Major League Baseball might only be in its first month of the season, but the 2022 NL MVP odds are shifting as the race takes form with hot starts from some former contenders starting the conversation early.
Earlier today, we took you through the updated AL MVP odds and Aaron Judge’s rise so, make sure you check that out.
In this article, we’ll talk through the updated NL MVP odds and some of our favorite choices after a month of the season.
2022 NL MVP Odds
Ronald Acuña Jr. is a name that definitely stands out here. The former MVP missed the start of the season after recovering from ACL surgery, but he’s already back in action, hitting .282/.391/.487 with two home runs, five RBI, and five SBs in 10 games. The fact that Ronald Acuña Jr. has already been running is great news for his health and potential statistical output this year, which will help him climb the MVP odds.
Manny Machado is the current favorite, hitting a ridiculous .379/.455/.629 with seven home runs, 22 RBI, and 27 runs in just 31 games. Machado has finished top-five in MVP voting three times in his career, so seeing his name up here isn’t a total surprise, but I would have to imagine he’ll fall back a bit from this hot start and his lack of stolen base production could make it hard for him to overcome Acuña Jr. if the Braves star stays healthy.
Another name that stands out here is last year’s NL MVP runner-up, Juan Soto. The Nationals’ outfielder is hitting .257/.391/.460 with six home runs, and 21 runs but just eight RBIs. While Soto’s talent is unquestioned, the team context may hold him back. With the Nationals being a fairly average offense, you can see that Soto hasn’t had a ton of opportunities to drive in runs. He also leads MLB in walks with 24, as pitchers try to stay away from challenging him. If that continues, he may be hard-pressed to finish in the top-three in the 2022 NL MVP voting.
It’s also still too early to count out last year’s winner, Bryce Harper. The Philadelphia outfielder is off to a good start, hitting .267/.320/.526 with six home runs, 19 RBI, 23 runs, and five SBs. With the Phillies’ offense beginning to kick into gear, Harper should continue to see strong results, especially in a hitting-friendly environment and his five-category production will help him enter into the conversation come summertime.