Manny Machado is putting up the best numbers of his illustrious career, a start that has made him the clear favorite to win the National League MVP in 2022.
The San Diego Padres third baseman is hitting .365 with eight home runs and 27 RBI so far this season.
Machado putting up MVP numbers for San Diego
Machado leads the National League in both on-base percentage (.440) and slugging (.604), giving him the OPS (1.043) crown as well. His offensive production has been critical in keeping the Padres afloat while Fernando Tatis Jr. recovers from his broken wrist.
FanDuel Sportsbook now lists Machado as the +200 pick to win NL MVP, with no other player at odds shorter than +750.
Machado went 4-for-4 with a triple and three doubles on Sunday in a 10-1 win over the Giants, a vintage performance from a player who can’t seem to go wrong this season.
“The pace that he’s playing at and the desire that he’s playing with rubs off on everybody,” Padres manager Bob Melvin told reporters. “When your best player plays like that everybody kind of has to fall in line. Certainly makes my job easy.”
Machado has even impressed on the basepaths, stealing seven bases without a single caught stealing this year.
“I’ve never seen him look this good,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler told Fox broadcasters during the weekend series. “It’s not just what he’s doing at the plate. His leads are insane right now. His defensive awareness, he’s completely locked in.”
All that makes Machado the clear favorite to win the NL MVP, at least at this early stage of the season. But he’s far from the only candidate for the award.
Alonso slugging for first-place Mets
New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (+1100) leads the National League with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs. The Polar Bear has powered the Mets to first place in the NL East, and looks to be back in the form that earned him Rookie of the Year honors back in 2019.
“What he’s doing is special,” Mets teammate Jeff McNeil told reporters. “It’s fun to watch him take at-bats every single night, putting together great Abs, hitting the ball hard, and just driving in a ton of runs for this team. He’s been pretty amazing.”
Alonso continued his torrid pace on Monday night, when like Machado, he teed off on the Giants. The slugger went 3-for-five with a home run in a 13-3 Mets win.
“To do it consistently is hard, when everybody knows what you’re capable of and you’re still doing it,” New York manager Buck Showalter said of Alonso after that performance. “Pete loves to play. He likes competing. He’s a consistent personality every day.”
Mookie Betts is currently the second choice to win National League MVP at +750 odds. FanDuel lists both Alonso and Nolan Arenado at +1100, with Bryce Harper and preseason MVP favorite Juan Soto at +1200.