Ohtani odds

Shohei Ohtani Odds: What Dodgers Signing Means For Baseball & Bettors

Shock the world Shohei, or don't...

After tracked planes and erroneous reports, the best player in baseball — maybe the best to ever do it — ended up exactly where everyone thought he would the whole time. Shohei Ohtani inked a bank-breaking 10-year, $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani in LA will change the course of the Dodgers' franchise history and have a ripple effect across Major League Baseball. Here are the immediate impacts:

1) Dodgers Stay World Series Contenders

Another superstar signs in LA? Yawn.

Aside from locking up the best player in the league for the next decade, not much tangibly changes for the Dodgers. They're still neck-and-neck with the Braves for top spot in the 2024 World Series odds and should be easy favorites in a competitive NL West again next year:

Adding Ohtani to a lineup with Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and others gives the Dodgers one of the most formidable batting orders we've seen this century. But, there's a reason they aren't runaway WS favorites just yet: the rotation.

There's Still Work To Do

While Ohtani was the big fish of the winter, he didn't even really fill the Dodgers' biggest need, as he won't pitch in the entire 2024 season. With just Walker Buehler, youngster Bobby Miller, and a likely Clayton Kershaw reunion slated to feature in the LA's '24 rotation, the squad needs to bring more pitching to Chavez Ravine to really secure top title hopes.

We don't know the exact financial implications of Ohtani's complicated deal with the Dodgers just yet. But, assuming he's going to cost them around $45-50 million next year, the Dodgers only have ~$155 in guaranteed contracts on the books for 2024, leaving plenty of room for another pitching add. I would be shocked of LA doesn't make a play for one of the top remaining free agent pitchers, like Blake Snell, Yoshi Yamamoto, or Jordan Montgomery. 

2) Blue Jays Need To Regroup

If you asked a Blue Jays fan on Friday afternoon for a vibe check, they were probably walking on air. At the time, Ohtani was on a plane to Toronto and had already agreed to a deal with the Jays, per one reporter. Turns out, that was all flat-out wrong.

Now, the Jays need to regroup. For a team that exited the postseason in catastrophic fashion for a second year in a row and woefully underperformed on offense, Ohtani's big bat and massive presence would've shifted the franchise. Instead, Jays GM Ross Atkins is left to pick through a thin Tier 2 of the FA market for the offensive impact his team so desperately needs.

Lucky for Toronto, Ohtani's process held up basically the entire FA market and there's still some talent out there to drop cash on. The most likely names for Toronto to splash on are OF Cody Bellinger or a return of 3B Matt Chapman. Neither will fill the void left by Ohtani being ripped out of Blue Jays fans' hearts, but it's a start.

3) Ohtani Immediately Becomes NL MVP Threat

Ohtani's already got a Rookie of the Year and two American League MVPs to his name. Now he's got a chance to switch leagues and add more hardware.

It's obvious the two-way star will be an NL MVP favorite for the next few years, at least. But it is kind of surprising to see him already on top of the odds for 2024, considering he'll only be hitting after Tommy John surgery.

Now, his average 162-game season with the bat is still 40 homers, 101 RBI, and an elite .922 OPS. But, if there's ever going to be a time in the NL to bet against Ohtani, 2024 is probably the year.

Early 2024 NL MVP Odds
Shohei OhtaniDodgers+450
Ronald Acuna Jr.Braves+550
Mookie BettsDodgers+700
Bryce HarperPhillies+800
Fernando Tatis Jr.Padres+1300
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