MLB awards odds 2022: Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer emerge as favorites

Lance Pugmire
USA TODAY Sports+

Teammates will likely battle over the American League MVP while the top two arms of the New York Mets’ pitching staff sit in the pole position for the National League Cy Young Award, bookmakers announced Friday. 

With the MLB lockout officially over, the first odds emerge for MVP and Cy Young awards.

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American League MVP

Los Angeles Angels pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani and center fielder Mike Trout are favorites to capture the AL MVP, according to Tipico Sportsbook. 

Ohtani is +320 after winning the award last year by swatting 46 homers, knocking in 100 RBIs and stealing 26 bases while going 9-2 on the mound with 156 strikeouts in roughly 130 innings. 

Trout, a nine-time All-Star, won the MVP award in 2014, 2016 and 2019. Tipico has him at +330 following an injury plagued season last year. 

“Ohtani’s just such a unique talent,” Caesars Sportsbook Assistant Director of Trading Adam Pullen said. "I think him being the favorite is well-deserved, especially with how overwhelming the MVP vote was last year. He probably should be the favorite going forward every year, as long as he stays healthy and puts up decent numbers for pitching and hitting.” 

Caesars Sportsbook placed Ohtani as the MVP favorite ahead of Trout, followed by Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is tied with Trout at Tipico. 

Ohtani made one Caesars bettor thrilled last year after starting the season as a 60/1 MVP choice. The Nevada bettor put $30,000 on the prop bet and cashed a $900,000 ticket, Caesars Sportsbook reported. 

Apr 9, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, CAN;  Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) (left)  center fielder Mike Trout (27) (center) and left fielder Justin Upton (10) celebrate after beating the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1 at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Elsewhere around the AL, Tipico has Yankees slugger Aaron Judge at +1500 along with Guerrero’s Toronto teammate Bo Bichette. They're followed by six players at 20/1, including Wander Franco, the Tampa Bay Rays infielder who finished third in voting for rookie of the year. 

The others are new Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager, Cleveland Guardians second baseman Jose Ramirez, Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe and Houston Astros DH and outfielder Yordan Alvarez. 

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National League MVP

In the National League, Washington National's Juan Soto is the +330 favorite, followed closely by San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. at +340. 

Like Tatis, Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (+750) missed too much time with injuries last season — and was absent from the Braves’ World Series’ run — leaving the MVP to Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper. He’s the fourth choice this year at +900. 

Los Angeles Dodgers Mookie Betts (10/1) and Trea Turner (15/1) follow before a gathering of 10 players at 30/1, including San Diego’s Manny Machado, St. Louis’ Nolan Arenado, former Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso of the Mets and 2018 MVP Christian Yelich of Milwaukee. 

“The more choices there are at the top makes for better action,” Pullen said. “Any one of them, I can see winning it. If people think something is more competitive then that should increase the betting handle.” 

Cy Young Award

The Mets’ new prized free agent and three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer from the Dodgers gives New York a stunning staff that includes 2018 and 2019 Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. 

“It definitely draws attention to have that 1-2 punch, quite impressive,” Pullen said. “They’ve been two of the best pitchers in baseball for some time. It’s just a matter of whether deGrom can stay healthy.

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DeGrom is the +400 favorite, followed by Scherzer, Dodgers ace Walker Buehler and Milwaukee’s returning Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes in a three-way tie at +750 at Tipico. 

"Money will be coming in on those guys, they’ve been so consistent, and you figure they’ll give you a run for your money," Pullen said. "The Mets had a lot of hype last year and didn’t get it done. Maybe this is the year where they’ll be a big factor.” 

Philadelphia’s Zach Wheeler and Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff are tied at +900, with another Phillies pitcher, Aaron Nola, at 10/1. 

Miami Marlins lefty Trevor Rogers, the runner-up for rookie of the year and an All-Star, is an appetizing longshot choice. He moved from 75/1 to 60/1 at Caesars following a $300 bet on him that would net $22,500 if Rogers wins.  

In the American League, returning Cy Young winner Robbie Ray of Seattle is the third choice this year at +750 behind the New York Yankees’ favorite, Gerrit Cole and Cleveland’s Shane Bieber at +700. 

Ray, after winning the Cy Young with Toronto last season, is the fourth choice with Chicago White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito third at Caesars Sportsbook, . 

“I think Ray’s odds are fair,” Pullen said. “The nature of him being a surprise winner last year … I don’t see people looking to back him again. It’s also hard to go back-to-back for an award. No disrespect to him, he’s a great pitcher, he’s just not one of the usual names that the general public knows about.” 

Ohtani, at 20/1, is already deemed Caesars’ biggest liability in the Cy Young race because of his popularity. 

“If anybody can do it he can, and if he were to do it, that would be such a great feat,” Pullen said. “That price is definitely going to attract people’s action … I wouldn’t be surprised if this number goes down because you know you’re going to get liability on him no matter what.” 

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