MLB Futures: Who Will Win the AL MVP Award in a Shortened Season?

Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP

Now that the MLB is back in a month, let’s talk about who will win the AL MVP after a shortened season. It’s absolutely possible for a hitter to hit over .350 and potentially .400 in 60 games. We’ve seen it happen before. There’s also a good chance that a couple starting pitchers dominate throughout the entire season and finish with an extremely low ERA when the season concludes.

Mike Trout

Mike Trout is a no-brainer. He’s +125 while the rest of the AL is sitting at +1000 or worse odds via BetOnline. Trout has won the AL MVP three of the last six seasons and won the 2019 MVP despite playing in just 134 games last season.

It should be noted that Trout has never won back-to-back MVP awards. If that trend continues, the award will be someone else’s in 2020. Anthony Rendon signed with the Los Angeles Angels during the off-season and should provide a big spark in the middle of the lineup for the Angels this season.

Adding Rendon in the lineup gives Trout protection and will likely help Trout increase his RBI total. Trout hit a career-high 45 homers last season. He’ll need to boost up his home run total and continue his home run streak into 2020 if he wants to run away with the MVP award again.

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Giancarlo Stanton #27, Gary Sanchez #24, and Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

Aaron Judge

If it’s not Trout, then who could it possibly be? A guy like Aaron Judge who has the explosive power to hit plenty of home runs in the shortened season. Some still believe Aaron Judge was robbed from an MVP award in 2017. Judge dominated in his rookie season but Jose Altuve won the MVP instead.

Of course, we know all too well that the Astros were cheating in 2017 which led to Altuve’s ridiculous home splits that season and beyond.

The Yankees have struggled to stay healthy as a team year in and year out but with the delay of the season, it seems like the Yankees are now healthy and have a lineup that can score runs in a hurry. With Aaron Judge in the middle of the lineup, there will be lots of opportunities for Judge to drive runners in and help the Yankees into the playoffs this season.

When you play in the smallest ballpark like Yankees Stadium, during a shortened period of time, numbers will be inflated. For Judge, that sounds perfect. He’ll be on a quest to bring back an AL MVP to the Yankees. The team hasn’t had a player win one since Alex Rodriguez.

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Another Yankee or Angel?

Like I said earlier, the Yankees have struggled to stay healthy on the field as of late. If Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez are unable to perform at some point this season, the Yankees will heavily rely on Gleyber Torres (+1000). Torres hit .278 last season with 38 home runs and 90 RBI’s.

The Yankees could have five legitimate candidates to win the MVP this season. They’re playing in a small ballpark with plenty of pop in their lineup. This is the kind of team I’d like to invest in during a shortened season.

As for the Angels, adding Anthony Rendon and having a healthy Shohei Ohtani can spark this Angels team.

As baseball fans, we just want to see Mike Trout in the postseason. Rendon, a former Washington National and World Champion, knows a thing or two about the postseason. Anthony Rendon and Shohei Ohtani will be intriguing for the Angels in a shortened season. It’ll be interesting to see how the Angels end up using Ohtani this season and if Rendon can get hot at the start of the season.

The Angels might have enough hitting to make it into the postseason. If they do make the postseason, Trout, Rendon (+2500), or Ohtani (+1800) could be the recipient of the AL MVP.

Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno and general manager Billy Eppler look on as All-Star infielder Anthony Rendon #6 is presented his jersey during a press conference at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on December 14, 2019 in Anaheim, California. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images/AFP