NL MVP Odds: Could Not Pitching Give Shohei Ohtani an Edge?


Feb 13, 2024

With the MLB season fast approaching, the National League MVP race is already generating buzz and speculation.

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Top 5 NL MVP Odds at FanDuel

  • Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL): +550
  • Mookie Betts (LAD): +650
  • Freddie Freeman (LAD): +900
  • Shohei Ohtani (LAD): +950
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD): +1000

 Among the contenders are familiar names like Fernando Tatis Jr., Freddie Freeman, Bryce Harper (+1200), and Matt Olson (+1200), along with some new faces such as Corbin Carroll (+2200). However, the absence of Shohei Ohtani‘s dual-threat presence in the National League has changed the dynamics of the MVP conversation.

In previous years, Ohtani’s ability to excel as both a hitter and a pitcher made him a formidable MVP candidate in the American League. However, with Shohei focusing solely on hitting this season due to injury, the spotlight now shifts to other players to step up and claim the title.

While Ohtani remains a potent offensive force, he faces stiff competition from established hitters like Tatis, Freeman, and Betts, who have consistently performed at an elite level. Additionally, the Dodgers’ stacked lineup adds another layer of complexity to the race, with multiple players capable of putting up MVP-caliber numbers.

Despite Ohtani’s transition to a hitter-only role, some argue that he could benefit from the increased focus on his hitting. Without the additional pitching workload, Ohtani can dedicate more time and energy to refining his offensive skills, potentially leading to a breakout season at the plate.

However, others point out that the Japanese superstar may not necessarily be the best hitter in the National League, with formidable competition within his own team and across the league. Players like Betts, Freeman, and others pose significant challenges to his MVP aspirations, as they have consistently produced impressive numbers and played vital roles in their teams’ success.

Ultimately, the National League MVP race promises to be a closely contested battle, with several worthy candidates vying for the prestigious award. While Ohtani’s absence from the pitching mound may change the dynamics of the race, it also opens up opportunities for other players to stake their claim to MVP honors.

As the season unfolds, fans can expect plenty of excitement and drama as the race for the National League MVP heats up. With so much talent on display, predicting the eventual winner will undoubtedly be challenging. However, one thing is certain: the competition will be fierce, and every player will give their all to earn the title of National League MVP.

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Thumbnail photo via Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

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