3 overreactions to Week 1 of Dodgers' spring training: LA should make some changes

Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels
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Mookie Betts will edge out Freddie Freeman and Shohei Ohtani for NL MVP

Ahead of Shohei Ohtani's Dodger debut on Tuesday, baseball history/analytics genius Sarah Langs noted that the 1-2-3 punch of Betts-Ohtani-Freeman in the starting lineup will make the Dodgers the first team since the 1996 Red Sox to bat three MVPs sequentially. No doubt that Ronald Acuña Jr. will give all three of them a serious run for their money in the 2024 MVP conversation, but it's almost preordained that Betts, Ohtani, and Freeman's names will be coming up a lot at the end of the season.

Ohtani not playing the field this year will hurt his chances a lot, unless he can do something absurd like break Aaron Judge's single-season, non-McGwire-Bonds home run mark (which might be a possibility that shouldn't be totally ruled out), while Freeman has gotten MVP votes after every one of his last six seasons, winning in 2020. Betts is in a similar, if not better, boat. He's gotten votes in eight out of 10 seasons and won the award in the American League in 2018.

He's appeared in four games so far with eight plate appearances, during which time he's driven in a run, doubled, walked four times, represented two Dodger runs, and is hitting for a better average than Freeman. However many votes he gets in the MVP race will certainly factor into how well he can adapt to second base, but he hasn't given us any reason to worry about that transition.