Atlanta Braves Are Red Hot, Ronald Acuña Solidifying His MVP Status

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rsz 1492465313

The Atlanta Braves have been one of the strongest teams in baseball over the past few years. They were World Series Champions in 2021, but came up short in the postseason the following year against the division rival Phillies. But the Braves entered the 2023 MLB season as one of the teams to beat, and they had the player who many projected to be the NL MVP in their lineup.

Atlanta Braves Have Won 19 Of Last 22 Games

There were high expectations even before the season began. The Braves were near the top of the board when it came to their World Series odds, coming in with a designation of +900. At the time, they sat behind the Astros, Yankees, Mets, and Dodgers for the teams with the shortest odds. They play in one of the best divisions in baseball, but were picked to be the winner of the NL East.

They’ve lived up to the billing so far, and then some. They started out hot, winning 11 of their first 15 games and haven’t hit too many cold stretches since. Their record “dipped” to 9 games above .500 in early June, but they’ve gone on an impressive streak ever since.

Since June 3rd, the Braves have played in 22 games and lost just 3 of them (two were rained out). They have solidified their lead in the division to 7 games, despite the impressive first half of the season from the Miami Marlins, and have the best record in the National League by 4.5 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

NL MVP Award Is Acuña’s To Lose

It is thanks in large part to the stellar play of Ronald Acuña Jr. The superstar outfielder was one of the favorites to win the MVP award in the National League, and he has solidified that notion through the first half. He has the second-best average in baseball behind Luis Arraez, the second-highest number of total bases behind Shohei Ohtani, and has more RBIs than Freddie Freeman or Mookie Betts.

Sports books and oddsmakers have taken notice. When it comes to World Series likelihood, the Atlanta Braves are now alone as the overall favorite. They currently have a designation of +350, a solid margin over the Rays at this point of the season, who come in at +475.

Acuña is currently the runaway favorite to win the MVP of the National League as well. He is currently listed at -170, with Diamondbacks rookie Corbin Carroll coming in at a very distant +700. Barring a catastrophic injury or monumental collapse, it will be Acuña’s award to lose.

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