As of 9:38 Friday morning, Juan Soto’s odds to win the National League MVP improved to +450 on PointsBet Sportsbook, a 1,550-point jump over the last 48 hours, aided by the insane tear the Nationals slugger has been on. With a little more than a week left in the regular season, Soto's odds to take home the award trail only former National Bryce Harper (-250) and the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. (+325). A week ago, Soto's odds were +4000.
More impressive than simply being in the conversation while playing on a Nationals team that has bottomed out since the July 30 trade deadline is the manner in which Soto has re-inserted himself into the picture. In early February, two months before season openers, he was the betting favorite to win the NL MVP with +750 odds. That number peaked at +600 in April before dropping all the way to +10000 on Aug. 18. In the month since, he's been on a mission.
It’s not that Soto was having a bad season before this stretch. Through Aug. 17, he was slashing .303/.439/.508 over 108 games. He had 19 home runs and 63 RBI, which had him on pace for about 29 homers and 95 RBI in a 162-game season.
But in the 34 games since, he’s accelerated that pace to the point he’s already nearly hit both milestones through 143 games. With nine games remaining on the Nationals’ schedule, Soto has 29 home runs and 92 RBI. Since Aug. 18, he’s slashing .395/.557/.719, bringing his season batting average to an MLB-leading .325, his on-base percentage to an MLB-best .432 and his slugging percentage to .557, which trails only Tatis, Harper and Joey Votto in the NL. Through five games this week, Soto is 10-for-17 (.588) at the plate with six extra-base hits, including four home runs, seven RBI and seven walks, while striking out just once.
Soto’s 1.029 OPS this season is second in the majors to Harper’s 1.050. And while his home run total trails both Harper (33) and Tatis (40), he has a significant RBI edge over Harper (80) while trailing Tatis (94) by just two. Soto also has a league-leading 7.2 WAR and over 20 walks more than anyone else in the majors with 131.
Soto might not be the favorite to win MVP today, but it’s clear the race is far from finished. Harper’s Phillies are just two games behind in the NL East, so a strong finish from him along with a playoff berth may give him the edge. But nobody is hotter than Soto right now. If he continues at the rate he’s going, he’ll make it an interesting decision for voters come season’s end.
Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet