As the calendar flips to March, Bryce Harper and Trea Turner reside near the top of the absolutely loaded National League Most Valuable Player odds board.

Shohei Ohtani and Harper are two-time MVPs, Mookie Betts, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman each have one MVP. Fernando Tatis Jr. is the only player in the top six of the NL MVP odds who hasn’t won the award in either league before.

Harper is currently +1000 at DraftKings and +1200 at FanDuel to win the NL MVP. He is the Phillies’ preseason favorite to win the award, and his latest comments make him an even more intriguing candidate.

“I feel like, this is my first normal spring training with the Phillies, actually,” Harper told The Athletic’s Matt Gelb in a piece that dropped on Wednesday.

That quote alone should get you excited for the possibility of Harper slamming countless dingers over the right-field fence at Citizens Bank Park.

Thirty-five homers has to be the minimum expectation for Harper’s MVP campaign. He hit 35 long balls when he won MVP in 2021 and had 42 dingers in his first MVP season in 2015.

Harper’s two best seasons in OPS, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, total bases, home runs and hits all occurred in 2015 and 2021.

So there’s Harper’s MVP case in a nutshell. He has to at least match his second-highest career totals in every major offensive category to compete with Acuna, Ohtani, and Co.

Acuna set a super-high bar for MVP credentials with 41 home runs, 106 RBIs and 73 stolen bases last season, while Ohtani had 44 long balls before he was shut down for the season.

Ohtani’s MVP case could actually be diminished in 2024 because he won’t pitch most of the season and he doesn’t have to carry the weight of an entire lineup with Betts and Freeman surrounding him.

Turner may not reach Harper levels of home runs, but if he is valuable across the board for the Phillies, he could easily be in the conversation in August. He sits at +2200 at most NJ sportsbooks and PA sportsbooks.

Turner most likely has to make an impact with his speed and defense to add to his power numbers. He’s never had more than 30 home runs in a single season and he had one year over 80 RBIs.

A career season in those departments, plus the usual speed and average numbers, would make Turner a prime MVP candidate as well.

Harper and Turner are the most likely candidates now, but if you feel like taking a risk on any long shots, Kyle Schwarber is +10000 (DK) and +12000 (FD) to win MVP, while J.T. Realmuto and his fixed swing sit at +12000 on DK.

However, long shots rarely win the MVP. Ohtani, Acuna, Harper, Aaron Judge, and Paul Goldschmidt, all of whom have been great for quite some time, were the award winners over the last three seasons in each league.