The American League is loaded with star power this season, with marquee names like Shohei Ohtani and Aaron Judge headlining the list of players who could win American League MVP. There are plenty of other players who could also take home this award, especially if they lead their teams to the American League pennant. Here, we look at the top contenders to win the 2023 AL MVP award and make our pick to earn the award.
AL MVP Odds
AL MVP Picks & Predictions
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
The favorite to win this award early in the spring is Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. This makes sense, as he is the only player in the league who both pitches and bats on a regular basis throughout the year. But his team will need to win some games to justify making him the AL MVP, as that was what got in his way a season ago. Individually, his numbers have commanded the attention of fans and MVP voters alike.
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
Last year’s AL MVP was Aaron Judge, who had an historic season in 2022 with 62 home runs. Judge needed every one of those home runs to hold off Ohtani for last year’s MVP award. The question for Judge will be whether he can put up those same massive numbers again this year, as even a slight drop-off in production could cost him in his quest for a second straight MVP. So far, the answer to that question has been no, as he has struggled with injury issues early in the year.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout is once again in the early season mix for the MVP award in the American League. But there are a couple of things working against him here. First, he will need to stay healthy for the entirety of the season to put up the necessary numbers to win. But he suffers from the same issue as Ohtani, as the subpar play of the Angels as a team could really cost him. Being overshadowed by Ohtani on his own team could make things tougher as well.
Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays
Without Wander Franco, the Tampa Bay Rays would not be enjoying the historic start to the 2023 season that they have enjoyed. Franco is hitting for average and has plenty of power as well, helping the Rays to one of the greatest starts to a season in baseball history. Combine that with his influence at one of the most important positions in the game at shortstop, and Franco’s value cannot be overstated so far this year.
Vlad Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
Vlad Guerrero Jr. is an ever-present threat in the Toronto Blue Jays lineup, which could put him in the running for the AL MVP award in a season where the Jays have shown signs of improvement after making the playoffs last season. Guerrero will need to improve his raw numbers a bit in order to move up the list of AL MVP favorites, but we know he is more than capable of doing so after a strong start to his 2023.
Who Will Win AL MVP?
Shohei Ohtani is probably the most valuable player to any team in baseball, because he pitches and hits at a high level. But his team’s lack of collective success can, and should, hurt his case. Instead, we are going to go with Wander Franco to win this award at this point in the year, as he’s at a better price and is on the best team in all of baseball doing what he is doing.