When Tiger Woods was plowing over the competition on the course a decade ago, the question whenever he played was are you betting Woods or the field?
It's time to start wondering if we should put Mike Trout in that category when it comes to the AL MVP race.
As he was coming into the season, Trout is currently the betting favorite at +150 to win the 2021 AL MVP award on WynnBET. That means if you bet $100 on him to win and he does, you win $150. It also means Vegas bookmakers are giving him at 40% chance of winning the award already.
It's freakin' April and we're only 15% through the season.
The next closest competition to Trout is his teammate, Shohei Ohtani (+700), Vlad Guerrero Jr. (+1000) and Jose Ramirez (+1000). But the gap between their odds to win the award and Trout (over 27%) feels like the same as the gap between Woods and the field when he was dominating golf from 1999-2008.
Trout, who is still only 29 years old, has won three MVPs already -- 2014, 2016 and 2019. He's also finished second four times -- 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018. He's off to a scorching start in 2021, batting .420 with 6 HR, 14 RBI and a slugging percentage of .783. If he were to keep pace, he wouldn't only win his fourth MVP, he would run away with the award.
Like Woods, the only thing that can stop Trout these days is injuries. He's never played a full season in his career. But in years where he's played 130 or more games, he either finished first or second in the MVP race. That on a team that's only made the postseason once in his career.
It's insane what Trout has already accomplished in his young career and the only recent athlete you can compare him to is Tiger Woods. It was always a race for second when Woods was on the course and it feels like that when Trout is healthy and on the field too.
The question is, can Trout stay healthy this year? If you think the answer is yes, +150 is probably the best you're going to get him this year. It's also better odds than you got Woods to win a tournament when he was at his peak. It's crazy to think it's as simple as Trout versus the field for the MVP race, but history suggests it's true.