NL MVP Odds: Which MLB Star Is Worth Betting After Mookie Betts Injury?

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated

After getting hit by a 97.9 mph fastball in Sunday’s win over the Royals, Dodgers star Mookie Betts is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a fractured left hand. Before suffering the injury, Betts was the favorite among National League MVP odds. He’s currently priced as high as . Below, we’ll explain why bettors shouldn’t consider Betts among more worthwhile candidates. Let’s break them down.

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NL MVP odds: could Betts still win?

Betts ranks sixth in NL bWAR (3.9), slashing .304/.405/.488 with a 159 wRC+. Only designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (55) has accumulated more runs for the Dodgers than Betts (50), showcasing his value on the basepaths.

At BetMGM Sportsbook, Betts has garnered the most money (25.8%) and bets (14.7%) to win the award. Although he may not miss a beat upon returning, the likelihood he accumulates enough production after possibly being sidelined for the next two months is slim. His 1.96% implied probability in this market illustrates that notion.

Examining NL MVP Candidates

Shohei Ohtani was behind Betts, with +425 odds, before establishing himself as the favorite at . He might have leapfrogged Betts in the coming weeks, even if Los Angeles’ lineup wasn’t impacted.

However, the Dodgers’ designated hitter trails another DH in numerous categories — the Braves’ Marcell Ozuna.

With Ronald Acuna Jr., last year’s NL MVP, out for the remainder of the season (ACL), Ozuna has paced Atlanta’s offense. He’s atop the NL in Win Probability Added (WPA), Championship WPA, Offensive Win Percentage (.789%), Base-Out Runs Added (26.92), and Base-Out Wins Added (2.6). Only Yankees stars Juan Soto and Aaron Judge have him beat in a few categories.

On a traditional level, Ozuna’s .321/.392/.611 slash line, 20 home runs, and 62 RBI warrant praise. Meanwhile, Acuna wasn’t generating an MVP-caliber campaign before he went down. Matt Olson, Austin Riley, and Michael Harris II are also playing below their standards.

Thus, Atlanta likely wouldn’t be atop the NL wild-card standings without Ozuna’s high-level numbers. I wouldn’t be shocked if this narrative existed among MVP voters. For reference, his odds are equivalent to an 8.3% implied probability.

Elsewhere, Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper () and Padres outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. () are firmly in the mix for the award. Tatis must regain the pop from his 2021 season when he accrued a career-high 42 homers despite dealing with wrist and shoulder injuries.

Atlanta Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna (20) hits an RBI single in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, June 1, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Will Ozuna’s ROI Pay Off?

The Braves’ three-hole hitter is on pace for 47 home runs and 146 RBI. His current totals lead the league. Still, the market isn’t necessarily convinced a DH not named Ohtani will continue to finish this high in the market.

While Ozuna’s metrics must remain in line to surpass his 40-homer, 100-RBI campaign from last year, he’s more than capable of delivering substantial production for the long haul.

His preseason +20000 NL MVP odds would look more valuable in your MLB futures portfolio, but hindsight is 20/20. If you believe in the Braves, I’d prefer Ozuna over Harper, Tatis, Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman (), or Diamondbacks outfielder Ketel Marte (), given the market’s hesitation to fully buy into Ozuna’s MVP bat.

Good luck with your bets on NL MVP odds!

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