doesn’t consider the reigning NL MVP the favorite for 2024

dkb221012006 phl vs atl

Nobody drinks the Dodger Blue Kool-Aid more than the national media, and it sticks in Braves fans’ craw.

Despite Los Angeles spending a billion dollars this offseason, Atlanta is still projected by most to finish with the best record in baseball. The Braves are better, but because they didn’t make blockbuster acquisitions or possess the Hollywood aura, they play second fiddle to their National League rivals.

It goes further than that too. Amid a historic season, Ronald Acuna Jr. had naysayers sticking Mookie Betts atop the MVP podium with more than a month left in the regular season. Acuna would go on to win the award in unanimous fashion.

The Venezuelan superstar is one more year removed from his ACL injury and breaking through on the mental side of the game. He became the first player to eclipse the 40 home run and 70 steal threshold, and it’s not crazy to think he could establish another club of his own with 50 bombs.

It’s why he’s the MVP favorite across every betting outlet for the upcoming season, but for whatever reason, is going against the grain. I don’t know if it’s to be contrarians, get clicks, or they actually believe it, but they have Mookie Betts as the top candidate to win the award in 2024.

Here’s what they said about Acuna:

2. Ronald Acuña Jr., RF, Braves

We haven’t seen a back-to-back MVP since Cabrera from 2012-13, but why not Acuña? After a record-setting season with 41 home runs and 73 stolen bases, he’s projected for another 38 homers and 56 bags in ’24. He would be the first player ever with multiple 30-50 seasons, and that projection is on the conservative side anyway, as the systems always are. Sure, the addition of Ohtani makes the NL even tougher, but there’s no reason that Acuña can’t be even better than he was last year.

Winning back-to-back MVPs is incredibly difficult, but there’s not a player in franchise history who is more talented than Ronald Acuna Jr. Of course, injuries must be considered to a certain extent, but how much?

Mookie Betts is a Hall of Famer and is deserving of praise. His ability to seamlessly shift all over the diamond without his defense falling off a cliff is spectacular. He’s also coming off an MVP-caliber season, one he wins 9 out of 10 times if it weren’t for Acuna’s historic season.

However, as long as Acuna is healthy, Betts is going to have his work cut out for him. Betts is a Hall of Famer, but if Acuna can stay healthy, he’s going to be one of the greatest players of all time.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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