Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) rounds first base in the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium.
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) rounds first base in the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium.

2023 MLB Futures Odds: Why Shohei Ohtani Will Win the AL MVP

As we get deeper into May, the Major League Baseball season still has many months to go. Still, the MVP odds have swung dramatically in favor of one player in the American League.

You guessed it. That player is Los Angeles Angels designated hitter and starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani.

At WynnBET, his odds are +130, significantly better than the player behind him, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, who’s +600.

But why will Ohtani win MVP? Why are his odds so much better than any other player in the American League? 

Let’s take a look. 

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Two-Way Player

Not only is Ohtani a two-way player, but he’s a phenomenal two-way player.

At this time of this writing, Ohtani has 7 home runs, 20 RBIs, and five stolen bases and has posted a line of .295/.366/.512.

On the pitching side of things, Ohtani is 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA across 39 innings. In those 39 innings, he has 59 strikeouts, leading to a fantastic 13.6 K/9.

Ohtani finished second in the MVP race in 2022 after winning it in 2021 and also finishing fourth in Cy Young voting. 

First and foremost, if you look at Judge, he doesn’t pitch.

On the hitting side, Judge has six home runs, 14 RBIs, and a line of .261/.352/.511 in 26 games compared to Ohtani’s 33. 

Ohtani has played in more games, but that only adds to the argument, especially when you factor in his Cy Young-level pitching capabilities. 

Where Ohtani’s Stats Rank Right Now

We mentioned a few of Ohtani’s statistics above, but let’s look at where these rank and also touch on some others he excels.

  • Ranks 1st in WAR at 2.2

  • Batting Average: 32nd

  • Home Runs: Tied for 6th

  • RBIs: Tied for 14th

  • Hits: Tied for 10th (38)

  • Stolen Bases: Tied for 11th

  • Pitching Wins: Tied for 3rd

  • ERA: 14th

  • Strike Outs: 2nd

  • Quality Starts: Tied for 3rd

While these are just a handful of stats to consider, you’ll see that Ohtani has been a valuable asset on both sides of the game. While he’s not leading in any category besides WAR, arguably the most important statistic, he ranks in the top 10 in six of the above stats. 

The Angels Are Actually Winning

Since Ohtani joined the Angels in 2018, they’ve finished with the following records:

  • 2018: 80-82

  • 2019: 72-90

  • 2020: 26-24 (COVID-shortened year)

  • 2021: 77-85

  • 2022: 73-89

Every year Ohtani has been with the team, they’ve finished under .500. 

While he and outfielder Mike Trout can’t carry the team alone, there are likely some MLB award voters who value team wins in addition to player performance. 

The Angels are now 19-16 and are two games back of first place in the AL West.

If you extrapolate this record out across a full 162 games, the Angels are on pace to finish with a record of approximately 89 wins and 74 losses. 

If Ohtani keeps up this pace and continues to play well both hitting and pitching, and the Angels finish with a record above .500 for the first time since 2015, Ohtani should, no question, win the award. 

Bet Ohtani now at +130 before it reaches “-” line value. 

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