The start of the baseball season has been postponed, and we don’t know at this point when our favorite national pastime will return, but it’s still never a bad time to take a look at the futures markets for the 2020 MLB season!
This time, we’ll be covering the American League MVP race and the investment opportunities it presents us.
Before we start, a friendly reminder in case you missed it; don’t forget to take a look at the futures for the World Series winner in 2020!
American League MVP Odds
Here’s what the top 4 American League MVP favorites and their odds looked like on the 29th of April 2020 on DraftKings.
Behind them, DraftKings have Alex Bregman, Matt Chapman, Josh Donaldson and Gleyber Torres tied for the fifth spot at +2000. Please do note that the odds might vary between different sportsbooks and will change over time, so go take a look at the latest ones before making any decisions.
Unlike in the National League where multiple past MVPs have credible cases for winning the trophy this year, the picture at the top of the AL MVP race is very clear. Mike Trout is the consensus favorite by a country mile to win yet another MVP trophy.
Let’s examine the cases for the top 4:
It’s pretty clear why Trout is the favorite again in 2020. The best player in baseball won the trophy last season, making him a three-time MVP (2014, 2016, 2019) at 28 years old. He finished second in AL MVP voting in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018. Last season, he hit a career-high 45 home runs and had 104 RBIs. Trout led the league in slugging and on-base percentage. It’s hard to bet against him adding a fourth MVP to his ever-growing trophy cabinet.
Judge has had trouble staying healthy in his young career in New York. After going for an incredible league leading 52 homers in his rookie season that netted him the 2017 Silver Slugger Award and AL Rookie of the Year honors, Judge played in 112 games in 2018 and 102 in 2019. But make no mistake – he’s got the hitting, the power, and the fielding skills necessary for mounting an MVP caliber campaign. If he can stay on the field and the Yankees meet the high expectations that have been set to them this season, Aaron Judge could be a threat to Trout.
The Indians’ shortstop is a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2017, 2018) and a four-time All-Star. At 26 years old, many expect that Lindor has another big leap in him and that could take him over the top in the MVP race. Last season, he hit 32 home runs and had 74 RBIs with a .284 batting average. Elite, but not MVP caliber. Maybe this year?
Rendon had a dream season with the Nationals last year, leading the league with 126 RBIs and walking away from the World Series as a champion, having been the key contributor to his team. After Washington made it clear that they can’t sign both of their marquee free agents and went for Stephen Strasburg, Rendon got his big payday from the Angels with a seven-year, $245 million deal. There won’t be a lack of hitting prowess in Anaheim this year, but can Rendon realistically challenge his teammate (Trout) for the MVP trophy?
Diversifying your futures portfolio
When compared to the National League, it would seem that investing all your money in one man is a much easier decision when it comes to the AL MVP race in 2020. But even though Mike Trout is the clear favorite for the trophy, it’s still risky to be invested in just one player in a complicated futures market.
After all, it only takes one serious injury to change the whole landscape of the race.
Instead of investing in just one man, it’s possible to craft a portfolio of, for example, five players, where hitting on the winner guarantees a profit.
Let’s look at this through an example where we invest in all of the top four favorites from the table above. Here’s one way how one could construct a $1000 investment to all four, where any one of them winning the MVP trophy would guarantee a profit:
$ 1 625
$ 1 375
$ 1 375
$ 1 500
$ 1 000
In this example, we are cashing in on the biggest win if Trout brings home the trophy, but we’re still getting good ROI if any of the other candidates surprise us. It would of course be possible to allocate even more of the total of the investment towards Trout winning if we would want to maximize on his potential, and use the other candidates purely for hedging purposes.
To be clear, this is not a recommendation from us on how to invest in the AL MVP race this year, but rather an example on how a portfolio of investments could be structured after careful analysis. So do not make an investment decision just based on this article!
Stay tuned in for more intriguing baseball content, and don’t forget to check out John Todora’s new book – “Zero Correlation Investing – The Score Metrics Secret” – to learn all about smart investing in the sports betting marketplace. It’s currently on sale for a limited time, so go get your copy now!
The ScoreMetrics Lab is the engine that runs the Sports Trading System operation, consisting of a team of researchers and writers who are constantly testing and retesting algorithms. They work hand in hand with our Head Trader and Creator of ScoreMetrics, John Todora to help find new breakthroughs and develop new systems.