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Ahead of his third MLB season, Ronald Acuna Jr. is the early betting favorite to be crowned National League MVP in 2020.
The Atlanta Braves outfielder will be 22 years and 284 days old on the final day of the regular season, which would make him the youngest player in MLB history to win an MVP award, beating the previous mark set by Johnny Bench (22 years, 298 days old) in 1970.
But Acuna isn't the only youngster chasing history - two others are hot on his heels near the top of the oddsboard.
|Ronald Acuna Jr.||+350|
|Fernando Tatis Jr.||+800|
Only displaying players with odds 50-1 or shorter
At 8-1, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto are tied for the third-shortest odds. Soto, the Washington Nationals outfielder and a reigning World Series champion, was born more than 10 months after Acuna, while Tatis Jr., the San Diego Padres phenom, is the youngest of the bunch, born almost three months after Soto and more than a full year after Acuna.
History will be made if any of those three young stars claims the award.
Just ahead of Tatis and Soto is 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich at 7-1, slightly shorter than 2019 winner Cody Bellinger. Unlike the American League honor - which has been dominated in recent memory by Mike Trout - 11 different players have been named NL MVP over the last 11 seasons, which doesn’t bode well for the last two winners.
|2019||Cody Bellinger||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|2018||Christian Yelich||Milwaukee Brewers|
|2017||Giancarlo Stanton||Miami Marlins|
|2016||Kris Bryant||Chicago Cubs|
|2015||Bryce Harper||Washington Nationals|
|2014||Clayton Kershaw||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|2013||Andrew McCutchen||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|2012||Buster Posey||San Francisco Giants|
|2011||Ryan Braun||Milwaukee Brewers|
|2010||Joey Votto||Cincinnati Reds|
Bellinger is level at 10-1 with new Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Mookie Betts, the 2018 AL MVP. They're closely followed by Bryce Harper, who was crowned the NL winner in 2015 at the ripe age of 22 years, 353 days. Both former winners are hoping for a bounce-back campaign after posting disappointing numbers in 2019 - at least by their standards.
The Chicago Cubs are coming off a down 2019 season of their own, finishing with their lowest win total since 2014 and missing the playoffs for the first time since then. Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, both listed at 20-1, are two of the players tasked with helping the Cubs return to the postseason.
Acuna's teammate Freddie Freeman and Tatis' fellow Padre Manny Machado highlight the 25-1 group, while a pair of hurlers - Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer - are among the group sitting at 30-1, though just one pitcher has won the NL MVP Award since 1968.
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.