In race for NL MVP, which Brave is most deserving?

Braves Ronald Acuna (from left), Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna run sprints around the bases Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, at CoolToday Park in North Port, Fla.
Braves Ronald Acuna (from left), Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna run sprints around the bases Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, at CoolToday Park in North Port, Fla.

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

The National League’s Most Valuable Player will be announced next month. Six times a Braves player has been awarded for his productivity.

The oddsmakers’ favorite to claim the award this 60-game shortened season is Los Angeles’ Mookie Betts, who Braves fans became increasingly familiar with for his wall-leaping, home-run-stealing abilities during the NLCS. However, depending on the outlet, three Atlanta players are favorites for the award, too.

In 55 games, Betts batted .292/.366/.562 with 16 homers and 39 RBIs. By comparison here are the three Braves players’ lines and their odds to win the award:

  • Ronald Acuna, OF, (46 games, .250/.406/.581, 14 HR, 41 RBI) - 9/1
  • Freddie Freeman, 1B (60 games, .341/.462/.640, 13 HR, 53 RBIs) - 4/1
  • Marcell Ozuna, OF/DH (60 games, .338/.431/.636, 18 HR, 56 RBI) - 8/1

Acuna had the longest homer tracked of the season (495 feet, vs. Boston) and added to his franchise best 19 leadoff homers.

Freeman led the league in doubles (23) and runs scored (51). He was second in the league in average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He also trailed, just Betts, in the sabermetric WAR, which uses a series of on-field statistics to determine wins a player adds to his team compared to a replacement level player.

Ozuna led the league in homers and runs-batted in. He is the first Brave since Andruw Jones (51/128, 2005) to lead the majors in both categories.

Should a Brave win this year, he’ll be the first since Chipper Jones in 1999. So who’s most likely?

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