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Best Value Bets for NL/AL MVP in 2022

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MLB

It would have been difficult to write, read or even think about this type of article a month ago (when they typically hit the presses en masse), but fortunately MLB and the Players Association came to an agreement and ended another frustrating work stoppage.

Now, instead of wondering if players would be getting on the field, we’re counting down the hours until Opening Day. And bettors are swarming the (betting) cages, kiosks or apps to place their MLB picks today.

The length of the baseball season affords a wagerer time and opportunity. We’ve found some opportunity, and more importantly, value in some offerings a week out from the first pitch. In today’s piece we’re going to explore two players from each league that we believe offers tremendous value in April to hoist major hardware in November.

American League

Luis Robert (+2000)

This White Sox team is loaded and primed to make a serious run to October. They advanced past the Wild Card round last year for the first time since 2008 and are looking to qualify for postseason play for a third straight season for the first time in franchise history.

Yes, you can get even better value on fellow White Sox Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez (+5000) and former MVP Jose Abreu (+3500), but there may be no other player in the American League with the potential that Robert possesses, and 20-1 odds are still plenty appealing.

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Injuries and COVID have been his achilles heel so far, but if he stays healthy, watch out. He’s been a monster in his brief postseason runs so far and pitchers will find outs very hard to come by in this lineup. Robert is projected to hit in the 2-hole this season, behind Tim Anderson and ahead of Abreu, Yoan Moncada and Jimenez. You won’t be able to pitch around him and Anderson should be on base a lot to set up the 24-year old.

Rafael Devers (+2000)

If you look at the list without the odds, neither Robert or Devers would be considered longshots. At print time, these two have the sixth best chance of winning the award according to the oddsmakers. But the price is attractive enough to warrant a play.

Devers finished 11th in the AL MVP voting last year and is in a similar boat as Robert in terms of lineup placement. The Red Sox third baseman should also be hitting second, right ahead of Xander Bogaerts (in a contract year), J.D. Martinez and newly-acquired Trevor Story. 

Boston’s lineup is improved and you have to think that whoever wins the loaded AL East will boast an MVP candidate.

National League

Austin Riley (+2500)

Our first NL entrant comes a little bit further down the list than our American League players, but there’s a case to be made against each of the players above Riley, despite their superstar status. 

The favorite, Juan Soto, is an incredible talent, but plays for a rebuilding team. Ronald Acuna Jr. will miss the first month of the season, Fernando Tatis Jr. will miss the first two months. Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Trae Turner all play for the same team, so it’s too early to differentiate between odds so close together. Plus, with a reloaded Phillies offense and the fact that there hasn’t been a repeat winner since Albert Pujols in 2008-09, Bryce Harper’s odds are too short right now.

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That brings us to Austin Riley who will hit cleanup for the defending champs. If he can help keep the Atlanta offense afloat until May, Acuna’s return will only help his production.

Francisco Lindor (+2800)

Admittedly, Lindor did not make a good first impression with the Mets faithful last year, but 2021 was more of an outlier than anything. We reap the benefits with this inflated number as the former Indian/Guardian figures to be a cornerstone of an all-in Mets squad after producing one of the best springs in the entire Grapefruit League.

This team has one of the best rotations in baseball and an offense to compliment it. Frankie will be right in the middle of a potentially potent lineup and if he returns to his pre-2021 form, this number is far too juicy to ignore. 

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