- BetOnline has listed newest LA Dodger Mookie Betts (+500) as the chalk to win NL MVP
- The last two winners, Christian Yelich (+700) and Cody Bellinger, (+800) are strong contenders to win the award
- Ronald Acuña Jr. (+600) and Juan Soto (+1200) are both primed to make another leap in their third seasons
Following the trade that left Boston Red Sox’ fans sobbing in the streets in disbelief, the newest LA Dodger, Mookie Betts, opened as a +500 favorite to win National League MVP. Betts will be inserted at the top of a lineup that also includes last year’s NL MVP, Cody Bellinger (+800).
The two Dodgers join the Brewers’ Christian Yelich (2018 NL MVP) and the Phillies’ Bryce Harper (2015 NL MVP) in a stacked field of former winners and blossoming young stars.
Let’s check the odds at BetOnline and swing for the fences with a few home-run picks.
2020 NATIONAL LEAGUE MVP ODDS
|Mookie Betts (Dodgers)||+500|
|Ronald Acuna Jr. (Braves)||+600|
|Christian Yelich (Brewers)||+700|
|Cody Bellinger (Dodgers)||+800|
|Bryce Harper (Phillies)||+1200|
|Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres)||+1200|
|Juan Soto (Nationals)||+1200|
|Nolan Arenado (Rockies)||+1200|
|Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks)||+1600|
|Javier Baez (Cubs)||+2000|
|Trevor Story (Rockies)||+2000|
|Eugenio Suarez (Reds)||+2500|
FORMER MVPS TO SLUG IT OUT
While the American League MVP race boils down to “Who can beat Mike Trout?”, the senior circuit is considerably more wide open.
Betts, of course, topped Trout in the 2018 AL MVP vote after slashing .346/.438/.640 with 32 homers in 136 games. The 27-year-old’s numbers dipped a bit last season (.295/.391/.524 with 29 homers), but his down year was still good enough to collect the eighth-most MVP votes, his lowest finish in the last four seasons.
? BLOCKBUSTER ?
— MLB (@MLB) February 5, 2020
Pairing Betts with Bellinger, who hit .305 with 47 home runs, 115 RBIs and a 1.035 OPS in his 2019 NL MVP campaign, puts the Dodgers on the inside track to win their first World Series since 1988, but the five-tool superstars could split the vote come the end of September.
Christian Yelich (+700) will also loom large in the race after following up his 2018 NL MVP season (.326/.402/.598 with 36 homers, 110 RBIs, 118 runs and 22 steals) with a year that might have been even better: .329/.429/.671 with 40 homers, 97 RBIs and 30 stolen bases.
Last season, the Brewers outfielder likely would have become the first player in MLB history to smash 50 homers with 30+ stolen bases if he didn’t miss the final 18 games with a fractured right kneecap.
YOUNG STARS IN THE MIX
If it wasn’t for all the hysteria and hoopla around the Betts trade, Ronald Acuña Jr. (+600) would likely be the favorite for NL MVP. After bursting onto the scene in his 2018 NL Rookie of the Year campaign, the Braves outfielder took it to another level in 2019, hitting .280 with 41 homers, 101 RBIs and league-leading totals in runs (127) and steals (37).
Still only 22 years old with loads of room to improve, expect Acuña to become the first player since 2006 to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases.
The Nationals’ outfield returns intact this year, and that’s a very good thing. Check out some of the elite company Juan Soto and Victor Robles have already put themselves in: https://t.co/Rff2mXNB1p
— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) February 7, 2020
Despite an injury-riddled rookie season, Fernando Tatis Jr. (+1200) still finished third in Rookie of the Year voting after hitting .317/.379/.590 in 84 games. His .969 on-base plus slugging percentage was the 2nd-highest by an NL rookie in the expansion era, so if the 21-year-old Padres shortstop can stay healthy, the sky is the limit.
Any list of NL MVP contenders would be incomplete without the breakout star of last year’s postseason, Juan Soto (+1200). Giving off vibes of a young Miguel Cabrera, a man who once won back-to-back AL MVPs, the 21-year-old has been nothing short of incredible through his first two big-league seasons.
While his 2019 numbers (.282/.401/.548 with 34 homers and 110 RBIs) didn’t represent a huge leap from his rookie season, you can be certain that his best is yet to come.
Along with Acuña, the Nationals’ left fielder is the most logical successor to Trout as the best player in all of baseball.
Best Bet: Juan Soto (+1200)