2023 MLB Power Rankings: Who are the preseason favorites for the NL MVP?
Can’t ignore these names.
We’ve already taken a look at our projected favorites for the AL MVP award, so let’s move now to the National League. There’s a lot of star power in the NL, but only one player can win the NL MVP award in 2023. So, let’s take a look at five players that we have projected as the favorites for the honor this season.
Related: 2023 MLB Power Rankings: Which pitchers are favorites for the NL Cy Young award?
We’ll kick off the list with seven-time All-Star Nolan Arenado, who finished third in the National League MVP voting in 2022. Arenado has been arguably the best defender at third base for the past decade, as he has ten Gold Gloves to his name since the Major League debut in 2013. In addition to those awards, the 31-year-old has posted seven 30+ home run campaigns since 2015 and has finished in the top ten for the NL MVP award six times.
Given his hitting skills and premier defensive capabilities, Arenado is an obvious early candidate for the MVP award.
After a tough 2021, Mets SS Francisco Lindor found his stroke last season. Lindor hit .270/.339/.449 with 26 home runs and 107 RBI, the latter of which was good for fifth-best in all of Major League Baseball and third in the National League. The 29-year-old electrified Citi Field with his bat and glove in 2022, a season that saw him post a 5.5 bWAR.
Lindor finishes in the top ten in the NL MVP voting in 2022, and may be a prime candidate for the award in 2023 should he help push the Mets to the playoffs.
Padres star Manny Machado put together arguably his most complete season to date in 2022, and nearly won his first NL MVP award in the process. With no Fernando Tatis Jr., Machado hit ,298/.366/.531 and hit 32 home runs for a team that did struggle at times to generate offense. If Machado didn’t have the season he did in 2022, it’s hard to envision that the Padres would have made the postseason.
The 2022 NL MVP runner-up has finished in the top three of the voting twice over the past three seasons.
It’s hard to have a conversation about the NL MVP without the player who won the award last year. Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt hit .317/.404/.578 with 35 home runs and 115 RBI, and played a central role for a St. Louis team that won its first NL Central title since 2019. Goldschmidt finished third in Major League Baseball in bWAR (7.8), only behind Nolan Arenado (7.9) and 2022 AL MVP winner Aaron Judge (10.6).
A career. 295 hitter with 315 home runs under his belt, “Goldy” is a prime candidate to win the award that eluded him prior to 2022.
With Bryce Harper out to start the year and first baseman Rhys Hoskins done for all of 2023, new Phillies shortstop Trea Turner may be the most important player for Philadelphia. Last year was a sensational one for Turner, who hit 21 home runs and drove in 100 for a Dodgers team that won a league-high 111 games.
Set to be a fixture at the top of the Phillies lineup, Turner’s bat and speed may be the difference marker that pushes the Phillies to its first title in 15 years. If the Phillies make it back to October baseball, expect Turner — provided he stays healthy — to receive consideration for the award.