Opening NL MVP Odds See Betts, Soto as Cofavorites

Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts swings at a pitch

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts has seen his odds to win the 2020 NL MVP award improve steadily over the last week. Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire.

  • Two outfielders – Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals – are +750 cofavorites to win the 2021 NL MVP Award
  • Betts was named the AL MVP in 2018
  • Reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves is opening at a betting line of +1200

When seeking to decipher who will be the 2021 NL MVP, there are noticeable trends that jump off the page.

For starters, the last 11 winners of the award were all first-time recipients. There hasn’t been a repeat MVP in the National League since Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals won back-to-back in 2008-09.

On the other hand, the last first-time winner to repeat the honor was a member of the Atlanta Braves, Dale Murphy in 1982-83. Could that bode well for Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, the reigning MVP?

The oddsmakers don’t see it that way. In the opening line for the 2021 NL MVP, it’s two outfielders who are listing as co-favorites . That would be Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts and Washington Nationals leftfielder Juan Soto. Both open at +750 in the 2021 NL MVP odds.

2021 NL MVP Odds

Player (Team) Odds
Mookie Betts (Dodgers) +750
Juan Soto (Nationals) +750
Cody Bellinger (Dodgers) +800
Fernando Tatis Jr (Padres) +850
Ronald Acuna (Braves) +1000
Nolan Arenado (Cardinals) +1200
Freddie Freeman (Braves) +1200
Francisco Lindor (Mets) +1200
Christian Yelich (Brewers) +1200
Bryce Harper (Phillies) +1500
Corey Seager (Dodgers) +1500
Manny Machado (Padres) +2200
Trevor Story (Rockies) +2500
Ozzie Albies (Braves) +3000
Kris Bryant (Cubs) +3000
Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks) +3000
JT Realmuto (Phillies) +3000
Anthony Rizzo (Cubs) +3000
Pete Alonso (Mets) +3300
Javier Baez (Cubs) +3300
Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals) +3300
Michael Conforto (Mets) +4000
Ian Happ (Cubs) +4000
Rhys Hoskins (Phillies) +4000
Max Muncy (Dodgers) +4000
Charlie Blackmon (Rockies) +5000
Alec Bohm (Phillies) +5000
Paul DeJong (Cardinals) +5000
Trent Grisham (Padres) +5000
Jeff McNeil (Mets) +5000
Eugenio Suarez (Reds) +5000
Trea Turner (Nationals) +5000
Ke’Bran Hayes (Pirates) +7500
Gavin Lux (Dodgers) +7500
Tommy Pham (Cardinals) +7500
Mike Yastrzemski (Giants) +7500
Josh Bell (Nationals) +10000
Nicholas Castellanos (Reds) +10000
Willson Contreras (Cubs) +10000
Mike Moustakas (Reds) +10000

Odds as of Feb. 12th at DraftKings.

Neither Soto nor Betts has ever won the NL MVP Award.

The Best Betts?

Betts is considered by many to be the best all-around player in baseball today. There’s sound reasoning backing the basis for that assessment.

In 2018, when he won the AL MVP with the Boston Red Sox, Betts became the first player in MLB history to win the MVP, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, batting title, and World Series in the same season.

Last season, Betts posted the best WAR (3.6) in the NL. He was sixth in offensive WAR (2.6) and seventh in defensive WAR (0.8). Betts and Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres were the only players to crack the top 10 in both categories.

Only one player has earned MVP honors in both the NL and AL. That was Frank Robinson.

Is He The Juan?

Checking the offensive leaderboards for the 2020 NL season, Soto’s name shows up atop more categories than any other player.

He was the leader in batting average (.351), on-base percentage (.490), slugging (.695), OPS (1.185), and offensive winning percentage (.880).

The respect the league has for Soto is evident by the fact that he was issued a league-leading 12 intentional walks.

Only Freeman (3.2) showed a better offensive WAR than Soto (3.1).

Seeking Sleepers

The chalk doesn’t always write the story in the MVP race. Last season, Freeman’s opening odds were +2500.

Nolan Arenado (+1200) led the NL in defensive WAR (1.7) last season. If his presence in the heart of their lineup propels the St. Louis Cardinals to a division title, he could be worth a play.

Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna (+1000) contributes significantly in just about every category. The last time teammates won back-to-back NL MVPs was Philly’s Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins (2006-07).

Best Bet: Mookie Betts (+750)

Robert Duff



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