MLB betting: Ronald Acuña Jr. is new NL MVP favorite, and he has a chance to run away with the award

Frank Schwab
·3-min read

Nobody can win an MVP award in two weeks. But it's hard to ignore what Ronald Acuña Jr. has done so far. 

The Atlanta Braves outfielder looks like he's making a significant leap, and he was already among the best players in baseball. Acuña is hitting .447. He leads the league with six homers. His OPS is an otherworldly 1.500. He hit two more home runs on Wednesday night against the Miami Marlins. 

Acuña obviously can't continue this pace. Nobody can. But it's hard to deny that after just two weeks he looks like he can have a historic season, even if his MVP odds at BetMGM haven't moved much yet. 

Ronald Acuña Jr. is favored to win MVP

Acuña is the favorite to win NL MVP at BetMGM. His odds of +600 don't come close to Mike Trout range, however. Trout is the AL MVP favorite at +200. 

It wouldn't be a surprise to see Acuña get to that range relatively soon. 

The National League is a bit deeper in MVP candidates than the American League, which could keep Acuña's odds at a reasonable range for a while. But San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., one of the preseason favorites, has dropped to +2000 due to a shoulder injury that put him on the injured list, and the odds on him probably should be even higher. That helps clear a path for Acuña. Juan Soto and Mookie Betts are each +750 to win MVP, and they're the only contenders lower than +1100 as of Thursday. 

Acuña opened at +800 odds and has dipped slightly. Of all the tickets written on NL MVP at BetMGM, Acuña accounts for 10.6 percent of them (Soto is the only one higher at 13.6 percent). Acuña accounts for 23.2 percent of the money bet on NL MVP, which barely edges Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager for the top spot in that category. 

The Dodgers will produce so many runs (and headlines) that all of their top players will put up counting stats to keep them in the conversation. Soto is similarly talented to Acuña and can also put up a monster season. 

But if you want an MVP future bet on Acuña, it might not be the worst idea to bet him now. 

Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. celebrates a homer run against Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
The Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. celebrates a homer run against Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Acuña has had many highlights already

There's no stat for exciting plays, but let's not act like it doesn't matter in MVP balloting either. 

Acuña beating out this easy grounder to shortstop is something you might not see again this season from a right-handed hitter (unless Acuña does it again). 

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Or how about tagging up and scoring on a pop up that was caught by the second baseman. 

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Acuña's fired-up reaction to his home runs probably breaks all of baseball's unwritten rules, but most fans actually enjoy seeing a player do great things and get excited for them. 

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Acuña, who is just 23 years old, got off to a rough start last season before rebounding to post another fine season. There's no slow start this season. Acuña has taken over as NL MVP favorite and he might not give up that spot the rest of the season. 

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