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2024 MLB Futures Best Bets for AL, NL MVP: Ronald Acuna, Shohei Ohtani, Julio Rodriguez

Ohtani gambling situation ‘doesn’t smell right’
BFA explains why the developing Shohei Ohtani gambling scandal surrounding his ex-interpreter is a reminder that potential problems with professional sports and betting go “so much deeper.”

Vaughn Dalzell shares how he is betting on the AL and NL MVP markets.

AL MVP: Julio Rodriguez (+1000)

The case for Julio Rodriguez to win AL MVP is that in his first two seasons, he had slow starts with batting averages of .205 and .239 in March/April, but this Spring Training appears different.

Rodriguez is hitting .414 in Spring Training with 12 hits, five RBIs, one homer, seven walks, and 10 strikeouts over 29 at-bats. J-Rod has hit 28 and 32 homers in his first two seasons with .284 and .275 BA amid the slow starts.

He is durable, proven last year with 155 games after 132 during his rookie year and the 23-year-old stole 62 bases with 178 RBIs over that 288-game span.

This will be his best season yet and despite Aaron Judge (+550 to +750) or Juan Soto (+500 to +600) being the favorite pending the sportsbook, the Yankees duo is tied together, plus needs the team’s success and to avoid injury.

J-Rod is the best bet right now and the best price is +1000 at FanDuel compared to DraftKings and Ceasar’s who moved this to +600.

Pick: Julio Rodriguez to win AL MVP (1u)

NL MVP: Ronald Acuna Jr. (+500)

With the uncertainty around Shohei Ohtani (+950) and the gambling scandal surrounding his translator, there is no telling what could happen with this investigation. If Ohtani’s first season with the Dodgers is cut short due to this investigation, let alone injury, then his chances dwindle.

However, Ronald Acuna Jr. is healthy after a Spring Training scare and coming off the best season of his career. The Braves leadoff man was nothing short of a beast in 2023 with the MLB’s record of 73 stolen bases, along with 217 hits (1st), a .337 batting average (2nd), and 41 homers (5th).

That well-rounded season could certainly be repeated with arguably the most dangerous lineup in all of baseball. Atlanta will have hitters 1-9, so Acuna will also be a viable option to score or bring a run or two, plus he recorded 84 strikeouts to 80 walks, so the 26-year-old is mature at the plate.

There is no reason to fade Acuna in this market and with Ohtani’s future up in the air, it looks like a repeat field of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Acuna. I will take Acuna at +500 odds to win the NL MVP back-to-back seasons.

Pick: Ronald Acuna Jr to win NL MVP (1u)

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