Shohei Ohtani takes over as NL MVP betting favorite with Mookie Betts out

Mookie Betts started the season fast and became the NL MVP favorite in BetMGM's odds, a spot he held for more than two months. It seemed like Betts had a chance to hold that spot the rest of the season, unless he got injured.

Then Betts got hit on the wrist with a 98 mph fastball.

The Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop fractured a bone in his left wrist on Sunday, and he's going to miss some time with the injury. That makes it very difficult for him to win MVP, and there was a shakeup in the odds as a result.

A Dodgers teammate and player quite familiar with MVPs moved into the favorite spot.

With Betts' injury, Shohei Ohtani is the new MVP favorite at BetMGM. He has +185 odds. Betts slid all the way back to +2500.

Ohtani had been +425 prior to Sunday, before the heavy favorite Betts got injured.

It's possible Ohtani could have chased down Betts, even if his teammate stayed healthy.

Ohtani is having a great season after joining the Dodgers in the offseason. He is hitting .309 with 19 home runs, 46 runs batted in and 15 steals. Ohtani is unable to pitch this season due to an elbow injury, but he is productive enough as a hitter that he is now back in line to win another MVP.

Ohtani won American League MVP in 2021 and 2023 as a member of the Los Angeles Angels. He became the biggest star in the sport due to his unique ability to dominate as a hitter and also as a starting pitcher. Ohtani blew away the field last season for MVP. He didn't play after Sept. 3 due to injury but won MVP unanimously. It would be a remarkable story if Ohtani switches teams and leagues and still wins MVP.

Mookie Betts will miss some time after breaking a bone in his wrist. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Mookie Betts will miss some time after breaking a bone in his wrist. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Ohtani is unlikely to pull away from the field this season as just a hitter. However, not many legitimate candidates have emerged yet. Part of that is due to the struggle of the Atlanta Braves' stars. Last season's MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. was not playing great before he suffered a torn ACL, and Matt Olson, Austin Riley and Michael Harris II are playing below their standards.

Bryce Harper (+325 for MVP) is still in the MVP conversation, Fernando Tatis Jr. (+900) is having a strong season, Marcell Ozuna (+900) is the one Braves hitter that has been producing all season and others could emerge too.

But the NL MVP race is well defined upon Betts' injury. Betts slides back and Ohtani gets his chance to lead the odds.