MLB MVP race 2022: Aaron Judge, Paul Goldschmidt on top

Who will win MLB MVP in 2022? Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani won AL MVP and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper took home his second NL MVP honor in 2021.

Major League Baseball is the only American professional sport that wards two MVP awards, one to each conference. It allows two players to take home a prestigious honor, joining some of the best players in MLB history with the coveted award on their trophy case.

Bookmark this page for updates on the MLB MVP race throughout the season, including the latest odds and analysis.

AL MVP watch: Yordan Alvarez, Shohei Ohtani chasing Aaron Judge

MLB: Home Run Derby
Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Here is Sportsnaut’s breakdown of the 2022 MLB MVP race so far. Each candidate is ranked based on a variety of factors. Those factors include stats, team performance, lineup factors and probability of the overall production being sustained.

Related: Best MLB lineups

MLB stats as of Wednesday, July 27

AL MVP race

Pos: Player AVG/OBP/SLG OPS Home Runs RBI wRC+ fWAR
1. Aaron Judge .296/.378/.657 1.035 38 82 185 5.8
2. Yordan Alvarez .307/.409/.664 1.074 28 66 198 4.5
3. Shohei Ohtani .256/.349/.493 .842 21 58 133 5.0
4. Rafael Devers .324/.379/.602 .981 22 55 169 4.5
5. Jose Ramirez .289/.367/.567 .934 19 79 157 4.6

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

Aaron Judge lost some of his cushion in the AL MVP race, even dropping behind Yordan Alvarez. The New York Yankees slugger is back on top thanks to an absurd stretch at the plate. In his late 46 plate appearances, Judge slashed /.447/.543/1.132 with an absurd 353 wRC+, eight home runs and 17 RBI. Needless to say, that combined with his solid defense makes him the betting favorite for AL MVP.

Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros

Yordan Alvarez is still dealing with a bit of soreness since coming off the injured list, it’s just not easy to tell. The 25-year-old has already gone deep twice since returning to the Astros’ lineup, collecting six RBI and a stolen base. The gap between Alvarez and Judge in the MLB MVP race is widening, but Alvarez (242 wRC+ since June 1) can close the gap if Judge cools down.

Related: 3 Houston Astros trades to strengthen World Series hopes

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

The biggest thing counting against Shohei Ohtani right now is his team’s record. At the plate, he’s performing like Atlanta Braves star Matt Olson. Meanwhile, he’s firmly in the mick for the AL Cy Young Award thanks to a 2.80 ERA, 35.9% strikeout rate and .201 batting average allowed. If Ohtani is ever traded to a perennial contender, he’ll be the AL MVP nearly every year.

Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox

Unfortunately, the MLB MVP campaign for Rafael Devers is likely drawing to a close. Currently on the 10-day injured list with hamstring inflammation, the All-Star third baseman will likely return to a roster stripped of some talent. Far behind Judge and Alvarez’s production, Devers is just going to be fighting for a few AL MVP votes in the second half.

Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Guardians

After a blistering start to the season (.299/.401/.647, 189 wRC+) in his first 197 plate appearances, Jose Ramirez has slipped back down to earth a bit. As July comes to a close, the .280/.333/.495 slash line and 125 wRC+ are outstanding, they just won’t keep him near the top of AL MVP voting when he plays for a second-place AL Central club.

NL MVP race: Austin Riley makes case for MVP honors

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

MLB stats as of Thursday, July 28

Pos: Player AVG/OBP/SLG OPS Home Runs RBI wRC+ fWAR
1. Paul Goldschmidt .335/.417/.619 1.036 24 77 191 5.0
2. Nolan Arenado .296/.359/.528 .887 18 59 150 4.8
3. Austin Riley .294/.356/.589 .945 28 64 158 4.2
4. Freddie Freeman .323/.399/.537 .936 15 63 161 4.5
5. Juan Soto .243/.400/.480 .880 20 45 147 2.3

Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals

Paul Goldschmidt has been the NL MVP favorite since late May and there are no signs of that changing anytime soon. He’s the only qualified NL hitter with a 1.000-plus OPS and he was on a tear before briefly landing on the restricted list. Frankly, Goldschmidt’s chances of winning NL MVP would only rise if St. Louis adds pitching to improve its record.

Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals

Nolan Arenado ranks fifth in the American League in OPS. What puts him ahead of the likes of Austin Riley and Pete Alonso in our MLB MVP race is defense. Even in his age-31 season, Arenado is one of the best fielders in baseball and makes plays only one or two others in the sport can. Combine that with his production at the plate, St. Louis boasts two MVP threats.

Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves

An NL MVP candidate in 2021, Austin Riley is emerging as the Atlanta Braves best player this season. Since June 1, the All-Star third baseman is slashing .333/.384/.677 with a stellar 188 wRC+, 16 home runs and 39 RBI. Defense is the only thing pushing him behind Arenado.

Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers

Freddie Freeman has gone through a few stretches of scorching hot and pedestrian production this season. In July, he’s in the business of demolishing baseballs. In Freeman’s last 75 plate appearances (July 1-27), he slashed .290/.442/.707, topping it off with a 212 wRC+ and tapping back into his power (six home runs). If the Dodgers win the National League, the NL MVP race might come down to the two best first basemen in baseball.

Related: Top MLB free agents of 2023 – Aaron Judge, Nolan Arenado surge as MVP candidates

Juan Soto, Washington Nationals

For some, Juan Soto might seem like an undeserving pick in the MLB MVP race as long as he plays for the Washington Nationals. Keep in mind, he walked in 18.8% of his plate appearances even when he struggled with the bat (.238 batting average). Fast forward to the end of July and Soto boasts a 214 wRC+ this month with a .323/.494/.662 line and an eye-popping 24.1% walk rate. Taking things a step further, Soto’s 20.9% walk rate this season is the second-highest in baseball since Barry Bonds retired.

Check below for our evaluation of the MLB MVP predictions and race heading into the season.

MLB MVP odds 2022: Who will win Most Valuable Player?

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Washington Nationals
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Who will win MLB MVP in 2022? We look at the latest odds from BetMGM, looking at the top candidates who could win the AL and NL MVP awards this season. While he’s not quite as elite in that spot defensively, he still earned a 3.2 Defensive rating from FanGraphs with three Defensive Runs Saved in 211 innings. On top of the defensive value, Edman is the best base runner in MLB and he’s outstanding atop the lineup. Combine the defense, versatility, base-running impact and offensive production together, it gives you an MVP candidate.

Related: 2022 MLB predictions

2022 American League MVP odds

Player Odds:
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels +350
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels +400
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays +500
Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox +1800
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees +2000
Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox +2000
Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays +2000
Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins +2000
Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Guardians +2500
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros +2500
Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros +2500
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros +3000
Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays +3000
Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins +4000
  • Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels – It’s understandable why Ohtani is the favorite to win AL MVP. It’s not even because he is the reigning award recipient. Ohtani can be among the MLB leaders in home runs and OPS, all while posting a stellar ERA with a high strikeout rate. With that said, we haven’t seen a back-to-back MLB MVP since 2012-’13 (Miguel Cabrera) and Ohtani comes with injury risks. However, he is the best player in baseball and it comes as no surprise he is favorite for MLB MVP.
  • Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels – Turning 31 in August, Mike Trout last played 140-plus games in 2018. That’s not to say he can’t win AL MVP, this is still the best position player in MLB. However, Ohtani’s presence could lead to the teammates splitting votes. So, Trout won’t be the AL MVP candidate we’re betting on right now.
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays –Among the favorites to win AL MVP, Guerrero Jr. would be our pick. The expanded MLB playoffs mean missing the postseason, a negative for some voters, won’t be an issue. So, you have a slugger capable of winning the AL batting title and leading the league in home runs. Frankly, Vladito is a legitimate threat for the Triple Crown. Ranked third in AL MVP odds, Guerrero Jr. is our favorite to win the award.
  • Aaron Judge, New York Yankees – It all comes down to durability for Aaron Judge. He played 155 games in 2017 and finished with 55 homers and 128 RBIs. Ever since, IL stints have become a yearly problem. The odds make him a reasonable bet, but the likelihood he stays healthy is low.
  • Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox – Devers will certainly make a case for AL MVP if he maintains his production from 2021 (38 home runs, 214 runs produced, .538 SLG), but he needs the Red Sox to win the AL East. Otherwise, the division winner will likely have a player more deserving.
  • Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays – There’s a very strong possibility Franco wins an AL MVP in his career. However, a 21-year-old without great power (right now) and who won’t be competing for a batting crown this year, probably doesn’t finish top-10 in AL MVP voting.
  • Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox – No one should be expecting the version of Robert we saw in the second half of the 2021 season. The .350/.389/.622 slash line simply isn’t achievable for a player with a high strikeout rate. However, Robert is fully capable of hitting 30 home runs with 20 steals and 160 runs produced. If the White Sox finish near the top of the AL, Robert could take home MVP. Bet on him now while the odds are still great.
  • Darkhorse: Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros (+3500) – The Astros will be strong favorites to win the AL West and Tucker proved for a large stretch of the season he can be the best player in the lineup. Capable of hitting 30-plus home runs with 20 steals, 100 RBIs and a high OPS, Tucker’s odds make him a great bet for MLB MVP.

