When betting on which player might win the MVP Award of tonight's Major League Baseball All-Star Game from Coors Field in Denver, first decide whether you think the American or National League wins because the MVP is almost surely coming from the winning side. The Junior Circuit has won the past seven All-Star Games, but I actually picked the home National League side tonight. Second, it's best to pick a player who is in the starting lineup. The two betting favorites at William Hill Sportsbook are the Angels' Shohei Ohtani at +300 and Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. at +700.
Ohtani, who was upset in the first round of Monday night's Home Run Derby by Washington's Juan Soto, will be the clear focus of the Midsummer Classic as he will lead off for the American League as the designated hitter but then also pitch in the bottom of the first. Obviously, doing that double is unprecedented in the ASG, so Ohtani should be the favorite for MVP. He'll probably only pitch the one inning but should bat at least twice.
While Ohtani is far from just a "pitcher," they don't win this award all too often because they don't go more than an inning usually. That said, the most recent winner in 2019 was Indians pitcher Shane Bieber at Cleveland's Progressive Field. There wasn't much offense in that one – the AL won 4-3 – and Bieber threw one scoreless inning, striking out all three batters. Prior to that, the last pitcher to win was future Yankees Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera in 2013 in his final season.
MVP of the All-Star Game has been handed out since 1962 and five times a member of the Angels has won it, including Mike Trout back-to-back in 2014-15. He of course isn't playing this year due to injury.
Ohtani is also the -300 favorite at William Hill to win AL regular-season MVP, followed by Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero at +220 and then a huge drop-off. Guerrero is starting at first base and hitting second tonight. No member of the Blue Jays has won ASG MVP. He's +800.
The Mets' Jacob deGrom is the -110 favorite to win NL regular-season MVP, but he's not participating tonight; Tatis is the +130 second favorite for regular-season MVP. He starts at shortstop in Denver and leading off for the National League. No Padres position player has won All-Star MVP, but pitcher LaMarr Hoyt did in 1985.
For the first time in this event's history, the All-Stars will not be wearing their own team's uniforms but an All-Star Game-specific uniform.
William Hill offers a prop on whether there's a grand slam by either side, with yes at +850 and no -1600. There has been just one slam in ASG history: Fred Lynn of the Angels in 1983 -- third inning at old Comiskey Park in Chicago. Lynn was named MVP.
Will there be extra innings tonight? Yes is +800 and no -1400. The last extra-inning game was in 2018 (another in 2017).
Favorites to win All-Star Game MVP
- Shohei Ohtani +300
- Fernando Tatis Jr. +700
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. +800
- Nolan Arenado +900
- Aaron Judge +1000
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