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Juan Soto is the early season favorite to win NL MVP

As the month of January starts to take its toll and the NFL campaign is almost complete, we can now start to get ready for the MLB season.

The Houston Astros are coming off their second World Series in five seasons as they took down the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. The Phillies beat the San Diego Padres in the NLCS to advance as the first-ever 6-seed to make it to the Fall Classic.

Speaking of the Padres, general manager AJ Preller pulled off the biggest trade in MLB history at the trade deadline by sending five prospects and slugger Luke Voit to the Washington Nationals for Juan Soto and Josh Bell. After a down 2022 season, Soto is shockingly the favorite to win the 2023 MVP with the Friars… and by a wide margin to start the year.

Here are the MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.

MLB Odds: 2023 National League MVP Odds

Juan Soto: +550

Mookie Betts: +950

Paul Goldschmidt: +950

Ronald Acuna Jr.: +1000

Fernando Tatis Jr.: +1000

Nolan Arenado: +1000

Manny Machado: +1000

Trea Turner: +1200

Freddie Freeman: +1300

Pete Alonso: +1400

The oddsmakers are expecting a huge season from the former World Series champion, Juan Soto. The slugger hit .246 with 21 home runs and 46 RBIs in Washington before the trade to San Diego. His time in SD started slow but he showed up in the postseason which is what the Padres needed. He led the league in walks by a wide margin with 135 on the season.

The 24-year-old will be a part of a stacked lineup. Preller signed Xander Bogaerts to a 12-year deal this offseason and they will see Fernando Tatis Jr. come back in late April. Manny Machado finished second in MVP last season and will be in the conversation once again. That is a deadly core of hitters that should help boost Soto’s offensive numbers.

Machado and Goldschmidt battled all year for the MVP but Goldschmidt’s .317 batting average and .981 OPS were ultimately the deciding factors. Goldschmidt started the season hot and never really looked back. If Goldy can see the same offensive success again in 2023 then expect to see him in the conversation as well.

Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman will need to step up their *already elite* offensive production as Trea Turner took his talents to Philadelphia this offseason. Betts is a former MVP himself and has yet to win since his arrival in Los Angeles. Freeman has been in LA just one year but won the award in 2020.

Any one of these players above has a legit shot at winning NL MVP. Soto is the favorite for now, but I can assure you no one expected Goldy to win it in 2022.

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