National League MVP Odds 2023: Ronald Acuna Jr. and Mookie Betts headline a 2-Man Race to the Wire

With only two and a half weeks remaining in the Major League Baseball season, it sure looks like the honor of being the National League’s MVP will go to either Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. or the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts, also a right fielder.

Acuna, who has been atop the oddsboards virtually all season at DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, PointsBet, and Caesars, among others, is the odds-on choice to win the award for the first time in his career.

Betts, who took home the AL award in 2018 while with the world-champion Boston Red Sox, is not all that far behind, according to the betting sites.

There are also a handful of players who are having great seasons yet not getting much action on the boards, such as LA first baseman Freddie Freeman, winner of the NL honor in 2020, and Braves first baseman Matt Olson, the runaway MLB leader in homers and RBIs.

Others still listed on betting sites are Miami second baseman Luis Arraez, MLB’s batting leader, and two-time NL MVP Bryce Harper of Philadelphia, alternating between first base and being the DH.

Let’s take a look at our National League MVP odds.

Odds for National League Most Valuable Player 2023


Favorites to Win National League MVP in 2023

Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves, -700 (DraftKings)

Two weeks ago, Acuna hit his 30th homer to become the only member of the 30-home run/60 steals club in league history. But it still didn’t temporarily keep him from dropping behind Betts on MVP oddsboards.

But Acuna has continued his assault on the record books and likely soon will be the founding member of the 40-homer, 70-steal club. No one has had that many swipes in a season since Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury in 2009. But he hit only eight HRs.

Acuna’s batting average of .335 is third-best in the league, with 97 RBIs. And his arm in the outfield is well-respected.

His season has been even more remarkable considering that in mid-July of 2021, he suffered an ACL tear in his right knee and missed the chance to be a part of the Braves’ run to the World Series title.

Perhaps what’s unflattering about his game is his reluctance to run out ground-ball outs and routine flies, as pointed out by Philadelphia radio voices early this week. As they said, it’s not a good look.

Regardless, the numbers speak for themselves.  But now, though, is not the time to wager on Acuna. That should have been done in late August when his odds were north of even money.

Mookie Betts, Dodgers, +475 (FanDuel)

Betts’ odds have fluctuated wildly this season, especially in the past month. 

On Aug. 14, he was available at +6000 at DraftKings and only 13 days later was listed at -130 at the betting site. That coincided with Betts having an 18-game stretch in which he had two-plus hits in 14 outings. In that span, his batting average soared from .283 to .317.

But he’s struggled mightily in September, hitting .226 with only one homer and five runs batted in. And four of those RBIs came in one game. His average is down to .312, but he’s fifth in the major with 39 homers to go with 97 RBIs.

What sets him apart, though, is his WAR of 8.1, tops in the majors and said to be one of the stats voters heavily emphasize. Acuna is second at 7.4

Bettors probably would be wise to steer clear of Betts, especially those who blew a chance to jump on his bandwagon at +6000 not long ago.

Wagering on him now would be like betting on the Baltimore Orioles to win the World Series at +850 (FanDuel) when you could have had them at +10000 (also FanDuel) the day before the season commenced.

Freddie Freeman, Dodgers, +6600 (BetMGM)

Freeman does have the league’s second-best batting average at .337. But with only 26 homers and 93 RBIs, his numbers are no match for Acuna’s.

On the plus side, he had his fifth four-hit game of the season on Tuesday in a rout of San Diego, including a homer. But that long ball was his first and only one in September.

His MVP odds got as short as +400 on Aug. 13 but have lengthened since. It seems way too late in the season to give him any hope. Surprisingly, his odds aren’t considerably longer, such as the numbers for the next guy on this list.

Matt Olson, Braves, +20000 (Multiple Sites)

It remains hard to comprehend that a player can have the most homers and RBIs in baseball and not have odds near what Acuna and Betts have.

Olson set a Braves record with his 51st homer of the season, which is seven clear of any other major leaguer. His 128 RBIs are 20 more than the next guy. He’s even hitting .279, not bad for such a heavy hitter.

But there is precedent for being overlooked despite such slugging prowess.

Two seasons ago, Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez tied for the MLB lead with 48 homers. And no one matched his 121 RBIs. But when it came time to tally the AL MVP votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America he finished seventh.

Perhaps if Olson can go berserk at the plate the final 16 games and reach 60 homers he’d be worth a bet. But not now.

More Long Shots to Still on the Board

Bryce Harper, Phillies +20000

Harper, who won the MVP award in 2015 with Washington and two seasons ago with the Phillies, is likely on oddboards because of his reputation, which includes being the NL Championship Series MVP for the pennant-winning Phillies in 2022.

But his season didn’t even start till May 2 after recovering from off-season elbow surgery, which is a reason for his pedestrian numbers of 17 homers, 61 RBIs, and a .295 average.

After hitting 10 homers in August with a .361 average, he’s flamed out in September with a .182 average and two long balls.

Don’t even think about making a bet here even if you’re a Phillies fan.

The season probably can’t end soon enough for Arraez, who has seen his average dip from .402 in late June to his current .349. It’s still a great performance, but not MVP-caliber, considering he doesn’t hit for power and has only seven home runs.

Avert your eyes when you see his name on the oddsboards. Even if he were to get a hit in his next 35 at-bats, he still wouldn’t be a .400 hitter that would catch the voters’ eyes.

2023 NL MVP Odds – FAQs

Who was the only player to win the award and have a batting average of .400-plus?

  • The St. Louis Cardinals’ Rogers Hornsby at .403 in 1925.

When did the AL and NL MVPs last meet in that season’s World Series?

  • In 2012, Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera went up against San Francisco’s Buster Posey.

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