Braves: The best long shot bet to win NL MVP

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Alex recently wrote about how Ronald Acuña is among the favorites to win the NL MVP award, sitting around +1200, depending on where you look. That’s a pretty good bet. When Acuña is right, he is undoubtedly a top-three player in the National League, but he’s not the only Braves player that could be in the running.

Atlanta has three players sitting within the top-12 best odds to win the NL MVP. Austin Riley is next at +1500. Considering he’s been in the thick of the race in each of the last two seasons, he might be even more likely to win it than Ronald Acuña. Matt Olson comes after that at +2200, which is sneaky if you believe the pressure of filling the shoes of Freddie Freeman is off his shoulders. I still think he could potentially blast 50 home runs in a season at Truist Park with the short porch in right field.

However, without question — in my opinion — the best bet on the entire board for NL MVP is Michael Harris II. He may only be 22 years old, but he proved last season that age is just a number. Over 114 games, he produced 5.3 WAR, hitting nearly .300 with 19 homers and 20 stolen bases, all while playing Gold Glove caliber defense in center field. Had he played the entire season, he might have finished with the most WAR in the entire National League, which goes a long way in NL MVP voting.

Harris II should be the favorite to win the Gold Glove in 2022, and if his offense keeps up, there’s a very good chance that he’s the most productive player on a Braves team that could end up with the best record in the National League. If you don’t believe Harris’ rookie season was a fluke, he should be a 30/30 candidate. Add in the fact that he’s also a really likable player, and there is a perfect recipe here for an MVP campaign.

I’m not saying Michael Harris II is the most likely candidate, but at 75/1 on some books, there isn’t a better bet out there in terms of value. He could very easily be in the running, which is all you can ask for when talking about a bet with such long odds.

Photo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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