With -700 odds, Ohtani is implied to have an 87.5% chance of winning the AL MVP. His season through the first half has been truly remarkable, leading the AL with 25 home runs, a .630 slugging percentage, and 1.010 OPS. He's also pitched at a Cy Young level on the mound, going 6-3 with a 3.13 ERA in 15 starts.
Semien has set the table for the most productive lineup in the AL, hitting .271-10-54 with a .782 OPS. He leads the AL in plate appearances for the third consecutive season and has continued to plate elite defense at second base.
Seager has missed a large chunk of the first half to injury, so just the fact he's in the running is impressive. The shortstop is hitting .356-10-45 in his first 44 games, powering the elite Rangers lineup.
Bichette has been extremely consistent at the plate since he was promoted in 2019, and currently leads the AL in hits for the third straight season. The shortstop is hitting .316-14-46 through 76 games.
Acuna looks like a new player after more time recovering from the torn ACL he suffered in 2021. The leadoff man leads the AL with a .965 OPS and 33 stolen bases, now on pace for a historic 30/60 season while hitting .329-16-47 with a league-leading 66 runs scored in 75 games.
Tatis missed all of last season and the start of 2023 due to injury and suspension, but he's made up for lost time. He continues to spark the Padres offense, hitting .289-15-35 with 13 steals in only 56 games.
Betts has gone above and beyond for the Dodgers this season, not only playing Gold Glove defense in right field but contributing well as a shortstop for the first time in his career. The additional responsibilities haven't hindered him at the plate, hitting .261-18-45 with an .868 OPS in 72 games.
Soto struggled upon his arrival to the Padres late last season and continued his slow start this April. That's changed over the last two months, as Soto is hitting .273-14-40 with a .932 OPS and a league-leading 69 walks. If the hot streak continues, Soto's odds of winning the MVP should increase.
Arraez is the biggest story of the season's first half, with his realistic quest to hit .400. Through 71 games, he's hit .402 with a .452 on-base percentage, easily leading the NL in both categories. Miami is riding his hot bat to playoff contention.
Valdez established himself as one of the most consistent pitchers last season, and he's taken his game to another level after adding more velocity. The lefty is 7-5 with a 2.27 ERA in 15 starts, while on pace for his second consecutive 200-inning season.
Tampa Bay's starting rotation has been injury-plagued this season, but McClanahan has been a reliable stopper. The third-year pitcher leads the AL in wins (11) and ERA (2.23) through his first 16 starts, though a minor back injury could hurt his momentum.
Cole is on the short list of the elite pitchers in baseball, so it's incredible to think he's yet to win a Cy Young Award. He certainly has a shot this season, going 8-1 with a 2.64 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 16 starts totaling 99 innings.
Gausman was oddly hittable last season, but the Toronto ace has solved those issues this season. He's 7-3 with a 3.10 ERA and a league-leading 127 strikeouts in 98.2 innings. The ERA metrics show Gausman has even better days ahead.
Castillo has been terrific since the Mariners acquired him last year and has led the M's rotation this season with Robbie Ray sidelined. He's struggled to pick up wins, but Castillo has a 2.89 ERA and 101 strikeouts over 87.1 innings.
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AL Cy Young: Shohei Ohtani, Angels (+1200)
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Ohtani is in the Cy Young conversation despite playing double duty as the Angels primary DH. He leads the AL in K/9 for the second consecutive season, and is 6-3 with a 3.13 ERA in 15 starts. Somewhat erratic control has limited Ohtani from being a Cy Young frontrunner.
Gallen is the clear ace for one of the biggest surprise teams in baseball, continuing to give Arizona a great start every fifth day. He's 9-2 with a 2.84 ERA and 5.20 K/BB ratio through 16 starts, and had a streak of four consecutive starts without allowing a run in April.
Would a story it would be if Kershaw is able to collect his fourth Cy Young Award after years of injuries? He's stayed healthy so far this season, going 9-4 with a 2.72 ERA in 89.1 innings as his K/9 has bounced back above 10.0 for the second time in the last six seasons.
Wheeler hasn't been very consistent thus far, but the peripherals point to better days ahead. He has an elite BB/9 of 2.0 or better for the fourth consecutive year, and there are signs his 3.48 ERA through 15 starts should improve. The Phillies ace has also been able to keep the ball in the park, allowing only five home runs in 88 innings.
Webb has become a true workhorse for the Giants, leading the NL with 105.1 innings through his 16 starts. His 7-6 record doesn't reflect Webb's true dominance, with a 3.16 ERA and career-best 4.81 K/BB ratio.
Stroman is having a great first half for the Cubs, leading the NL in wins (nine), ERA (2.28), and WHIP (1.02). It remains to be seen if his effectiveness will continue, but the Cubs ace is keeping his team in NL Central contention.
Seth Trachtman is a fantasy sports expert and diehard Kansas City Chiefs fan. He doesn't often Tweet, but when he does, you can find him on Twitter @sethroto.