Can you feel it baseball fans? MLB Opening Day is right around the corner as the boys of summer are only two days away from first pitch! With the start of a fresh campaign in the works, which standout names in the National League have the best odds to win the 2023 NL MVP? Without further ado, let’s take a look at our MLB Odds series where our 2023 National league MVP prediction and pick will be unveiled.
A year ago, plenty of NL studs were more than worthy of taking home MVP honors, but St. Louis Cardinals first-baseman Paul Goldschmidt was ultimately the most deserving candidate as he took home the hardware with a .317 average, 35 home runs, and 115 RBIS driven in. Without a doubt, this award has stood the test of time over the years with so many legendary names taking home the MVP. With that being said, who will be next to etch their name in the history books and call themselves the top player of the National League in 2023?
Here are the MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: 2023 National League MVP Odds
Juan Soto: +550
Mookie Betts: +950
Ronald Acuna Jr.: +1000
Fernando Tatis Jr.: +1000
Trea Turner: +1100
Why Juan Soto Could Win NL MVP
One of the more premier hitters that exist in today’s game, Juan Soto’s first year in 2022 as a San Diego Padre was anything but smooth, as the former Washington National took a while to adjust to the dense wind blowing in from the ocean at pitcher-friendly Petco Park. After slashing only .247 and hitting an underwhelming 27 home runs for his standards in 2022, “Childish Bambino” should be expected to endure a bounce-back season in the heart of a dangerous San Diego lineup.
Remember, it was only three years ago when Soto burst onto the scene as a youthful 21-year-old when he raked opposing pitching for a .282 average to go along with 95 RBIs en route to a Washington Nationals World Series championship. Believe it or not, there is a hunch that Soto’s ability hasn’t even reached its max potential at the age of 24. Not to mention, but now that he will serve as the main superstar on a contending San Diego Padres squad, it certainly begins to make sense why Soto could take home the NL MVP hardware by season’s end.
Why Mookie Betts Could Win NL MVP
Outside of maybe Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts is the star of the show in Hollywood and will no doubt provide plenty of fireworks and highlight reels at Dodger Stadium this season. Known for his uncanny athletic ability, blazing speed, and his all-around hitting ability that helps him make contact while displaying tremendous power at the plate, it is hard to pick out a weakness in Betts’ overall game.
After finishing fifth in last year’s MVP voting with 154 votes, there is no question that Los Angeles will be counting on Betts even more in 2023 after a handful of longtime Dodgers left the team in free agency. For starters, Betts is about as consistent as they come in the MVP race, as he is among the names of MVP candidates annually since his first year in the league back in 2014. Although the Dodgers lineup won’t be as dominant as in the past, Betts will certainly have his chances to replicate his career-high 35 home runs from last season in an attempt to win MVP for the first time since he won it in Boston five years ago.
Why Ronald Acuna Jr. Could Win NL MVP
Without a doubt, Atlanta Braves right-fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is eager to put last season behind him and remind the baseball world just how lethal he can be out on the diamond. Of course, 2022 wasn’t kind to the 25-year-old outfielder, as injuries forced Acuna Jr. to miss out on 43 games. In fact, if there is one area of concern for Acuna Jr and his MVP chances, it is the fact that he hasn’t been close to 100% with his health since the 2019 season, as he has missed more than 150 games over the last few seasons.
Nevertheless, rumors around Spring Training and the Braves camp is that Acuna Jr is more than “motivated” to take that next step into being a legitimate MVP threat in the National League. Clearly, if this young Atlanta stud can get healthy and return to the type of play that he exhibited only a couple of seasons ago, then Acuna Jr could definitely have what it takes to become the first Atlanta Brave to win the award since 1999 when Chipper Jones won the National League MVP.
Why Fernando Tatis Jr. Could Win NL MVP
Last and certainly not least, the troubled but extremely talented San Diego shortstop is possibly the biggest wildcard when it comes to capturing NL MVP honors. Of course, Tatis Jr. made a name for himself when he came onto the scene as one of the top, young superstars to grace an MLB diamond as he erupted for a league-leading 42 home runs at his middle-infielder position. However, he has had difficulties in staying on the field.
After breaking a bone in his hand prior to the start of the 2022 season, he shortly after was famously suspended for violating the MLB PED policy which resulted in him being suspended 80 games in August of 2022. The downside of picking Tatis Jr. to win the Most Valuable Player is that he is scheduled to miss the first 23 games of the 2023 season as well to complete his suspension sentence. Regardless of not being able to suit up for play very often over the last couple of years, let’s not forget how dynamic of a player Tatis Jr is. A five-tool player that can do it all on the field, there are very few players around the league that can match up with the Padres’ shortstop from a pure talent perspective.
Final 2023 National League MVP Prediction & Pick
This could be the year where the San Diego Padres make a push at being the best team in not only the National League but in all of baseball. If this happens, then it is hard not to imagine Juan Soto winning his first-ever NL MVP award in 2023.
Final 2023 National League MVP Prediction & Pick: Juan Soto +550