We're coming up on the midpoint of August and it looks like there may only be one player who can catch Ronald Acuna Jr. in the NL MVP race.
The latest: Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts are as productive as ever, earning +350 and +800 odds, respectively. But Acuna is still a -500 favourite, so it's an uphill battle, to say the least.
Let's take a look at the current NL MVP odds.
NL MVP odds
Check out the latest odds to win NL MVP. Click linked odds to add selection to your betslip.
|Player||Odds (Aug. 25)||Odds (Aug. 13)||Odds (preseason)|
|Ronald Acuna Jr.||-500||-500||+850|
Best NL MVP odds
The favourite: Ronald Acuna Jr. (-500)
Many hoped that Acuna would emerge from his ACL injury as dangerous as ever in 2022 and that unfortunately didn't come to pass.
He still turned in an all-star campaign, but his 114 OPS+ over 119 games didn't put him on anybody's MVP radar.
Acuna is more than on the radar now, though, as a healthy right knee has helped him swipe an MLB-high 58 bases, score an MLB-high 113 runs and post an MLB-high on-base percentage (.419) entering play on Aug. 25.
According to Baseball Savant, Acuna ranks in the 100th percentile in xBA (.348) and xwOBA (.451). In many respects, he's in a league of his own this year.
Other NL MVP choices
Best value: Mookie Betts (+350)
Betts is no stranger to posting up on the MVP ballot, as the one-time winner has also been a runner-up twice and finished inside the top 10 three other times.
He'll almost certainly find himself up near the top again, thanks to a hearty .310/.405/.605 slash line through 120 games.
This month has been otherworldly for Betts, who has a 1.334 OPS in 21 games. His 12-game active hit streak includes nine multi-hit performances.
We're no longer skeptical that the outfielder has what it takes to catch Acuna. The odds may suggest he's still a long way back, but this is an MVP-grade heater he's currently on.
Player to watch: Freddie Freeman (+800)
Freeman is having the type of season that could be MVP-worthy in a different year. But we're not expecting him to push past the stars in front of him.
The first baseman leads the NL in total bases (288) and doubles (47) and is just off the lead in runs, hits, batting average and on-base percentage. He has a lot of the statistical markers you'd want in an award winner.
What he doesn't have is much speed, so he doesn't bring value to his game in that way like Acuna. And as a first baseman, he doesn't have the same opportunity for defensive value as Acuna or Betts. Based on Baseball Reference's measurement of WAR, Betts is actually leading the way (6.9), while Acuna is second (6.4) and Freeman is fourth (5.5).