Featured in this article:
  • outfielder Juan Soto is the +300 favorite
  • Washington Nationals finished 65-97 last season, but Soto could still take MVP if he continues to put up big numbers
  • Two-time NL MVP Bryce Harper at +120, with Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. at +550

3 Minute Read

Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto in action during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Washington. The Giants won 5-2.(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Should a good player on a bad team win the MVP Award?

The Heisman Trophy Award never goes to a player on a bad college football team. The Most Valuable Player Award in the NHL (Hart Trophy), NFL, or NBA doesn’t go to players on losing teams.

That said, no sport is more statistically-driven than Major League Baseball and league MVPs have come from losing teams before. It may happen again in 2022 because outfielder Juan Soto is the +300 favorite, and he plays for the Washington Nationals, who finished an ugly 65-97 last season and aren’t expected to be much better this year with an over-under win total of 71.5. If Soto puts up absurd numbers, it won’t much matter what Washington’s record will be.

Soto Likely Won’t See Much To Hit

How great would it be to be offered a 13-year, $350 million contract? And how much better would it be to think you are so good that you can turn that down and expect a bigger deal in a few years? Soto did turn down that offer from the Nationals this offseason with eyes on free agency ahead of the 2025 season and perhaps MLB’s first $500 million contract.

Last season, Soto hit .313 with 29 home runs, 95 RBIs, and an on-base percentage of .465 that led the majors by a mile. Because the Nationals had so little around him, Soto was walked a whopping 145 times, the most by any MLB player since seven-time NL MVP Barry Bonds walked 232 times in 2004.

Washington Nationals' Juan Soto

Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto looks on during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Soto, who won the NL batting title in the shortened 2020 season, is only 23. The one issue with backing him on this prop is that opposing pitchers again are going to avoid him and just send him to first base more often than not. Soto is given over-under totals of 32.5 homers and 101.5 RBIs this season.

Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is +550 with two-time NL MVP Bryce Harper at +1200, former AL MVP Mookie Betts of the Dodgers at +2000, and San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. at +3300.

Acuna was off to a spectacular start to 2021 batting .283 with 24 homers, 52 RBIs and 17 steals in 82 games before tearing his ACL in July. Thus, he probably won’t debut this season until early-May, although the National League having the DH might help him get back a bit sooner by only hitting.

Tatis was an MVP favorite for a chunk of last season, but he and the Padres faded a bit in the final month-plus and he had injury problems. Tatis is injured again as he will likely miss at least the first two months due to a fractured wrist.

Harper was the 2015 NL MVP with the Nationals and won it last year with the Phillies, batting .309 with 35 homers and 84 RBIs, despite the team’s mediocre 82-80 record. Harper received 348 voting points, followed by Soto with 274 and Tatis Jr. with 244.

Betts was the 2018 AL MVP with the Angels. Frank Robinson is the only player to win the award in both the American and National Leagues. Injuries limited Betts to 122 games in 2021. He’s one of four former MVPs on the Dodgers. Teammates Trea Turner (+1200) and Freddie Freeman (+1500), the 2020 NL MVP with Atlanta, also are legitimate candidates.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

Back To Top
Back To Top