Who will be baseball’s 2024 NL, AL MVPs? Check out the Best MLB odds and top contenders

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The 2024 MLB season fully got underway Thursday following last week’s Dodgers-Padres Seoul Series, meaning most players in both circuits had their first opportunities to begin building a case for MVP honors. Who are the top three contenders for the MVP award in both the AL and NL as the 2024 season dawns?

AL MVP Contenders: Yankees duo tops oddsboards

Juan Soto, Yankees (+600 odds at BetMGM Sportsbook)

After a lackluster first season’s worth of games in San Diego following a much-ballyhooed trade from the Nationals midway through 2022, Soto produced a .286 average, .966 OPS, 32 extra-base hits and 62 RBI across 72 games following the All-Star break last season.

That restored plenty of luster to the slugger, more than enough to command a lucrative offseason deal from the Yankees. With Soto now set to reap the benefits that come with being a left-handed power hitter in Yankee Stadium for half of his games, the opportunity to put together MVP-caliber numbers will undoubtedly be there, especially with the next man on the list, teammate Aaron Judge, set to hit right behind him most days.

Aaron Judge, Yankees (+700 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook)

Speaking of Judge, there’s no questioning the 31-year-old slugger’s MVP cred, especially since he took home the 2022 award with no less than 62 home runs and 131 RBI as the primary fuel for the honors. Judge entered the new season about as healthy as he’s going to be after last year’s serious toe injury, and his bat appears to be as healthy as ever after he actually averaged a home run more frequently during his injury-shortened 2023 (1 HR every 11.2 plate appearances) than in the season prio.

Judge will also benefit from Soto’s presence in the lineup, because if his talented new teammate is on his game, he’ll give the slugger no shortage of RBI opportunities. A return to form for Giancarlo Stanton, who typically hits behind him, would also be of immeasurable benefit to Judge’s fortunes, as it would make it all the more difficult for pitchers to give the latter next to nothing to hit. Given his prolific power, Judge will always be a serious contender for this award if he remains healthy.

Julio Rodriguez, Mariners (+1000 odds at BetMGM Sportsbook)

We finally get to our first non-Yankees contender in Rodriguez, whose first two MLB seasons have seen him produce a .279 average, .834 OPS, 60 home runs, 178 RBI and even 62 stolen bases. The precocious outfielder is just 23 years old entering the 2024 season, but with two full years of experience against big-league arms already under his belt, Rodriguez may be set to take an exponential step forward.

The Mariners star brings the full package offensively, including the speed on the basepaths, to put together the type of robust offensive profile that catches the eye of MVP voters. A better season from a Seattle squad that faded down the stretch last year would certainly help boost his chances, but Rodriguez certainly has enough talent to remain a serious contender all season.

NL MVP Contenders Odds: Can Ronald Acuna repeat dominant season?

Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves (+550 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook)

After unanimously taking home the NL MVP last season following a historic campaign that saw him become a founding member of the jaw-dropping 40-70 club, Acuna naturally begins 2024 as the odds-on favorite for a repeat. Acuna’s power-speed combination is what even Rodriguez, talented as he is, may not quite be able to match, offering some perspective on the elite skill set the Braves outfielder brings to the table.

Acuna will have the additional benefit of hitting leadoff on what should be another elite Atlanta lineup this season. The RBI and run opportunities should be in abundance once again, and Acuna’s typically outstanding walk rate will give him even more opportunities to get on base and pad his numbers. The one main question attached to him is whether Acuna can prove his drastic reduction in strikeouts in 2023 – he posted a career-low 11.4 percent rate after being at 23.6 percent or higher in every other MLB season – wasn’t a fluke.

Mookie Betts, Dodgers (+650 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook)

The timing was off a bit for Betts last season, as in almost any other season, his .307/.408/.579 slash line would have been an excellent foundation for an MVP award. Naturally, Betts fell short to Acuna in that regard, but the former’s 39 home runs, 107 RBI and 14 stolen bases were all elite numbers as well.

Yet, Betts could very well turn the tables this season. To begin with, he already seems to be intent on doing so, going a blistering 7-for-15 with a double, two home runs and eight RBI through the Dodgers’ first three games. Additionally, he’s gained even more protection than he previously had with the addition of Shohei Ohtani, who projects to hit directly behind him on most days and should therefore help Betts get even better pitches to hit over the course of the season.

Shohei Ohtani, Dodgers (+950 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook)

Ohtani is set to concentrate solely on hitting this season, as his elbow injury will keep from pitching until next season. That could make the ultra-talented phenom even more locked in at the plate, a scary proposition for opposing arms but an encouraging one for those wanting to take a flier on this bet at an excellent price.

As just alluded to in Betts’ entry, Ohtani’s imposing bat stands to offer his teammate plenty of benefits, but Ohtani himself is also now in a much better position to thrive than he was in an Angels lineup that mainly featured the oft-injured Mike Trout as the only other bat pitchers had to consistently work around. With Freddie Freeman hitting directly behind Ohtani in most games, the sky could be the limit for the latter, who’s already begun capitalizing by hitting .385 over the first three games of the new season.

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