2021 NL MVP Futures: Crowded Race After Fernando Tatis Jr. Injury

  • BetOnline‘s updated NL MVP odds still favor Fernando Tatis Jr. (-150) to become the first Padre to win the honor since Ken Caminiti in 1996
  • Max Muncy (+400) and Trea Turner (+425) have both put up huge numbers for the Dodgers this season
  • Juan Soto (+1200) has been red-hot since the MLB All-Star break but his Nationals are in full rebuild mode

The National League MVP race is beginning to look a lot like the one that just unfolded in the NBA with star after star going down throughout the regular season.

With Jacob deGrom and Ronald Acuña Jr. already on the shelf, it was announced last week that Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. could be shutdown for the rest of the year with a partially dislocated right shoulder.

Let’s look at the latest NL MVP odds and asses the carnage. You can also refer to our MLB 2021 betting guide for further baseball betting tips and advice with the World Series now under three months away.

NL MVP Winner

Fernando Tatis Jr.-150
Max Muncy+400
Trea Turner+425
Freddie Freeman+700
Juan Soto+1200
Jacob deGrom+2500
Nicholas Castellanos+3300
Brandon Crawford+4000
Manny Machado+4000

Tatis Jr. still the favorite

Fernando Tatis Jr. remains a heavy -150 favorite to win NL MVP, suggesting that oddsmakers don’t believe the 22-year-old will opt for season-ending surgery after hurting his left shoulder for the third time this year. At the time of his injury, the Padres phenom was batting .290 with an NL-best 31 home runs, 70 RBIs (third in the NL), 23 stolen bases, 78 runs scored and a .650 slugging percentage.

If Tatis Jr. stays out for the season, the door would be wide open for one of two Dodgers, Max Muncy (+400) or Trea Turner (+425). Turner’s on pace to be the first member of the 30-30 club since Mookie Betts and José Ramírez in 2018 (when Betts won AL MVP and Ramírez placed third), but no player traded in midseason has ever won MVP. Meanwhile, Muncy is third in on-base percentage, fifth in slugging, and on pace to top 30 homers and 100 RBIs.

Reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman (+700) sits fourth on the board. While his numbers aren’t award-worthy, the Braves first baseman will have a great narrative if he can lead Atlanta to another division title after the losses of three Silver Sluggers in Acuña, Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud,

Fernando Tatis Jr.to win NL MVP
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Max Muncyto win NL MVP
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NL MVP longshots

Juan Soto (+1200) may have won his first MVP last year if he didn’t test positive for COVID-19 and now factors outside of his control are conspiring against him again. The left-fielder’s Nationals are in full-blown tank mode, which will mean more intentional walks and less votes coming his way. Which is a shame because the 22-year-old’s .427 on-base percentage leads the majors and his slash line since the All-Star break (.357/.500/.714) is incredible.

While Jacob deGrom (+2500) might have an outside shot at the NL Cy Young if he can return in September, there’s no way he wins NL MVP. Despite boasting the highest slugging percentage (.576) in the NL minus Acuña or Tatis, Nick Castellanos (+3300) can also be counted out due to his struggles in the field. Then there’s Manny Machado (+4000), who would have narrative working in his favor if he could carry the Padres to the NL West title without Tatis Jr. – but that seems unlikely.

Trea Turnerto win NL MVP
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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on delicious eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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