2,500 and is in a contract year. He has 227 home runs since 2010. No one else has more than 200.
Meanwhile in the National League, it’s Harper leading the way the same way Trout did in the AL. Harper, coming off a year where he became the youngest unanimous MVP in major league history, is on the board also at +200 with his closest challenger at +600.
That gap is there because of just how dominant Harper was in his break-out campaign. He hit for a .330 average and a ridiculous 1.109 OPS with 42 dingers, 99 RBIs and a WAR of 9.9. Anything close to that will have him in the running to win the NL MVP in back-to-back years.
That closest challenger is Pirates’ center fielder Andrew McCutchen and Marlins’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton both at +600. McCutchen is a former MVP and Stanton is always capable of putting up MVP-type numbers as long as he can stay healthy.
Baseball’s most underappreciated superstar, Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is currently +700, while Cubs’ rising star Kris Bryant is +1,000. Giants’ catcher Buster Posey is also good value at +1,500. (It is an even year after all).
Check out the top 10 in MVP odds per Sportsbook.ag.