2023 MLB Power Rankings: Who are the preseason favorites for the AL MVP?


Marquee names top the list.

The race of the American League MVP award in 2022 was not particularly close, thanks to the monstrous campaign from eventual winner Aaron Judge. But, will that be the case again in 2023? It could be, but a number of other highly-touted names could win the award, as well. Here now are five players that we consider to be the favorites to win the AL MVP award in 2023.

Related: 2023 MLB Power Rankings: Which pitchers are favorites for the AL Cy Young award?

Yordan Alvarez

We’ll start off with Astros DH/OF Yordan Alvarez, who played a key role for Houston in its run to a second World Series title in 2022. Alvarez destroyed AL pitching in 2022, a season that saw the 25-year-old hit a career-high 37 home runs and record a 1.019 OPS. That OPS figure was good for second-best in all of MLB last year, behind the individual that wound up winning the award last year.

Alvarez dealt with a hand injury throughout much of last season, and that pain has reportedly not gone away in 2023. That may be the only thing that could hold Alvarez, a tremendous power hitter with plus discipline, back from making a serious run at the AL MVP in 2023.

Aaron Judge

We can’t have a conversation about MVP candidates in the American League without mentioning the man who won it in 2022. Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge led all MLB hitters in bWAR (10.6), OPS (1.111), and home runs (62). Judge’s 62 home runs put him past Roger Maris in the record books for most homers by an AL player in a single season, and helped the Yankees secure the AL East title last year.

Should the Yankees find themselves back in the postseason in 2023, Judge will likely be a front-runner for the award yet again.

Shohei Ohtani

2021 AL MVP Shohei Ohtani might have actually had a better season last year than in the season that he won his first Most Valuable Player award. Ohtani didn’t eclipse 46 home runs or 100 RBIs in 2022, but he did hit 34 bombs for the Angels and finished in the top ten in all of baseball in strikeouts (219). The soon-to-be free agent finished second in the AL MVP voting in 2022.

Ohtani’s ability to get it done both on the mound and at the plate gives the 28-year-old a unique inside track toward the award. If he can replicate — or even surpass — his gaudy numbers from 2022, there’s a high possibility that he’ll accept his second AL MVP award next January in New York.

Jose Ramirez

The Cleveland Guardians surprisingly won the AL Central title in 2022, thanks in large part to the bat of third baseman Jose Ramirez. The switch-hitter finished third in MLB in runs batted in (126), behind only Judge (131) and Pete Alonso (131), and cracked 78 extra base hits for the Guardians in 2022. That latter figure ranked second in the American League and fourth in all of Major League Baseball.

An elite hitter that finished in the top ten in offensive WAR (5.8), one should expect to see Ramirez garner MVP votes with a strong 2023 campaign.

Mike Trout

Ohtani isn’t the only Angel with a chance to take home the 2023 AL MVP award this year. Three-time AL MVP Mike Trout missed over 40 games in 2022, and still managed to hit 40 home runs for Los Angeles last season.

The future Hall of Famer, much like Ohtani, will be called upon to be a key piece for the Angels this year. And if the Angels manage to make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014, he should get votes for the award in 2023.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: