After a long watch as a free agent since November, Shohei Ohtani has finally chosen the Los Angeles Dodgers as his next team, as per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
On Saturday, Ohtani inked a record-breaking 10-year, $700 million agreement with the Dodgers. The contract, which is considered the largest in sports history, has made Ohtani the highest-paid MLB athlete in the scene.
Last offseason, when the Dodgers notably refrained from pursuing major acquisitions, speculation arose that they were strategically waiting to pursue Ohtani. After the latest developments, the Dodgers’ strategy has proven to bear fruition.
Ohtani’s transition to the Dodgers has also prompted an immediate change in World Series odds. Many fans expect him to make impactful contributions as a hitter and pitcher after he fully heals from previous injuries.
As a legendary “unicorn” athlete with special talents in both pitching and hitting, Ohtani eyes the 2024 home run title with favorable odds across major platforms. DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars all offer +1100, while bet365 lags slightly at +900.
Having led the American League with 44 home runs in 2023 and reaching a career-high of 46 in 2021, Ohtani remains a consistent top-five favorite in MLB home run leader odds. Notably, bet365 stands out with its market-low +900.
In 2024, Ohtani, who is recovering from elbow surgery, is likely to benefit from focusing solely on hitting. FanDuel sets the Over/Under for Ohtani’s home runs at 38.5, favoring the Over with -120 odds.
Despite this, other players like New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge, Atlanta Braves’ Matt Olson and New York Mets’ Pete Alonso boast higher betting lines. Surprisingly, this makes Ohtani less appealing in this market.
Having been with the Angels since 2018, Ohtani achieved a single-season high of 100 RBIs in 2021 despite the team’s 77-85 record. With Ohtani now part of the formidable Dodgers lineup, expect increased run-producing opportunities in 2024. The +2500 odds from Caesars present a promising early start.
In the hits leader market, Ohtani’s numbers over the past three seasons include 449 hits, with a peak of 160 in 2022. Maintaining a .277 batting average, .379 OBP and 161 OPS+, he faces the prospect of more walks in 2024 with a potent Dodgers offense.
Meanwhile, after securing Ohtani, the Dodgers have positioned themselves as the frontrunners for the 2024 World Series title.
BR Betting reports that acquiring the two-time American League MVP elevated the Dodgers to World Series favorites at +550, according to DraftKings. Following closely behind are the Braves (+700), Yankees (+900), Houston Astros (+1,000) and Texas Rangers (+1,000).
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