Mar 9, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) doubles during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 AL MVP: Jacoby Ellsbury?

The new look 2014 New York Yankees are stacked with veteran superstars. The line-up is full of a few Rookies of the Year, batting champions, hit leaders, stolen base champs, home run kings, and RBI leaders. What they lack is many MVP Awards. In fact, the only active member of the Yankees who has won an MVP Award, Ichiro Suzuki, is most likely going to be traded. That’s what comes as a bit of a surprise that odds makers have chosen Jacoby Ellsbury as the Yankee with the best chance to win the 2014 MVP.

Bovada released their odds for the American League MVP yesterday and while the odds on favorite to win isn’t shocking at all, the rest of the list has some surprises. Mike Trout has the best odds at 5/1 with Triple Crowner Miguel Cabrera sitting at 6/1. Right behind him in third, tied with Albert Pujols, is Jacoby Ellsbury at 12/1.

It’s certainly not out of the question. The Yankees didn’t go out and sign the former Red Sox center fielder to a 7-year, $153 million deal to have him underperform. Ellsbury is an on-base machine, with a career .350 OBP. He also has led the AL in stolen bases three times. He is sure to score a ton of runs setting the table in front of the Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Carlos Beltran. If the Yankees do indeed bounce back after last year’s injury riddled season, newcomer Ellsbury could be seen as the catalyst that triggered the potent offense to their turnaround.

There are a few factors against Ellsbury, but none of which are his fault. There is no reason to believe Miguel Cabrera nor Mike Trout are going to cease putting up Triple Crown numbers. Jeter, in all of his years of greatness has never won an MVP. Most believe that he’s never won because of how stacked with offensive prowess the Yankee teams have been surrounding him. Throw on top of it that the entire baseball world will have their eyes on the aforementioned Jeter in his final season, it will be hard, in my opinion, for Ellsbury to steal some votes.

Ellsbury is not the lone Yankee to make the odds maker’s list. Mark Teixiera came in at 25/1 odds, Carlos Beltran came in at 40/1, and The Captain is a 100/1 shot. Brian McCann seems like a surprising omission as not only was he brought in to attack that right field porch with his left-handed power bat, but he will be handling a questionable Yankee rotation. Should they succeed, he merits consideration.

It’s not impossible that the Yankees see an MVP this season. Bovado thinks it’s highly likely. I just hope Ellsbury has a monstrous season and leads this team back to October.

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