The National League is a far more open race for MVP. The three guys at the top of this list have all won the award in the last two seasons, with Mookie Betts winning it in the American League. So which guys make for the best bets to win it again in 2020?
Odds to win N.L. MVP
- Mookie Betts +600
- Christian Yelich +700
- Cody Bellinger +700
- Juan Soto +900
- Ronald Acuna, Jr +1000
- Nolan Arenado +1600
- Freddie Freeman +2000
- Bryce Harper +2200
- Fernando Tatis, Jr +2500
Mookie Betts – Los Angeles Dodgers (+600)
Mookie Betts does make the move from the hitting friendly park of Fenway, to the far more pitcher friendly stadium in Chavez Ravine. But four straight gold gloves, and the possibilities of a fifth, will help cover any drop in possible production. Although in that lineup, that spotlight, and with those expected 100+ wins, production will be there, and so will votes for MVP.
Christian Yelich – Milwaukee Brewers (+700)
When Betts was traded to L.A. there was a lot of talk about how the Dodgers now had the best two players in the league. And then there was Christian Yelich, standing in Milwaukee, waving his hand, wondering if anyone remembered him.
He won the award in 2018, and was even better in 2019, but finished second behind Cody Bellinger. Last season Yelich led the lead in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging, and hit 44 home runs in just 130 games. For my money Yelich is the favorite to win again in 2020.
Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers (+700)
Not to take anything away from Bellinger’s MVP-winning season in 2019, but he won that award in April. When the calendar flipped to May he was hitting .431 with 14 home runs and an OPS of 1.397. He never hit more than 8 home runs in any other month, and he saw his monthly average dip as low as .235.
He’s only 24, and he does play gold glove defense in centerfield, but he’s not nearly as consistent as the two guys above him on this list. Bellinger of course could win the award again, but I think he’s a riskier pick than the other players with similar odds.
Juan Soto – Washington Nationals (+900)
Juan Soto plays for a contending team, he hits for power and average, shows incredible plate discipline for someone just 21 years old, and he is a cinch to get even better.
There is little doubt that at some point Soto is going to win an MVP award. Maybe a couple. And maybe he wins that first one this year. I think the young left fielder out of Santo Domingo makes for a very good bet at +900.
Ronald Acuna, Jr. – Atlanta Braves (+1000)
At just 22 we can also expect Ronald Acuna, Jr. to win an MVP at some point in his career. He has speed to go along with his power, and showed great consistency last season, getting better as the year progressed.
Mid 40s in home runs, more than 30 stolen bases, and an OPS over .900 are all realistic expectations. And if he can increase his walk total from the 70s to the 90s, he has a real shot to be the MVP.