2022 National League MVP odds

Player Odds:
Juan Soto, Washington Nationals +300
Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves +700
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals +900
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers +1000
Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers +1200
Trea Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers +1600
Francisco Lindor, New York Mets +2000
Fernando Tatís Jr., San Diego Padres +2500
Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves +2500
Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves +3000
Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals +3000
Pete Alonso, New York Mets +3000
Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers +3300
  • Juan Soto, Washington Nationals – Soto is the best hitter in baseball and it’s not really a debate. The Nationals won’t win their division, but Soto can post an OBP near .500 with 30-plus home runs and carry this team to a Wild Card spot. If he does that, he’ll meet the very definition of MVP.
  • Fernando Tatís Jr., San Diego Padres – Similar to Ohtani and Judge, durability is the most important factor for Tatís Jr. Sadly, the point is already proven. Sidelined until June with a fractured wrist, Tatis Jr’s odds to win MLB MVP take a massive shot. Bet on someone else.
  • Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves – Acuña should be fully recovered from his torn ACL on Opening Day, but there is always the possibility that he isn’t quite the same level of athlete in his first year back. More time spent at DH with fewer steals could hurt his chances, but a 30-30 season also might win NL MVP.
  • Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies – Voter fatigue is real. As a two-time NL MVP, Harper has history working against him. Few believe the Phillies are the team to beat in their division and that will also work against Harper. We’re not willing to bet on him winning it this year, but not because he won’t be deserving.
  • Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers –After signing with the Dodgers, there’s a strong case to be made for Freeman to win MVP outside the current favorites. He’s going to be in a phenomenal lineup and playing for the best team in MLB. If the Dodgers get 30-plus home runs and a .950 OPS out of him, voters might choose him over a repeat (Harper) and a player on a non-contender (Soto).
  • Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers – Playing for the best team in baseball in a big market, Betts already boasts two huge factors working in his favor. We haven’t seen the best version of him as of late, but the talent to hit 30 home runs with a .280-plus average for the No.1 team in the NL could sway voters.
  • Francisco Lindor, New York Mets – It seems Mets fans are putting money on the line to get those NL MVP odds up for Lindor. It’s a bad bet. We haven’t seen that 30-homer and 20-steal player since 2019 and nothing suggests it’s returning. Spend those dollars betting on other darkhorse MLB MVP candidates.
  • Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves – Moving from Oakland to Atlanta is a huge boost for Olson’s shot at an MLB MVP award. He’s a great bet to hit 40-plus home runs and drive in 100-plus RBI. If you combine that with Gold Glove defense at first for a division champ, that will earn a lot of MVP votes.
  • Darkhorse: Max Scherzer, New York Mets (+4000) – The new face of the Mets’ rotation, Scherzer will be asked to do even more for the reasons mentioned above. He’s in the big market, will post numbers worthy of a Cy Young award and the extra attention for a potential division champ might earn him MVP.

When is MLB MVP announced?

MLB: American League at National League
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

MLB announced the 2021 AL and NL MVP recipients on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2021. An official announcement date for the 2022 MLB awards isn’t determined as of March, but the expectation is both MLB MVP awards will be handed out in November.

Related: MLB games today – MLB schedule, TV info, scores, and key dates

Recent MLB MVP winners

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani won AL MVP in 2021, taking home all 30 first=place votes. Bryce Harper won his second MVP award, receiving 17 first-place votes.

Here are some of the past MLB MVP winners.

  • 2021 – AL MVP – Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
  • 2021 – NL MVP – Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies
  • 2020 – AL MVP – José Abreu, Chicago White Sox
  • 2020 – NL MVP – Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
  • 2019 – AL MVP – Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
  • 2019 – NL MVP – Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 2018 – AL MVP – Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
  • 2018 – NL MVP – Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
  • 2017 – AL MVP – Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
  • 2017 – NL MVP – Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

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This article was originally published on and is republished here with permission.

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