Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman were named finalists for the 2023 National League MVP Award, along with the Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. MVP Award winners are going to be unveiled November 16 at 3 p.m. PT on MLB Network.
Betts had a strong chance to win NL MVP after a historic August, but slowed down when September began. However, Betts still finished tied for Acuña with 8.3 WAR to lead the NL.
He played in 152 games this season, batting .307/.408/.579/ with 40 doubles, 39 home runs, 107 RBI, 14 stolen bases, 126 runs scored and a 167 wRC+.
Betts finished top three in the NL in wRC+, OPS+ (163), doubles, slugging percentage, on-base plus slugging (.987) and extra-base hits (80). His 39 home runs set a new career high, which previously was the 35 he hit during the 2022 season. Among other accomplishments this year, Betts also set a new MLB record for most RBI out of the leadoff spot.
Freeman finished the season hitting a stellar .331/.410/.567 with 59 doubles, 131 runs scored, 102 RBI, 23 stolen bases and a 163 wRC+, along with finishing just behind the leaders with 7.9 WAR.
Freeman was one double shy of reaching 60 for the season, nevertheless setting the all-time Dodgers record in the process, and finishing with 90 extra-base hits, the most in L.A. franchise history.
Freeman also became the only first baseman in MLB history with 200 hits, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in one season. He also is just the third player all-time with at least 200 hits, 50 doubles, 25 homers and 20 steals, joining Alfonso Soriano (2002) and Chuck Klein (1932).
Acuña had the first 40-50 season in MLB history and topped that even further by finishing the year with 41 home runs and 73 stolen bases. He hit .337/.416/.596 with 35 doubles, 106 RBI, 149 runs scored and a 170 wRC+ with a total of 8.3 WAR.
In addition, Acuña led the Majors in stolen bases and on-base percentage and finished first with 217 hits. Acuña’s 1.012 on-base plus slugging was tops in the NL as well.
Who is the favorite to win National League MVP?
Acuña is a near-lock to win 2023 NL MVP after taking home the Players Choice NL Outstanding Player and MLB Player of the Year Awards, as voted on by his peers.
Although Betts and Freeman would have been runaway favorites in most years, Acuña’s historic season and the narrative surrounding it is going to earn him the award.
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