PointsBet Grades Shohei Ohtani AL MVP Bets As Winners 3 Months Early
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels
The American League MVP race is over with a third of the regular season to go. That’s at least at PointsBet, which has taken down the market on Thursday night and declared all bets for Angels pitcher/slugger Shohei Ohtani winners.
The AL MVP winner is scheduled to be released in November. But at PointsBet, Thanksgiving came early for those that partook.
Ohtani opened the preseason at +175, but by June was +125. At the All-Star Break, he was moved to a ridiculous -700 mark — implied odds of 87.5% that he would win his second honor.
That price was even inflated from its true figure. That's because if Ohtani was traded to the National League before the deadline, the AL MVP was very likely to have been given to someone else, with more than two months of the season left to go. So, the -700 baked in that risk
After the Angels held onto Ohtani through the trade deadline, his odds to win the award plummeted to -10000.
Ohtani leads the league in home runs, on base and slugging percentage as well as walks. On the mound, he is 9-5 with a 3.23 ERA, allowing the fewest average hits of any pitcher per nine innings.
"Shohei Ohtani has had an incredible season, unlike anything we've seen before,” said Kevin Lawler, PointsBet's head of trading. “We are officially paying out all AL MVP bets on Ohtani tonight before he takes the mound against Seattle. We hope to see Shohei continue his historic run the rest of this season and for years to come."
Ohtani made up about 16% of bets for the AL MVP race and 41% of handle, both the top choices.
Tickets placed on other AL MVP candidates will remain pending until the official result comes out in November.
PointsBet has done early payouts for MVPs before. In 2019, PointsBet paid out Lamar Jackson before Week 12, with 35% of the season left to go. Last year, they gave in on Aaron Judge on Sept. 14 and Patrick Mahomes on Dec. 24. That’s with 13% and 11%, respectively, left to go in each season. All of those MVPs ended up conferring.
For reference, the Ohtani race was called off for the book with 32.7% of the season to go.