Mike Trout says he's ready to go, and he will enter the season as the consensus favorite at sportsbooks to win the American League MVP.
Sportsbook William Hill U.S. has Trout as the 2-1 favorite to win his second straight MVP award and fourth of his career. New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge is next at 8-1, followed by Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor at 10-1.
The odds to win the National League MVP suggest a much tighter race. The Los Angeles Dodgers boast two of the favorites in prized offseason acquisition Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger, last year's winner.
Although Trout is a heavy favorite in the AL, Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres has attracted more bets and more money from bettors than any other player at DraftKings' sportsbooks. Torres has drawn four times as many MVP bets as Trout.
After expressing uncertainty about participating amid the coronavirus pandemic, Trout told reporters he will play this season. His wife, Jessica, is expected to give birth to the couple's first child in early August.
Scherzer gets the start in Thursday's opener against new Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who is the favorite to win the AL Cy Young Award at around 3-1. The Yankees are around -130 favorites over the Nationals in the opener (7 p.m., ESPN).
With the season condensed to 60 games, sportsbooks are offering some creative proposition wagers. A player hitting .400 for the season is 8-1 at the SuperBook in Las Vegas. At PointsBet, a player hitting 30 or more home runs during the regular season is 50-1.
The Dodgers and Yankees are the consensus favorites to win the World Series, but the abbreviated season has increased betting interest on some long shots. In Nevada, the Chicago White Sox, who are around 30-1 to win the World Series, have attracted more bets than any other team at the SuperBook and at CG Technology sportsbooks.
Several teams with triple-digit odds are seeing support as well.
"We are pummeled to the Giants, Marlins, Orioles, Royals, Tigers and Mariners," Jeff Davis, director of trading for Caesars Sportsbook in Nevada, told ESPN.
Derek Stevens, a Las Vegas casino owner and known big bettor, recently placed four large wagers on some big underdogs at the SuperBook. Stevens' bets included: $5,000 on the Miami Marlins to win the NL pennant at 200-1; $2,500 on the Marlins to win the World Series at 400-1; $4,000 on the Detroit Tigers to win the American League at 250-1, and $2,000 on the Tigers to win the World Series at 500-1.
Each bet would pay a net $1 million.