NL MVP Odds: Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. overwhelming favorite

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The Braves just dropped all three games against the Blue Jays, marking four straight losses, their longest losing streak since 2017. Atlanta is dealing with a myriad of injuries, but the club still remains one of the most talented teams in baseball, and it all starts at the top of the lineup with Ronald Acuna Jr.

The Venezuelan superstar had a good 2022 campaign, but it wasn’t up to his standards. His .764 OPS from 2022 was the lowest of his career by a large margin. He averaged a .925 OPS per season before the injury, with his worst mark coming in 2019, more than 100 points higher than his 2022 OPS. It’s now clear the injury was still lingering because he’s playing better than ever.

Every stat you look at, Ronald Acuna is near the top of the league. His .346 batting average ranks second in all of baseball, his .437 OBP ranks tied for first, his .577 slugging percentage ranks fourth, his 174 wRC+ ranks third, his 17 stolen bases rank second, his 36 runs rank first, and his 2.3 fWAR ranks first.

His peripherals tell the same story. His statcast page is a sea of red.

Acuna is in the 100th percentile for xwOBA, xBA, xOBP, and arm strength while being in at least the 90th percentile or better in xSLG, xISO, Brl, Brl%, EV, Max EV, HardHit%, K%, BB%, and speed.

There isn’t a better player in baseball right now, and it’s why he’s the overwhelming favorite to take home the NL MVP. Depending on the betting outlet, Ronald Acuna sits at +140 to +180 favorite, while Pete Alonso has the second-best odds around +1000 — a mammoth gap.

Acuna is an electrifying superstar and is finally healthy. Baseball is better when he is thumping his chest and Euro stepping around bases. If he remains healthy, he’ll run away with his first MVP award.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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