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MLB MVP Award: Winners, trophy, when is it awarded?

All you need to know about MLB's MVP Award, including past winners, when the award is announced, and more.

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American League MVP odds

Juan Soto +230

Juan Soto was the biggest acquisition of the Yankees' offseason and as of the start of May, he has the Yanks sitting atop the AL East and he leads the AL in walks, on-base percentage and OPS+. Plus, he's hitting .325 with eight home runs and 25 RBI in 32 games.

Soto is also tied for fifth in offensive WAR while having walked more times than he has struck out while leading the league in walk percentage. Not only is he at the core of the Yankees' hopes, but the 25-year-old is maximizing his value ahead of his free agency after this season.

Gunnar Henderson +350

Reigning AL Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson is the driving force behind the Baltimore Orioles, who are tied with the Yankees atop the AL East. As of early May, Henderson leads all Major Leaguers in home runs with 10, and he leads the AL with 73 total bases.

Henderson's batting average (.281) and on-base percentage (.346) are not at the level of Soto, but 16 of his 34 hits have been extra base hits and his .603 slugging percentage is sixth in MLB and second in the AL. His 35-8 strikeout-walk ratio is not great, but if he keeps mashing the ball, he'll stay among the AL MVP favorites.

Bobby Witt Jr. +425

Bobby Witt Jr. signed a seven-year, nine-figure contract with the Kansas City Royals in the offseason after finishing seventh in AL MVP voting in 2023, and he's only gotten better as he leads the Majors in triples and the AL in runs, doubles, and stolen bases as of the start of May.

The Royals are two games back from the lead in a jam-packed AL Central. Witt ranks in the top-10 league-wide in total WAR, both offensive and defensive WAR, at bats, runs scored, hits, total bases, triples, stolen bases, extra base hits and hard-hit percnetage.

Kyle Tucker +1400

The Houston Astros sit last in the AL West - below the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics - in early May. But Astros rightfielder Kyle Tucker has done his part for the team, posting a .298 batting average, a .407 on-base percentage, eight home runs, 21 RBI, and a solid 20-21 strikeout-walk ratio.

Tucker ranks in the top 10 league-wide in sweet spot percentage, walk percentage, offensive WAR, OPS, total bases, home runs, walks, runs created, extra base hits, times on base and at bats per home run. If his team improves, his odds could shorten based on his production.

Yordan Alvarez +1400

Houston Astros DH Yordan Alvarez's MVP odds have lengthened from +800 before the season to +1400 at the beginning of May. Like Tucker, he's pulling his weight while the rest of the team plays well below expectations.

The 2019 Rookie of the Year has not cracked the MLB-wide top 10 in any statistical category, but among AL players, he's in the top 10 in home runs and sacrifice flies. Despite the slow start, he's one of the most dangerous hitters when he gets hot.

National League MVP odds

Mookie Betts +160

Mookie Betts entered the 2024 season with the joint-second-shortest NL MVP odds at +600, but after a legendary start to the season after moving to shortstop full time, he is the big favorite at +160 as of the start of May.

Betts leads the league in WAR, batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, plate appearances, runs scored, hits, total bases, walks, weighted on-base average and runs created. He has a 16-26 strikeout-walk ratio, has stolen eight bases without being caught and has been the main factor in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 4.5-game lead in the NL West.

Shohei Ohtani +700

Shohei Ohtani's NL MVP odds have lengthened from +600 before the season to +700 after a month of the 2024 campaign, but that's mostly because of Dodgers teammate Mookie Betts and his amazing start to the campaign. Still, Ohtani leads MLB in doubles and total bases in early May while also ranking in MLB's top 10 in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, offensive WAR, hits and runs created.

Ohtani's advanced batting stats jump off the page. He leads all players in barrel percentage by over four percent and is first in exit velocity, second in hard-hit percentage, fifth in weighted on-base average, and 10th in sweet spot percentage.

Ronald Acuna Jr. +800

Atlanta Braves centerfielder Ronald Acuna Jr.'s MVP odds have lengthened from being the pre-season +450 favorite to +800 for the third-shortest odds in early May. Acuna has not been his dominant self through the first month, batting .252 with a .689 OPS. The reigning NL MVP leads the league in runs but he has not cracked the top 10 in position player WAR yet.

The advanced batting stats show that Acuna has not been at his best. Out of 178 qualified hitters this season, he ranks 84th in barrel percentage, 80th in batting average against expected batting average, 118th in slugging percentage against expected slugging percentage and 87th in sweet spot percentage. His odds could shorten once he starts making solid contact regularly.

Elly De La Cruz +1200

Elly De La Cruz, the Cincinnati Reds' 6-foot-5, 22-year-old shortstop, has added much-needed consistency to his game in his second MLB campaign and has the Reds 3.5 games out of first in the NL Central. He leads the league with 18 stolen bases and has a .968 OPS after one month of the season.

De La Cruz's slash line has improved greatly compared to last season, and he's fifth in MLB in barrel percentage, eighth in adjusted exit velocity and ninth in weighted on-base average. Plus, he's second in offensive WAR, eighth in total WAR and 10th in OPS across MLB.

Fernando Tatis Jr. +1000

The San Diego Padres are under .500 but still in second place, 4.5 games back from the first-placed LA Dodgers in the NL West. Padres rightfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. has moved to the outfield full-time after beginning his career at shortstop and is one of the most effective fielders in MLB with 103 outs made, second-most in the league.

Tatis' bat hasn't caught up to the levels he reached at the plate in his first three MLB seasons, being one of the lowest-ranked players in terms of batting average against expected batting average and slugging percentage against expected slugging percentage. If he gets back to the standards he set early in his career, expect his odds to shorten.

