Mookie Betts has already passed Ronald Acuña Jr. as NL MVP betting favorite

Ronald Acuña Jr. ran away with the National League MVP last season, and rightfully so. The Atlanta Braves outfielder had a season for the ages.

But still, there were some arguing that Mookie Betts should've been MVP. Even if it was shortsighted, that set up a push for Betts in 2024.

A few days into the season, Betts is doing his part. Another big night Tuesday for one of the many Los Angeles Dodgers stars pushed him up BetMGM's odds board. On Wednesday, Betts had passed Acuña as the NL MVP favorite. Betts has +450 odds to win MVP at BetMGM, and Acuña is right behind at +500.

We're not even a week into the season, and there will likely be many changes in the MVP odds over the next six months. But given how well Betts has played dating to last summer, maybe he won't leave the favorite spot.

Mookie Betts off to a blazing start

It couldn't be a much smaller sample, but Betts is off to a ridiculous start this season.

Through eight games, he's hitting .500 with an OPS of 1.772. His home run Tuesday was his fifth of the season, which leads MLB. Betts leads MLB in runs, hits, homers, RBI, batting average, on-base percentage and OPS.

Mookie Betts leads MLB in multiple hitting categories early this season. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Mookie Betts leads MLB in multiple hitting categories early this season. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) (Ronald Martinez via Getty Images)

The season has barely started, and nobody should care much who is leading the league in anything the first week of April, but it's not like this is too out of the norm for Betts.

Betts was fantastic from the All-Star break on last season. He hit .455 in August with 11 home runs. He already has an MVP as a member of the Boston Red Sox in 2018. He has been one of the best players in the game for a long time, and he's playing for one of MLB's best teams in one of the best lineups. And he has had a notable position change.

Betts shifts positions

Betts is 31 years old and in his first 1,165 games before this season, he had started just 12 times at shortstop. Then in spring training, the Dodgers decided to make Betts their regular shortstop. That's not an ask you can make of anyone, but Betts is a special player. So far this season, he has started six games at shortstop and two at second base.

Not that Betts needs an extra narrative for an MVP push, but if he becomes a regular shortstop for the first time in his 11th MLB season, it would be brought up a lot in August and September as MVP is debated.

Other players will get hot and move up the odds. Betts has at least two teammates, Freddie Freeman and Shohei Ohtani, who will be in the MVP conversation all season. Acuña should have another massive season with a fantastic Braves team. Betts will have challengers. And injuries are always a factor in the MVP race.

But Betts has taken a very, very early lead in the race. He's the favorite now, and there's good reason to believe he'll be in that spot when the season ends, too.