The MLB season is well underway and there have been some amazing stand-out performers in the National League.
The New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers are leading the way in their respective divisions, all racking up 30 or more wins with excellent home records, but who are the key men behind the successes of those teams? And who is shining despite their teams not quite matching up to the leaders?
We'll take a look at the MVP race in the NL and provide our best free betting picks on who we believe is leading the race to pick up the prestigious award by the time the end of the season rolls around.
|MLB NL MVP Award 2022|
|Ronald Acuna Jr||TBA||+2500||+2000|
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Manny Machado - San Diego Padres (+225)
Machado was seen as a big outsider for the award at the start of the season, but over 50 games in and he now looks like a sure-fire bet to claim the title of MVP for 2022.
The San Diego Padres 3B is off to an incredible start, batting .359/.443/.586 while being the focal point of their offense while Fernando Tatis Jr remains out injured with a wrist injury picked up during pre-season.
Considering Tatis is out and key pitcher Blake Snell is also suffering with health problems, Machado is looking like he could run away with this award so long as he can maintain the form he has shown throughout the season so far.
He finished 3rd in the 2020 NL MVP Award voting, which was the third time he's finished in the top five, so it's no surprise he's up there again to some. But this year could really be the year that he manages to get it done.
Check out our review for BetUS sports betting here.
Nolan Arenado - St Louis Cardinals (+1400)
Arenado got off to a near perfect start to the season, hitting hard and fast and leading the entire MLB for Runs Batted In (RBI) as of May 17th.
That excellent form has helped the St Louis Cardinals compete at the top end of the National League Central standings, and as the season progresses from spring into summer, he is certainly one to keep an eye on in the race for the Most Valuable Player award for 2022.
Juan Soto - Washington Nationals (+1800)
Soto was the National League MVP runner-up for 2021 and is widely considered as one of the very best baseball players in the entire MLB, which is exactly why he was installed as the pre-season favorite by most bookies.
It's been a relatively slow start to the season however for 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic, and it's no surprise to anyone that the Washington Nationals currently sit dead last in the National League East.
If they're to have any sort of success this season it will be down to Soto, and considering the huge second half of the season that he had last year, if he can replicate that in 2022 then he could earn a lot of votes heading into the final stretch of the season.
Check out the latest odds at MyBookie sports betting here.
Ronaldo Acuna Jr - Atlanta Braves (+2000)
The Atlanta Braves are the reigning and defending World Series champions heading into this season, but they've had a pretty rubbish start to the 2022 season and Acuna Jr hasn't been much help to them either.
The star outfielder has suffered with several early season injuries that have seen his rhythm interrupted and his impact completely nullified, but it's often about how you end a season more than how you start one when it comes to these individual awards and that's why he must remain a serious contender to win it.
Once he returns to action, if he's capable of getting into rhythm quickly and affecting the results of his team then watch his stock rise and his odds drop as the race for MVP hots up.
Francisco Lindor, New York Mets (+4000)
Many people believed that Francisco Lindor was due a "bounce back season" after his horror show of a 2021 season, and while he hasn't stood out too much yet individually the Mets are currently lead the way in the East which will only help his cause.
If the team continues to succeed, then someone in the roster has to take credit and Lindor remains the most likely to earn those plaudits although teammate Pete Alonso is having a stellar campaign too, especially since Jacob deGrom is out with injuries.
Either man could explode in the next few months and really be the catalyst for the Mets to run away with the division, in which case they would have a huge case for the NL MVP Award. Of the two, Lindor is certainly the more likely to do that and while he sits at +4000 there is no better time to take the punt if you believe that is set to happen.
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