MLB MVP Award past winners

Year

American League winner

National League winner

2023

Shohei Ohtani

Ronald Acuna Jr.

2022

Aaron Judge

Paul Goldschmidt

2021

Shohei Ohtani

Bryce Harper

2020

Jose Abreu

Freddie Freeman

2019

Mike Trout

Cody Bellinger

2018

Mookie Betts

Christian Yelich

2017

Jose Altuve

Giancarlo Stanton

2016

Mike Trout

Kris Bryant

2015

Josh Donaldson

Bryce Harper

2014

Mike Trout

Clayton Kershaw

2013

Miguel Cabrera

Andrew McCutchen

2012

Miguel Cabrera

Buster Posey

2011

Justin Verlander

Ryan Braun

2010

Josh Hamilton

Joey Votto

2009

Joe Mauer

Albert Pujols

2008

Dustin Pedroia

Albert Pujols

2007

Alex Rodriguez

Jimmy Rollins

2006

Justin Morneau

Ryan Howard

2005

Alex Rodriguez

Albert Pujols

2004

Vladimir Guerrero

Barry Bonds

2003

Alex Rodriguez

Barry Bonds

2002

Miguel Tejada

Barry Bonds

2001

Ichiro Suzuki

Barry Bonds

2000

Jason Giambi

Jeff Kent

1999

Ivan Rodriguez

Chipper Jones

1998

Juan Gonzalez

Sammy Sosa

1997

Ken Griffey Jr.

Larry Walker

1996

Juan Gonzalez

Ken Caminiti

1995

Mo Vaughn

Barry Larkin

1994

Frank Thomas

Jeff Bagwell

1993

Frank Thomas

Barry Bonds

1992

Dennis Eckersley

Barry Bonds

1991

Cal Ripken Jr.

Terry Pendleton

1990

Rickey Henderson

Barry Bonds

1989

Robin Yount

Kevin Mitchell

1988

Jose Canseco

Kirk Gibson

1987

George Bell

Andre Dawson

1986

Roger Clemens

Mike Schmidt

1985

Don Mattingly

Willie McGee

1984

Willie Hernandez

Ryne Sandberg

1983

Cal Ripken Jr.

Dale Murphy

1982

Robin Yount

Dale Murphy

1981

Rollie Fingers

Mike Schmidt

1980

George Brett

Mike Schmidt

1979

Don Baylor

Keith Hernandez & Willie Stargell

1978

Jim Rice

Dave Parker

1977

Rod Carew

George Foster

1976

Thurman Munson

Joe Morgan

1975

Fred Lynn

Joe Morgan

1974

Jeff Burroughs

Steve Garvey

1973

Reggie Jackson

Pete Rose

1972

Dick Allen

Johnny Bench

1971

Vida Blue

Joe Torre

1970

Boog Powell

Johnny Bench

1969

Harmon Killebrew

Willie McCovey

1968

Denny McLain

Bob Gibson

1967

Carl Yastrzemski

Orlando Cepeda

1966

Frank Robinson

Roberto Clemente

1965

Zoilo Versalles

Willie Mays

1964

Brooks Robinson

Ken Boyer

1963

Elston Howard

Sandy Koufax

1962

Mickey Mantle

Maury Wills

1961

Roger Maris

Frank Robinson

1960

Roger Maris

Dick Groat

1959

Nellie Fox

Ernie Banks

1958

Jackie Jensen

Ernie Banks

1957

Mickey Mantle

Hank Aaron

1956

Mickey Mantle

Don Newcombe

1955

Yogi Berra

Roy Campanella

1954

Yogi Berra

Willie Mays

1953

Al Rosen

Roy Campanella

1952

Bobby Shantz

Hank Sauer

1951

Yogi Berra

Roy Campanella

1950

Phil Rizzuto

Jim Konstanty

1949

Ted Williams

Jackie Robinson

1948

Lou Boudreau

Stan Musial

1947

Joe DiMaggio

Bob Elliott

1946

Ted Williams

Stan Musial

1945

Hal Newhouser

Phil Cavarretta

1944

Hal Newhouser

Marty Marion

1943

Spud Chandler

Stan Musial

1942

Joe Gordon

Mort Cooper

1941

Joe DiMaggio

Dolph Camilli

1940

Hank Greenberg

Frank McCormick

1939

Joe DiMaggio

Bucky Walters

1938

Jimmie Foxx

Ernie Lombardi

1937

Charlie Gehringer

Joe Medwick

1936

Lou Gehrig

Carl Hubbell

1935

Hank Greenberg

Gabby Hartnett

1934

Mickey Cochrane

Dizzy Dean

1933

Jimmie Foxx

Carl Hubbell

1932

Jimmie Foxx

Chuck Klein

1931

Lefty Grove

Frankie Frisch

When are MLB MVP Awards announced?

The MVP Award winners are announced around two weeks after the World Series concludes as part of MLB's awards season. In 2023. the winners were announced on Nov. 16.

Who votes on the MLB MVP Award?

The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) votes on the winners of the MVP Award. Two writers in each MLB city get to vote, and votes must be submitted before the postseason begins. Voters get first- through 10th-place votes worth 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third, seven for fourth, six for fifth, five for sixth, fourth for seventh, three for eighth, two for ninth and one for 10th. The player with the most points, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award.

MLB MVP Award trophy

Winners of the MVP Award receive a plaque with a black background and a gold baseball diamond with the winner's name and team in a gold rectangle within the baseball diamond. The league they won the award in - either the American League or National League - is across the top of the plaque, while "Most Valuable Player" is across the bottom of the plaque.

Odds mentioned in this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

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