Predictions and Odds AL MVP: Angels ace Shohei Ohtani is still an option
Jimmie Foxx, Hal Newhouser, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Frank Thomas and Miguel Cabrera. You know what these seven names have in common? They are the only ones to win consecutive MVPs of the American League. You know who’s next on that list? Two-way Phenom Shohei Ohtani.
And with +100 odds still on Ohtani for AL MVP via FanDuel, you need to get started now. Every sportsbook has Ohtani as the current favorite for the AL MVP, but none offers +100 or better odds other than FanDuel. This is as good as it gets.
Ohtani has certainly had a better offensive first half in 2021 – leading the MLB with 33 home runs, 0.698 slip rate, 0.419 isolated strength and tripling – compared to this season . But he was a much better pitcher ahead of this year’s All-Star break – 9-4 with an ERA of 2.38 in 15 starts and second-best SO/9 (12.72) in baseball – compared with last year. And “Showtime” is now pitching better than ever. In his last six starts, Ohtani is 6-0 with a minuscule 0.45 ERA. However, it got better. Out of those 39.2 rounds, Ohtani allowed just two runs, hit 58 strokes, walked just 11 and delivered just 20 shots. Not bad, right?
Best of all, he doesn’t need to maintain this dominance to repeat as MVP. If Ohtani can hit 30 home runs, drive for 80 runs, steal 20 bases, win 11 fights, hit 160 and start 20-25 times – all stats he hits or exceeds past – there’s no reason Ohtani doesn’t repeat like AL MVP. Is it fair to other positional players, specifically Aaron Judge, that Ohtani could impact the game in a variety of ways? Do not shrink. But who said anything about fair and unfair?
As we saw last year and years before, it doesn’t matter that Ohtani plays in a bad team. The fact that he’s not playing on the field – other than the time he’s pitching – doesn’t matter. As long as Ohtani doesn’t miss significant time due to injury for the rest of the season, it will be difficult for anyone else to win the AL MVP. Ohtani may not win unanimously the way he did a year ago, but he should still win.