How Would Shohei Ohtani Trade Impact AL MVP Odds?
Generally speaking, an odds-on MVP favorite — from any sport — doesn’t find himself in the same sentence as the trade deadline. That said, Shohei Ohtani odds () are the exception to the rule. While the Angels remain in the AL wild-card hunt, there’s a slim chance that the two-way superstar finds his way to the NL and shakes up this betting market in the process. Let’s assess the aftermath if an Ohtani trade winds up occurring before the Aug. 1 cutoff.
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Updated ohtani rumors
According to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, there are only a select number of teams that have the means to hunt an Ohtani trade in the first place: the Rays, Dodgers, Mariners, Rangers, Yankees, Giants, and Orioles. Only two of them reside in the NL. Moreover, Bowden argues that the San Francisco is more likely to pursue him in the offseason than strip their farm system at the deadline.
That leaves the other team in Los Angeles as the lone candidate to alter Shohei Ohtani odds — theoretically.
It goes without saying, but Bowden notes that the Dodgers would need to part with an assortment of the following prospects. The figure next to their individual names represents their consensus prospect ranking across MLB:
- C Diego Cartaya (19)
- 2B/OF Michael Busch (34)
- C Dalton Rushing (47)
- P Gavin Stone (49)
- P Emmet Sheehan (73)
- P Ryan Pepiot (78)
- OF Andy Pages (54)
- OF Josue De Paula (N/A)
Current Dodgers starter Michael Grove also made the list. However, multiple reports on Monday conflicted Bowden in regards to the Angels’ willingness to send Ohtani to their intercity rival. Considering Ohtani boasts an eerily similar profile to Babe Ruth, the greatest player in MLB history, they may have a point.
On Thursday night, DraftKings Sportsbook released a betting market for where Ohtani will take his first plate appearance after the trade deadline on Aug. 1. You can wager on any of these odds by clicking on them below. It’s worth noting that exotics, like this one, typically showcase as low of a betting limit as you’ll find.
Ohtani Odds: Exploring The Unknown
Let’s say the Angels change their mind, or a surprise NL team (i.e. the Phillies) enters the fold and reels in the free-agent-to-be. Oddly enough, Ohtani could still win AL MVP despite spending a couple months outside of the race. But even so, the betting market would react rather swiftly if a trade is made. As of Tuesday, DraftKings is offering +500 odds on anyone else to claim the award.
Corey Seager (), perched directly behind Ohtani’s odds at this juncture, would be a deserving candidate in this scenario. Texas’ shortstop has benefited greatly from the rule change on infield shifts, tallying a .382 BABIP en route to slashing .346/.408/.615 with 14 homers and 57 RBI for the AL West leaders. His barrel rate ranks in the 99th percentile as well.
Granted, Seager’s odds were as high as +10000 in June before getting adjusted to the +3000 range earlier in July. Therefore, his “value” has depreciated. Nevertheless, I’d still prefer him — if one looks to invest in this market — over the likes of fellow shortstop Wander Franco at or Seager’s teammate Marcus Semien at .
Even though White Sox centerfielder Luis Robert () has a better shot on a non-contending team than any other MVP candidate would in a different sport, his injury risk scares me off.
Editor’s note: This article was written before Seager was placed on the 10-day IL with a right thumb sprain.
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