While the 2023 MLB odds board is underway, there haven’t been many noteworthy MLB betting market adjustments for NL MVP odds. That holds true for San Diego Padres shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who’s expected to remain in the infield when Fernando Tatis Jr. returns from his suspension on April 20. Let’s break down why the former Boston Red Sox All-Star could wind up delivering the most momentous season within the Padres’ loaded lineup.
Click on any of the odds below to place a wager.
Best Available NL MVP Futures Odds
Assessing The Favorites
As the market currently stands on Thursday, exactly one-third of the six-shortest odds to win NL MVP stems from the Padres’ offense. Unsurprisingly, Bogaerts’ teammates Juan Soto () and Manny Machado () represent the two nominees.
The aforementioned Tatis, who was the favorite for much of the 2021 season, even slots in at .
With the potential for a slight Dodgers setback in 2023, per my colleague Mo Nowwarah, the Padres could very well out-duel Dave Roberts’ club in the NL West standings. Granted, a monster season from any Padres’ hitter — coupled with a division crown — doesn’t guarantee a major uptick among voters. Unlike many other leagues, the MVP award, or any other MLB betting market for that matter, isn’t contingent upon team-oriented success as well.
That said, Soto, Machado, Bogaerts, and the rest of their bats will certainly benefit from obtaining a friendlier assortment of pitches throughout the campaign, thanks their top-three lineup. Therefore, a MVP-like stat line may very well be in the cards for one or more of them.
That leaves Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. () within the upper-echelon tier of NL MVP contenders. After dealing with a pair of significant injuries over the last two years, and he’s primed to resemble more of his 41-homer ceiling in 2019. His +1400 opening odds were hit immediately, though, making his present-day price tag a fair number.
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NL MVP Futures Longshot Bet
Enter Bogaerts. Similar to Acuña, Bogaerts was voted in fourth and fifth-place, respectively, among 2019 AL MVP balloters. That year, he tallied a 33-homer, 117-RBI campaign with a robust .246 ISO. The latter category calculates the raw power of a hitter by only factoring extra-base hits — and the type of extra-base hit — into the equation.
Admittedly, Bogaerts’ home run count dropped off in recent seasons. In fact, his .149 ISO in 2022 was his lowest output in this department since 2015.
Nevertheless, Bogaerts’ refined plate discipline — in conjunction with a finer pitch selection — has led to a stellar start to 2023. It’s a very small sample size, yet his increased slugging percentage thus far could be a sign of his power ultimately returning for the long-term.
On the flip side, the 30-year-old could regress defensively to his pre-2022 form because of the new MLB shift rule. The argument against him is that he took full advantage of Fenway Park’s short left field and was a Green Monster merchant.
We’ve already witnessed that on a pair of occasions despite his clean scorecard to date. But even with that in mind, Bogaerts is in position to resemble his production from four campaigns ago — and then some. If that comes to fruition, it would naturally aid the Padres’ World Series odds in the process.
Understandably, Soto, Machado, and even Tatis’ eventual ceiling hurts Bogaerts’ NL MVP bid on paper. However, this angle is already baked into his +4000 odds. He’ll inherit plenty more RBI opportunities, too, as he’s expected to stay in the four-hole once Tatis is back.
That makes him the most attractive bet amongst this group, especially since Soto and Machado’s odds are much shorter to begin with.
Best available price:
Eli’s MLB Futures Betting Portfolio
|Twins To Win AL Central||+225||1.20|
|Joe Ryan AL Cy Young||+10000||0.20|
|Xander Bogaerts NL MVP||+4000||0.30|
|Jose Abreu AL MVP||+15000||0.12|
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