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National League Most Valuable Player top picks & best odds | MLB

In an amazing second half performance, the Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper took home National League Most Valuable Player award a season ago. Harper was having a quite the start to the season until being hit in the face by a 97 mile per hour fastball from Cardinals left hander Génesis Cabrera. Harper avoided spending time on the Injured list, but this scary series of events affected him for the next couple of weeks.

Harper struggled to get comfortable in the batter’s box after the hit by pitch, it wasn’t until after the All Star break that Harper really forced his name into the discussion for the MVP award in the NL.

In the second half last year, Harper hit 20 home runs, had a slash line of .338/.476/.713, and owned an MLB best 1.188 OPS. In layman’s terms, Harper was the best player in the world from the All Star break on. After taking home MVP honors for the second time in his 10-year major league career, Harper will look to repeat but the reigning MVP isn’t favored.

Favorites for the MLB 2022 Nation League MVP

  • Juan Soto, Washington Nationals +360
  • Ronald Acuna Jr, Atlanta Braves +700
  • Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers +850
  • Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers +1200
  • Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies +1200
  • Trea Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers +1600
  • All odds for 2022 NL MVP at: Bovada

    Juan Soto

    Entering his age 23 season, Soto has already established himself as one of the top hitters in the game, if not the very best. Soto seems to be the perfect combination of hitting for power and average as well as getting on base. Soto drove in 95 runs, hit 29 home runs, and led the National League in walks with 145, all of this after his slowest start to the season in his career. The only issue here would be that Soto doesn’t seem to have very much protection on a Nationals team that is projected to finish last in the NL East. Soto will also face some of the league’s best arms as Jacob DeGrom, Max Scherzer, Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Max Fried, Ian Anderson and Sandy Alcantara all call the NL East home.

    None of that should matter though, if there is any player that is going to thrive despite the circumstances around him it would be Soto. The National’s right fielder looks to be in line for a huge pay raise soon, and winning an MVP would certainly increase that number. The NL MVP runner up from last season has every right to be favored this season as he will only get better with age.

    Juan Soto NL MVP


    Ronald Acuna Jr.

    After missing time with an ACL tear last season, it seems like all signs are pointing to Acuna being back and better than ever. Acuna is right there with Soto as the best hitters in the game at the age of 24 but Acuna has the protection in the lineup that Soto is lacking. With hitters like Matt Olson, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, and Austin Riley in the lineup, Acuna is not the only hitter that opposing pitchers have to worry about when facing the Braves offense. Even after losing Freeman in free agency, the Braves look to have one of the best lineups in all of baseball but the same argument can be made that there are some serious pitchers in the NL East capable of shutting down any lineup they face.

    It truly is a toss up between Acuna and Soto, they are the reason why baseball is fun. However, Acuna’s team just won a World Series and they are favored to yet again win the NL East. The fact that the Braves will play meaningful baseball late in the season gives Acuna the edge in our book. Acuna at +700 is our favorite bet on the board.

    Ronald Acuna Jr. NL MVP


    Mookie Betts

    Betts is the first of the bunch to have won this award before and will now look to win the award in the NL. Since coming up in 2014 with the Boston Red Sox, Betts has always found himself right in the middle of the MVP discussion. In his career, Betts has received MVP votes in six of the eight years. With the game’s recent infusion of young talent, like Soto and Acuna, Betts hasn’t been talked about nearly as much since joining the Dodgers in 2020. Surely, this has more to do with Betts being on the west coast as he is putting up similar if not better stats since the trade.

    Manager Dave Roberts guaranteed the Dodgers will be winning the World Series this year and Betts will hit at the top of the most lethal lineup in recent history as they look to win their second World Series in three years.

    Mookie Betts NL MVP


    Freddie Freeman

    Freeman is the newest Dodger after signing a big 6-year $162 million deal to leave Atlanta this winter. At the age of 32, he is the oldest in the top six but has as good of a chance as any. Freeman is a five time All Star, three time Silver Slugger and one time MVP, and if the past has shown us anything it’s that Freeman deserves every bit of the big deal that he received this offseason.

    Last year, Freeman hit in the middle of one of the deepest lineups in the NL and led the majors in runs scored with 120. Somehow, Freeman has put himself in a better lineup with more chances to drive in and score runs this season. On top of being the best pure hitter in a loaded Dodgers lineup, Freeman plays perhaps the best first base in the MLB and should make a good defensive team better.

    Freddie Freeman NL MVP


    Bryce Harper

    It’s interesting that Harper is so far down on this list. We already discussed all the stats that Harper put up a season ago, but let’s remember that Harper did all that damage in a lineup that consisted of him and a bunch of uncertainties. The players tasked with providing protection for Harper were Rhys Hoskins and JT Realmuto, both had down years. Hoskins played in just 107 games last season and was pretty average when he was out there. Realmuto on the other hand endured a tough 2021 campaign and had no business hitting in the cleanup spot behind Harper. Combine that with Didi Gregorius and Andrew McCutchen’s struggles, the Phillies lineup had a ton of glaring holes that hurt Harper’s production.

    None of this phased Harper though, who is now in the midst of his prime at the age of 29. The Phillies added some help in Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos this offseason and all of a sudden the Phillies lineup looks scary again. While Harper will still be the focal point, he should get more balls to hit this year with Hoskins in front of him and Castellanos behind him. If the Phillies find themselves in a playoff push, which they should, Harper will be a big part of that. Harper to repeat at +1200 seems like the best long shot there is.

    Bryce Harper NL MVP


    Trea Turner

    Are you noticing a theme here? The Dodgers have three of the top six best odds to win the NL MVP. Turner joined the Dodgers last year at the trade deadline, and unlike any other player mentioned above, Turner impacts the game with more than just his bat. Turner is the most dynamic player in the league and has proven that time and time again. He has speed like no other and with players like Betts, Freeman, Max Muncy, and Will Smith hitting behind him, there is a chance Turner scores a lot of the Dodgers runs this upcoming season.

    Should Turner have a season like his 2021 season where he batted .318 with 195 hits and a career high 32 stolen bases, there is a strong chance Turner will be in the top three of MVP voting this season. +1600 odds might be worth taking.

    Trea Turner NL MVP


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