At the "halfway" point of the year, Miguel Cabrera is the favorite to win the AL Most Valuable Player award, according to Bovada.lv. Odds are 2/3, or about 40 percent, as we sit at the All-Star break.
Last year Cabrera had a tough battle with rookie Mike Trout last year, but a Triple Crown season helped lift him to his first MVP award. This year Chris Davis is the only player who can keep Cabrera from another crown -- Davis has seven more home runs and just two fewer RBI. Should both players continue to play at those rates, it's easy to see voters enthralled by Davis spread the award around a bit. His odds are 2/1, or about 33 percent.
Speaking of Triple Crown, no names were given specifically, but odds were 7/1 (12.5 percent) that there would be a Triple Crown winner this year. Davis is 1/3 (75 percent) favorite to win the home run crown (Cabrera is 2/1, or 33 percent).
Cabrera's .365 average, .458 on-base percentage and .674 slugging are all substantially higher figures than he had last year. So his his .473 wOBA (weighted on-base average, a stat similar to OPS but superior in every way.) You could actually say he has a stronger case for MVP this season based on those numbers -- though I think winning a Triple Crown, even if it wasn't the strongest in the sport's history, helped make up most minds.)
Davis has a .315/.392/.717 slash line as well as a .458 wOBA.
Trout is back in the discussion, this time with a .322/.399/.565 slash and .410 wOBA. Like last year, his superior fielding and baserunning help make up for differences at the plate, and he trails only slightly in FanGraphs' WAR stat, 6.0-5.7. (Davis is at 5.1.)
Detroit starting pitcher Max Scherzer rounds out the odds at 25/1. He started the season 13-0 before finally losing. If he were to continue that way in the second half and finish with some magical number like 25 wins, he'd likely be in the discussion among sports writers. But it seems unlikely.
AL MVP odds
provided by Bovada
Miguel Cabrera (DET) 2/3
Chris Davis (BAL) 2/1
Mike Trout (LAA) 6/1
Max Scherzer (DET) 25/1
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