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If Shohei Ohtani is traded to the NL, it would be chaotic in the betting world

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As of early July, almost a quarter of all cash bets in the AL MVP market at BetMGM was on Los Angeles Angels megastar Shohei Otani. A score of 24.9 percent is the highest for any player in any league.

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At that point, Otani’s deal with the National League was not considered. But it is now.

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As the Angels sink deeper into obscurity and the deal deadline quickly approaches, the news cycle has shifted from who can get Juan Soto to Otani’s possible deals. Thursday night, the MLB network spent a lot of time discarding Otani’s possible deals for every team that could be a possible destination.

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Everyone with an Ohtani MVP ticket is paying attention.

Can Shohei Otani be traded to the NL?

As of Friday, Aaron Judge is the AL MVP favorite at BetMGM. He is -145, Otani is +110, Jordan Alvarez is 20-to-1, and no one else is under 30-to-1.

If Otani is traded to an NL team like the New York Mets or Los Angeles Dodgers, the referee’s odds will change dramatically.

The main example of a player switching leagues and receiving an award was 1984, when Rick Sutcliffe was transferred from the Cleveland Indians to the Chicago Cubs. Sutcliffe was great with the Cubs and won the NL Cy Young. But that trade came on June 13, giving Sutcliffe plenty of time to put together an NL summary. And he won with his new league.

The best comparison for Otani and a possible NL trade would be Mark McGuire. McGuire was traded from the Oakland A’s to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1997 season. He had 58 homers and 123 RBIs combined that season, but only 24 homers and 42 RBIs for the Cardinals in the Netherlands. He finished 16th in NL MVP voting for the likes of Charles Johnson and Edgardo Alfonso. McGuire didn’t get first place.

Shohei Otani of the Los Angeles Angels was part of the trade timing speculation.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Shohei Otani of the Los Angeles Angels was part of the trade timing speculation. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Aaron Judge is the current favorite

Nothing in Ballot for voting for the title of the best player says that the combined statistics cannot be calculated, but this was not the case before.

The referee is the current AL MVP favorite for good reason. On Thursday, he had his third homer outing of the season with the New York Yankees, 67-33. Judge has 39 homers, seven more than anyone else in baseball. Otani’s double value is undeniable and he would be a good MVP vote in just about any season he plays, even on a bad Angels team. But if Judge hits 60 home runs for a 100-win Yankee team, voters will have a hard time getting past that.

Perhaps Otani will stay in AL or not be traded at all. It would take the Angels a huge offer to move baseball’s biggest star. But as the deadline approaches, a unique situation has developed for AL MVP bettors.


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