Dodgers' lineup features three of top four NL MVP favorites

ByDavid Purdum ESPN logo
Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup is so stacked that Shohei Ohtani doesn't even have the best MVP odds on his own team.

The consensus favorites to win the World Series at sportsbooks, the Dodgers have three of the top four National League MVP favorites, according to odds at ESPN BET. Dodgers outfielderMookie Betts is +650 to win NL MVP, behind only the Atlanta Braves'Ronald Acuna Jr., who is the favorite at +500. Ohtani is +800, followed by Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman (+900).

Los Angeles opens its season Wednesday against the San Diego Padres in South Korea (6 a.m. ET, ESPN), in the first of a two-game series.

"This is the best lineup I've seen in my lifetime, no doubt," said Eric Biggio, who has been making baseball odds in Las Vegas for over 20 years and is now with Caesars Sportsbook.

Biggio said he has been surprised there hasn't been more interest from bettors on Ohtani to win MVP. After signing with the Dodgers, Ohtani opened as a co-favorite with Acuna for NL MVP, but his odds have drifted a little during the offseason due to lack of betting interest.

"Once SportsCenter starts leading with some of his prestigious home runs, that'll likely change," Biggio said.

Ohtani is recovering from elbow surgery and will not pitch this season. Randy Blum, MLB oddsmaker for the SuperBook in Las Vegas, said Ohtani not pitching this year as well as potential voter fatigue for the two-time American League MVP winner could be factors in the underwhelming interest from bettors.

"Voters could look at it as this is the one year not to vote for [Ohtani] because he doesn't pitch," Blum said. "Now, he can certainly put up the numbers offensively and still win it. There is no doubt about that."

More money has been bet on Ohtani to lead baseball in home runs than any other player at Fanatics sportsbook. The over/under on Ohtani home runs during the regular season is set at 39.5 at Caesars and has attracted balanced action.

The Dodgers are the World Series favorites at all major sportsbooks and listed at +350 at ESPN BET. The Braves are next at +550, and the Houston Astros (+800) and New York Yankees (+900) round out the teams with single-digit World Series odds at the sportsbook.

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