National League MVP odds 2024: Ronald Acuna tops betting boards, followed by multiple Dodgers

For the second straight year, the Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts are listed as the top favorites by online sports betting sites to be voted Major League Baseball’s National League MVP in 2024.

And that’s how they finished last year, with Acuna literally running away with the award by having 73 steals to go with 41 homers and becoming the fifth member of MLB’s 40/40 club. He also wound up as the founding member of the 40/50 club.

Acuna pulled away in September to become the first unanimous winner of the NL award since 2015 when Bryce Harper, then with Washington, got the first of his two trophies.

Behind Acuna and Betts on the NL boards is the Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani, who was the unanimous MVP choice in the American League last season while with the L.A. Angels. He joined the defending NL West champions during free agency.

Yet another Dodger is in the top four on the betting boards, first baseman Freddie Freeman, who had the third best batting average in the league in 2023.

And just like when looking over odds of Cy Young contenders, don’t disregard long shots — even deep into the season.

In early August, Betts was available at +6000 at DraftKings before going on a 19-game tear and becoming the odds-on choice for a short while.

Odds to Win 2024 National League MVP

Here is a partial list of updated 2024 NL MVP odds at the best online sportsbooks.

More: MLB Betting Sites & Apps | Latest MLB Betting Lines & Odds | What are futures odds?

A closer look at 2024 NL MVP favorites

Ronald Acuna Jr., OF (2023: .337 BA, 41 HRs, 106 RBIs, 73 steals), Atlanta : He contributed mightily to a Braves team that won a Major League-best 104 games last season and scored more runs than any team the past 16 seasons.

He’s the real deal.

Three seasons ago, though, even Acuna probably didn’t see himself blossoming in such grand fashion. In mid-July of 2021 he suffered a torn ACL in his right knee and missed out on the Braves’ run to the world title.

During his recovery period that extended into the beginning of the 2022 season, he revealed that he wondered if he’d be able to return and play as well as he had in 2019, when he hit 41 homers, drove in 101 runs and stole 37 bases. It’s apparent he came back better than ever.

In last year’s wagering, bettors jumped on Acuna from the get-go. He was available at +500 early in the preseason but by June was the odds-on choice to earn the honor.

As of Aug. 8, his odds were -1400, but in the span of two weeks he was overtaken on the oddsboards by Betts, who was having a crazy-good August, and Acuna’s odds jumped to +125. But starting in September it was all Acuna as he maintained his .337 average and hit 11 homers.

Mookie Betts, OF (2023: .307, 39 HRs, 107 RBIs, 14 steals), Los Angeles : Looking at the big picture, Betts had an outstanding season as his numbers indicate. And his unmatched Wins Against Replacement number of 8.4 speaks volumes.

But he was wildly inconsistent and that makes him a dicey MVP choice for bettors. 

For instance, he finished last April with a .235 batting average that he slowly built up to .277 through July. And then from Aug. 11-31 he was stupendous, getting at least two hits in 14 of 19 games in that span and hitting .521 with seven home runs. That’s when he became the darling of MVP voters.

But once the calendar flipped to September he batted only .241 the rest of the way and hit just one homer in 25 games. And then he went 0-for-11 at the plate in the playoffs. 

So, bettors, beware. There are many other Dodgers that can well steal his thunder, such as…

Shohei Ohtani, DH (2023: .304, 44 HRs, 95 RBIs; 10-5 pitching record, 3.14 ERA), Los Angeles : Unlike last year when he was a two-way star for the Angels, this year Ohtani will be strictly a designated hitter as he recovers from elbow surgery in September.

His hitting numbers were somewhat low considering the early pace he was on, but that’s largely because in early September he suffered an oblique strain that resulted in him sitting out the last four weeks of the season for the going-nowhere Halos.

This year, though, his doctor said there should be no restrictions on his ability to hit. And there have been early reports out of training camp that he’s already been knocking the ball out of sight.

His chances of getting the MVP could well hinge on whether he’s upstaged by a teammate since that L.A. lineup is loaded.

Freddie Freeman, 1B (2023: .331, 29 HRs, 102 RBIs, 23 steals), Los Angeles : This guy deserves to get the Charlie Hustle II moniker with how he runs the bases, with a league-best 59 doubles and also those 23 stolen bases. 

His MVP odds got as short as +400 in mid-August in 2023, but he fell out of favor with bettors at that point with the surge of Betts and with Acuna’s steady play.

That plunge coincided with a power outage that saw him hit only three homers in a 44-game span late in the season. But he still finished third in the voting so that’s good news for the future.

Matt Olson, 1B (2023: .283, 54 HRs, 139 RBIs), Atlanta : What does this guy have to do to be named MVP? He led the majors in homers, seven more than anyone else, and had an MLB-best 139 runs batted in, which was 21 more than the second-place guy.

And his batting average wasn’t bad, either.

But it’s been clear over the past 10 seasons that voters haven’t been swayed by such power numbers, for he’s the fifth player in that time frame to be at least tied for most homers and RBIs in the NL and not get the MVP honor.

Maybe if he hit 60 homers. Or maybe if he batted .300. Or maybe if he didn’t have just one stolen base.

In the meantime, he’ll just have to be content as the only member of last season’s 54/1 club.

Longer shots to win 2024 NL MVP

Luis Arraez, 2B (223: .354, 10 HRs, 69 RBIs), Miami : For most players, hitting better than .350 would be worthy of some champagne popping. But probably not for Arraez, who at one point late last June was hitting .402 and coming off three recent five-hit outings in a 12-game span.

But as the season wore on his production suffered. At one point in late August there was a 13-game stretch in which he batted .196 and didn’t have more than one hit in any game.

Still, this guy isn’t a fluke. A year earlier he hit .316 for Minnesota.

Elly De La Cruz, SS/3B (2023: .235, 13 HRs, 44 RBIs, 35 steals in 98 games), Cincinnati : De La Cruz, who turned 22 last month, was the talk of the league last year after he made his major league debut June 6.

Cincinnati had been mired 5.5 games out of first in the Central Division the morning of his first game and promptly went on a 22-6 run and took a two-game lead. 

De La Cruz hit .325 in that surge, but then foes apparently found holes in his swing and his average nose-dived the rest of the way as the Reds eventually fell out of playoff contention. And you can’t steal bases if you’re not on base.

But if he can scrape some of the warts off his game while playing for an up-and-coming team, more good stuff can happen.

Spencer Strider, SP (2023: 20-5, 3.86 ERA), Atlanta : Why not take the player who earned three more victories than any other pitcher last season and is the favorite to win the NL Cy Young this season?

His league-best 13.9 strikeouts per nine innings makes him extra special.

L.A. pitcher Clayton Kershaw won the award 10 years ago, so that proves you don’t have to be a big hitter to get the votes. 

NL MVP odds FAQ

When was the last time an MVP winner did not have at least half of the first-place votes?

In 2017, Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton received just 10 of 30 first- place votes, the same number as runner-up Joey Votto of Cincinnati. 

Who was the only MVP in history who had more stolen bases than Acuna had last season?

It occurred in 1962 when Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills had 104 steals.

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