Shohei Ohtani MLB

Shohei Ohtani Awards Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season

Written by on May 4, 2020

The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani is the most unique player in baseball because he’ll start on the mound 1-2 times a week and then play designated hitter most of the other days. Here are three props available to wager at Mybookie on Ohtani’s and the Angels’ 2020 MLB season – assuming there is one – and an overview.

Shohei Ohtani MLB Awards Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season

Odds to win AL West: Angels are +550 third-favorites

Look, Ohtani probably isn’t winning the Cy Young this season. He didn’t pitch at all last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery and the Halos were going to treat him very cautiously in terms of pitching this year. In fact, he wasn’t going to be ready from a pitching standpoint for the original Opening Day as he works his way back from that. The Angels were originally targeting mid-May for Ohtani’s return as a pitcher, so he could be ready to serve as a two-way player whenever the season begins.

GM Billy Eppler said recently that Ohtani has been throwing “roughly” two bullpen sessions per week. Eppler added that the mound work has been “nothing super intense,” with Ohtani throwing 35-50 pitches per session at “probably 80-85 percent” effort. Once getting back on a mound, Ohtani will have to integrate all of his pitches before eventually facing live hitters.

As a rookie in 2018 on the mound, he posted a 3.18 ERA and struck out 57 batters in 45 innings, boasting a fastball that often reached triple digits and a splitter that looked impossible to hit. Ohtani wound up winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award and put up 137 wRC+ from 2018 to 2019, a mark topped by only 16 players with at least 750 plate appearances during that span.

In 2019, Ohtani played in 106 games as a hitter and batted .286 with 18 homers and 62 RBIs. He underwent successful surgery on September 13th to address a bipartite patella in his left knee.

Ohtani became the third Japanese player ever with multiple 15+ homer campaigns: Hideki Matsui and Tadahito Iguchi. He became the first Angel in franchise history with 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases in each of first two seasons and just the 13th player in AL history to turn the trick.

On June 13 last year, Ohtani became the 7th player (8th occurrence) in franchise history to hit for the cycle. He was the first to do it since Mike Trout, May 21, 2013 vs. Seattle. Ohtani also was the first Japanese-born player in Major League history to hit for the cycle. He never hit for the cycle in career in Japan.

With the Angels planning on using Ohtani just once per week on the mound, it might be that he’ll start on Wednesdays. The Angels don’t want Ohtani to hit the day after he pitches, and they originally were to have several Thursdays off. The shortened schedule in the wake of the coronavirus likely will change that, though.

New manager Joe Maddon has said that he would consider using Ohtani in the designated hitter spot on days he pitches. In 2018, Ohtani wouldn’t DH the day before, the day of or the day after he started.

Former New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia played with and against some all-time great players over his 19 years in the big leagues. Thus, it was eye-opening when he recently said this:

“I keep saying this and people always laugh at me when I say this but he’s the best baseball player I’ve ever seen in my life,’’ Sabathia said. “Are you kidding me? He can hit the ball 900 feet and throws 99 [mph] off the mound. Who else can do that?