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January started to take its toll, and with the NFL campaign almost complete, it’s time to start preparing for the MLB season.

The Houston Astros have beaten the Philadelphia Phillies in six games to finish their second World Series in five seasons. The Phillies defeated the San Diego Padres in his NLCS to advance to the Fall Classic as his 6th seed for the first time ever.

Speaking of the Padres, general manager A.J. Preller made the biggest trade in MLB history by sending five prospects and slugger Luke Voight to the Washington Nationals for Juan Soto and Josh Bell. After his slump in 2022, Soto surprisingly became the frontrunner to win his 2023 MVP award with the Flyers…and started the year by a wide margin.

Click here for MLB odds provided by FanDuel.

MLB odds: 2023 National League MVP odds

Juan Soto: +550

Mookie Betts: +950

Paul Goldschmidt: +950

Ronald Acuna Jr.: +1000

Fernando Tatis Jr.: +1000

Nolan Arenado: +1000

Manny Machado: +1000

Trea Turner: +1200

Freddie Freeman: +1300

Pete Alonso: +1400

The oddsmakers are expecting a big season from former World Series champion Juan Soto. This slugger hit . 246 with 21 home runs and his 46 RBIs in Washington before being traded to San Diego. His start at SD was slow, but he turned up in the postseason that the Padres needed. He led the league by a large margin with 135 on the season.

The 24-year-old will be part of a stacked lineup. Preller signed Xander his Bogaerts to his 12-year deal this offseason, and Fernando Tatis Jr. is due to make his return in late April. Manny Machado is back in the conversation when he finished second in his MVP last season. It’s a hitter’s deadly core that should help boost Soto’s attack numbers.

Machado and Goldschmidt were battling for MVP throughout the year, but ultimately Goldschmidt’s .317 batting average and .981 OPS were the deciding factors. Goldschmidt started the season hot and never looked back. If Goldy can achieve the same offensive success again in 2023, expect him to enter the conversation, too.

Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman need to ramp up their *already elite* offensive production as Trea Turner brought his talents to Philadelphia this offseason. I haven’t won since arriving in Los Angeles. Freeman won the award in 2020, although he’s only been in LA for a year.

Any of the players above have the potential to win NL MVP. Soto is the favorite for now, but I can assure you that no one expected Goldie to win in 2022.

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